Skip to Content

10 Ways to Cut Out Hair in Photoshop Successfully

10 Ways to Cut Out Hair in Photoshop Successfully

Learning how to cut out hair in Photoshop is basically a rite of passage.

If you want to be able to easily take models and apply them in a new setting, it is an absolute must.

Since hair can be messy and inaccurate, it isn’t always easy to select. Fortunately, there are countless ways for you to approach cutting out hair in Photoshop.

You can simply experiment and find one that works for you, which is why I brought together these great tutorials.

[do_widget id=custom_html-21]

cut out hair in photoshop

Use Layers and Masking Techniques

—I will be the first to admit that this technique can come off as a little difficult, but it is far from impossible. In fact, this breakdown takes a fairly complex process and makes it completely easy to follow, which is why I recommend it.

You can use layers and masking approaches to tame even the most unruly hair. In fact, this process is absolutely perfect for people looking who are looking to cut out any complex shape. Whether you want to cut hair or an elaborate hat, you can use these steps.

In order to effectively cut out hair in Photoshop, you must be able to separate it from its background. Using duplicate layers, you can easily identify what parts of the hair actually need to be separated.

This technique allows you to define the shape and outline by making everything black but the background. It is perfect for identifying those troublesome flyaway hairs and other problems.

cut out model hair in photoshopPhoto by Rowan Chestnut

Modify the Healing Tool for Perfect Hair Cut Outs

—Using the healing tool is one of the best ways to cut out hair in Photoshop. If you are looking for a method that is easy to repeat and can be used across a variety of instances, this is perfect for you. The healing tool has long since been used to remove imperfections in various images.

I love this approach because it is incredibly versatile and I think that everyone benefits from understanding this tool better. The healing tool is unbelievably cool and can be used in so many circumstances.

It is easily one of the biggest selling points of Photoshop, particularly if you want to cut out hair in Photoshop with a fast deadline. Though there might be other techniques that are more thorough, this is great for effective editing on the fly.

When you learn how to use the healing tool, you will find that you have much better control of an image. The Photoshop expert in this video does an excellent job of demonstrating the versatility of this tool. You can easily cut out hair or even add it as needed.

It is an unspoken rule of Photoshop that more texture and hair are generally added to models to make their hair look full and voluminous. Give this a try for all of your hair management needs!

Remove Stray Hairs for an Even Cutout with Clipping Masks

—The biggest problem when it comes to learning to cut out hair in Photoshop is separating the hair from other elements in the picture. Hair makes this incredibly difficult because of its absolutely terrible shape. Though it would be nice if we all had controlled hair that did exactly what we wanted, that is seldom the case.

The fact is that there will always be flyaway strands and confusing shapes. Light, color, and more bleed-through between each section of your hair, which is exactly what this technique aims to help you overcome.

When you use this technique, you will first end up with a person who looks like a glowing specter. This reverse silhouette is quite a sight to see, and it can be incredibly helpful. In this technique, you will end up with a perfect outline of your main figure.

It is perfect for getting all of the odd strays and shaping issues that come along with learning how to cut out hair in Photoshop. If you want to make sure you get every last stray hair, this is perfect for you. After you cut out the hair, you can remove any problematic pieces with absolute ease.

cutting out model hair using brush strokesPhoto by Fineas Gavre

Cut Out Hair in Photoshop Using Brush Tools

—Sometimes you don’t want to deal with all of the exact edges and would rather cut out hair that is shaped up. This technique is perfect for helping you to get that perfect cut out because it enables you to shape the existing hair and cut out any parts that you don’t like.

In no time at all, you will end up with the perfect hairdo and a cleaned-up background. Instead of relying on simply cutting out the hair, this technique is ideal for giving your subject a bit of a haircut. You will love how simplistic this is. It is great for beginners who want to cut out hair in Photoshop.

For this simple approach, all you have to do is rely on a simple brush tool. You will choose one that is round in shape and has a small size. Though you can use larger ones, they are rather ineffective for a detailed approach like this. Depending on the area where you plan to cut the hair, you might use different shapes or sizes as needed.

You will use a color match approach to simply cover up the hairs, thus cutting away the unruly shape of the hair. You can either use this to cut out unwanted portions or do it before cutting out the overall hair for a cleaner finish.

Cut Out Hair Easier in Photoshop Using Soft Blur

—Before you cut out hair in Photoshop, it is generally best to clean it up. This makes it easy for you to use any approach to cut out hair. Unless you are specifically looking for a complex finish with many strays, this approach can make you get the perfect cut out in no time at all.

Using only soft blur and basic cutting out tools, you can easily get straight to work making sure that your hair is completely in order. It can be a huge timesaver. When you want to get the perfect cutout quickly, touching up the edges is easily the best way to start.

In this approach, you will use soft blur to fade the extra hairs away. Using this effect, you will target each hair until it is no longer solid like the rest of the hair. When you do this, you will want to be careful and pay close attention to detail.

After this is done, you can very simply use a basic approach to cut out the hair using simple techniques. This process takes complex hair and makes it easy for you to get the perfect shape every time.

cutting out model hair using blend modePhoto by Ionut Comanici

Cut Out Hair Using the Color Blend Mode

—This approach follows other common processes including duplicating and inverting the main layer. However, it also takes a different approach to selecting your hair perfectly. The color blend mode gives you more control when it comes to selecting and managing hair.

In fact, this approach is recommended for use with curly hair. Since curly hair tends to be more difficult to outline, the color blend approach can make it easier to grasp. As long as you are willing to follow through a few additional steps, you can enjoy a perfect cut out every single time.

Quickly Cut Out Hair and Correct Using the Select Tool

—Using the select and mask tool with short hair has never been easier. It allows you to draw around the areas that you want so that you can carry over exactly what you are looking for. Fortunately, if you make any mistakes, it is also incredibly easy to fix these problems in almost no time at all.

Simply press a different key and add back any sections that you might have missed. I am partial to this approach because it makes it easy for you to only get the exact sections that you want.

It is important to understand that with this tool, you want to have a steady hand. While you learn how to cut out hair in Photoshop, you will want to learn how to control the system. Depending on which version you are using or which tools you choose, you might just find that you need a steadier hand.

While Photoshop is very forgiving when it comes to how you draw, sometimes the system will not be able to correct you. This is when it becomes most important to take a delicate approach.

cutting out model hair using pen toolPhoto by Oliver Ragfelt

Use the Pen Tool to Create the Perfect Selection

—The pen tool is one of the best tools that are available in Photoshop. This amazing guide is absolutely perfect for helping you to learn the fundamentals of using the pen tool to make selections. This is an effective approach for countless reasons, but specifically, because it gives you complete control.

Even better, it is a very simple approach, which makes it ideal for beginners. As you learn how to use this tool, you will improve your overall Photoshop understanding.

The pen tool is a versatile tool that can be used for many things. However, one of the best attributes that it has is the ability to cut out hair in Photoshop. You can easily use the pen tool to make the perfect selection.

This will give you complete control over what portions of the hair you want to bring over. Simply outline the hair and then work to create the perfect hair cut out. The pen tool approach can take some getting used to, but you will love it once you get it down.

Get the Perfect Cut Out Using Quick Select and the Refine Edge Brush

—This alternate approach to selecting and masking can help you to get amazing results very quickly. You will find that this is a great approach for people who want to get something done fast or those who are just learning.

With a few simple steps, you can get a great cut out, then simply focus on refining it to bring it to perfection. It brings together a couple of amazing tools in Photoshop so you can get straight to work without too much hassle.

With this approach, you will use quick select to do the majority of the heavy lifting. This is perfect for getting a general outline of the hair that you want to cut out.

I personally love quick select for its ease of use. Though it isn’t always perfect, adding together a couple of extra tools to refine the overall selection. With a few easy steps, you will have successfully cut out hair in Photoshop.

cutting out model hair in photoshopPhoto by Ayo Ogunseinde

Cut Out Hair and Maintain Perfect Coloring Using Decontaminate Colors

—A huge issue that people run into when they cut out hair in Photoshop is discoloration. This tutorial does an excellent job of running you through a basic process to cut out the hair, then offers more. You can follow a simple select and mask process, then touch it up to achieve absolute perfection.

This is a great approach to improve the quality of your cutting out process. It guides you through correcting this incredibly common problem and gives you the perfect cut out at the same time.


Sometimes cutting out hair can feel like a pain, which is why I like to have options. When you have multiple ways to tackle a problem, you have a better chance of success. Not every mode will work for every person, and that is okay. Try experimenting with these different approaches and see what works for you.

What are your thoughts on Photoshop’s abilities to edit photos? Does Photoshop help make it easier? Do you use a different software to edit your photos?