Removing Stray Hair from a Portrait: Photoshop Tutorial

Welcome to our blog, where we will be providing you with an in-depth Photoshop tutorial on how to remove stray hair from a portrait. We all know that dealing with unwanted stray hair can be a tedious and time-consuming task when editing photos. Whether you are a professional photographer or an amateur enthusiast, this tutorial will give you the essential skills and techniques to achieve flawless and polished portraits. With the power of Photoshop at your fingertips, you will learn step-by-step instructions on how to effectively and efficiently remove those pesky stray strands, ensuring your subjects look their very best. Get ready to transform your photos from good to extraordinary with this easy-to-follow tutorial on hair retouching!

How to get rid of stray hairs in photoshop

To remove stray hairs in Photoshop, you can use one of the following methods:

  1. Healing Brush and Spot Healing Brush tools: These tools allow you to paint over stray hairs, and Photoshop will blend them seamlessly into the existing background. Be sure to duplicate your layer before you start so you can always undo your changes. You can learn more about this method from Adobe’s official tutorial 1.
  2. Clone Stamp tool: This tool lets you completely capture a background and use it to paint over an area, which can help with hair that is layered over skin or patterned backgrounds. You can learn more about this method from Adobe’s official tutorial 1.
  3. Liquify filter: For quick hair removal, you can use the Liquify filter to pucker and pull areas of an image, which can clear out stray hairs, without the need for close-up detail work. You can learn more about this method from Adobe’s official tutorial 1.

Here is a video tutorial that demonstrates these methods on a studio portrait and explains the advantages and disadvantages of each one 2:

Removing Stray Hair from a Portrait: Photoshop Tutorial


Hey guys, I’m back with another Photoshop tutorial and today I thought it would be a good idea to show you how to retouch stray hair in a portrait. I have already finished retouching the model’s skin with my skin retouching tutorial (link), but I noticed that there are strands of hair kind of coming over her face, which can be very distracting from the portrait. So, in this tutorial, I will show you how to get rid of them as well.

Retouching Technique

To start off, I duplicate my background layer by holding command J. I never do anything on the background layer because you always want something to fall back on in case you make a mistake. You don’t ever want to ruin the original file that you’re working on. So, I just start off with a duplicate and zoom in on the model’s face.

Next, I use the Healing Brush tool and make sure that the sample is set to all layers. This allows me to sample from different parts of the image. I make my brush slightly bigger than the strands of hair on the face and begin by removing the easy ones first. I hold down the alt or option key to sample a section of the image, then I brush over the whole strand carefully. This way, I can easily remove them. If there are any marks leftover, I simply go over them and get rid of them as well.

I continue this process for all the easy strands that are just over her cheek. These are considered easy because they are on a more plain part of the image. However, as we move to the more detailed areas, it becomes trickier.

Removing Strands in Detailed Areas

For the strands that are on the edge of the face, I like to start by removing the strands that are more visible. I duplicate the layer just in case I make any mistakes and want to delete them later. I sample very close to the strand of hair and try to match it up with my brush. By doing this, the face remains intact and looks more realistic.

For light strands against shadowy parts of the face, I again sample close to the edge of the face and then brush over the strand. Sometimes, if the result looks messy, I create a new blank layer and use the stamp brush with a soft edge to brush over the messy areas. I use a low opacity and build up the brush strokes to make it look natural.

Similarly, for strands on the chin area, I start a new layer and use the Healing Brush tool to remove them. I try to match the natural curve of the chin and build up the brush strokes to maintain a realistic look.


Removing stray hair from portraits can be a meticulous process, but with the right techniques in Photoshop, it can be done effectively. By duplicating layers and using the Healing Brush tool, it is possible to retouch and remove the distracting stray hair. Remember to use a soft brush and experiment with opacity to make the final result look natural and seamless.


Frequently Asked Questions about how to erase hair in photoshop

What is the purpose of removing stray hair from a portrait?

The purpose of removing stray hair from a portrait is to improve the overall appearance and make the subject’s hair look more groomed and polished. It helps eliminate distractions and ensure the focus remains on the subject’s face or desired features.

Do I need Photoshop to remove stray hair from a portrait?Yes, a basic understanding of Photoshop is required to follow this tutorial since it involves using various tools and techniques specifically available in Photoshop.
What tools are commonly used to remove stray hair in Photoshop?

The most commonly used tools for removing stray hair in Photoshop are the Spot Healing Brush, Clone Stamp Tool, and the Pen Tool. These tools allow you to effectively remove unwanted hair strands while maintaining a natural look.

Are there any alternative software options to remove stray hair from a portrait?While Photoshop is the most commonly used software for advanced photo editing, there are other alternatives available such as GIMP, Affinity Photo, and Corel PaintShop Pro that offer similar tools and functionality to remove stray hair.
Is it important to use a separate layer when removing stray hair?

Yes, using a separate layer is highly recommended when removing stray hair. This allows for better control and flexibility during the editing process. It also ensures that any changes made can be easily adjusted or reversed without affecting the original image.

Are there any specific tips to achieve a natural-looking result?

Yes, some tips to achieve a natural-looking result include carefully selecting the appropriate brush size, adjusting opacity settings, feathering the edges of the hair, and paying attention to the lighting and shadow details. It’s important to practice and experiment to achieve the desired effect.

I hope you find useful my article Removing Stray Hair from a Portrait: Photoshop Tutorial, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

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