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How to take drab hair and make It pop in Photoshop

photoshop hair pop hairpop feat
In portrait photography, hair can be an interesting post-editing beast to tackle. Process your image one way and the hair looks dull and boring; process it another way and the hair looks great, but your client’s skin looks blotchy and unappealing. So what is the trick to getting eye-catching hair in your portraits?

Aaron Nace and the team over at Phlearn are back with another video with some easy how-to goodness on making hair pop in Photoshop. In typical Phlearn fashion, the process is simple enough to follow along with, and the results speak for themselves.

The process shown in the video can be broken into three steps, a color balance adjustment layer to bring out the natural color of the hair, a solid color adjustment layer to add some oomph to the highlights in the hair, and then a dodge-and -urn layer to really give the hair some new life. You may have some trouble keeping up if you are new to Photoshop, but anyone with experience in the latest versions should be able to follow along with these tips with no problem.

As with many things in Photoshop, however, it is easy to take things too far. The sign of a well-processed image is one where you can’t tell that it has been processed. And one of the best ways to combat this is to set the image aside for a long period of time, a couple hours, even a couple days, and then come back to it. If the edit still feels right, then go ahead and use it, but more often than not, you will notice things you missed or see areas where you need to tone it back. Fresh eyes are your best friend.

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Anthony Thurston
Anthony is an internationally published photographer based in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Specializing primarily in…
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