how to draw anime hair

How to Draw Anime Hair – Drawing Turorials and Coloring Tips

Hair is one of my top 5 favorite things to draw and color, and this was also a very requested tutorial. In this article, you will learn the step-by-step process of drawing anime hair and get expert tips on coloring techniques. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, these tutorials will help you perfect your anime hair art. Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways:

  • Using references is essential for drawing realistic anime hair
  • Sketching the general outline and shape of the hair is a good starting point
  • Creating lineart adds definition and depth to anime hair
  • Shading techniques bring realism and dimension to anime hair
  • Adding highlights adds shine and depth to anime hair

Using References for Drawing Anime Hair

One of the most important tips for drawing anime hair is to use references. By searching for photos of anime drawings and real people with different hairstyles, you can gain a better understanding of the shape and volume of the hair. Using references is a common practice among artists and is not considered cheating or copying. It is a valuable technique for improving your own skills and creating more realistic and dynamic hair in your drawings.

There are various platforms where you can find inspiration and reference images for anime hair. Websites like Pinterest, Instagram, and DeviantArt are great sources to explore. You can discover a wide range of hairstyles, hair colors, and textures to guide your drawings. By studying these reference images, you’ll be able to capture the unique characteristics of anime hair and incorporate them into your own artwork.

Remember, using references is not about replicating the image exactly, but rather understanding the fundamental elements of the hair and adapting them to suit your style and vision.

Benefits of Using References for Anime Hair Drawing

  • Understanding hair shape and volume
  • Learning different hair textures and styles
  • Improving realism in your drawings
  • Developing your own unique style

Using references provides a solid foundation for your anime hair drawings and allows you to explore and experiment with different techniques and styles.

“Using reference images is not about copying, but about studying and understanding the elements that make anime hair unique. It’s a valuable tool for any artist looking to improve their skills.” – Anime Artist

Incorporating references into your drawing process can greatly enhance your ability to capture the essence of anime hair. By observing and analyzing a variety of styles and textures, you’ll be able to create more dynamic and visually appealing hair in your drawings.

Now that you understand the importance of using references, let’s explore the next step: sketching tips for anime hair.

Benefits of Using References for Anime Hair Drawing
Understanding hair shape and volume
Learning different hair textures and styles
Improving realism in your drawings
Developing your own unique style

Sketching Tips for Anime Hair

When it comes to drawing anime hair, one of the most important stages is sketching. Developing a strong foundation for your artwork sets the stage for the rest of the process. Here are some helpful sketching tips to guide you in creating stunning anime hair:

  1. Focus on the general outline and shape: Begin by establishing the overall shape and outline of the hair. This step is crucial as it provides a framework to build upon. Avoid getting caught up in the details too early on.
  2. Consider the starting point on the head: Think about where the hair starts on the head and how it falls naturally. Pay attention to factors like the hairline, parting, and any accessories or additions you plan to include.
  3. Add flow and movement: Use S curves in your sketch to add flow and movement to the hair. This technique creates a dynamic and lively appearance, adding depth and visual interest to your artwork.
  4. Experiment with different hair textures: Anime hair comes in various textures, from straight and sleek to curly and voluminous. Play around with different sketching techniques to achieve the desired texture and look. This experimentation allows you to explore the versatility of anime hair styles.
  5. Embrace the process: Remember that sketching is a journey of refining and perfecting your artwork. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or try different approaches. Each attempt is an opportunity to learn and grow as an artist.

By following these sketching tips, you’ll be on your way to creating amazing anime hair that brings your characters to life. Practice, experiment, and enjoy the creative process as you develop your unique style and techniques.

“Sketching is the foundation of every great artwork. It gives you the freedom to explore and experiment, allowing your creativity to thrive.”
– Renowned Anime Artist

Creating Lineart for Anime Hair

When it comes to bringing your anime hair drawings to life, creating lineart can make all the difference. Lineart adds definition and depth to your artwork, giving it a polished and professional look. In this section, we’ll explore different techniques for mastering lineart and enhancing the overall appeal of your anime hair.

To start, consider your personal style and the desired effect you want to achieve. Whether you prefer clean and precise lineart or a more relaxed and loose look, there are techniques you can utilize to achieve your desired outcome.

One key aspect of creating lineart is selecting the right brushes. Many software programs, such as Clip Studio, offer a variety of brush options specifically designed for lineart. Explore different brushes and experiment with their settings to find the perfect brush that suits your style and desired effect.

When working on your lineart, pay attention to the thickness and weight of the lines. Adding thickness to the lines where they intersect or where you want to create shadows can add depth and definition to the hair. This technique helps to emphasize certain areas and make your artwork more visually appealing.

For inspiration and guidance, let’s take a look at an example of lineart:

mastering anime hair drawing

Lineart Technique Description
Clean and Precise Lineart Create smooth and consistent lines, paying attention to the flow and direction of the hair strands. Use precise strokes to capture intricate details and add sharpness to your artwork.
Loose and Relaxed Lineart Embrace a more organic and free-flowing style by using confident and expressive brush strokes. This technique creates a sense of movement and adds a touch of uniqueness to your anime hair.

Experiment with these lineart techniques and find the style that best suits your artistic vision and preferences. Remember, practice is key to improving your lineart skills, so don’t be afraid to try new techniques and push your boundaries.

With the right brushes, attention to detail, and a bit of practice, you can master the art of creating stunning lineart for your anime hair drawings.

Shading Techniques for Anime Hair

Shading plays a vital role in bringing realism and dimension to anime hair. With the right techniques, you can make your drawings come to life and give your characters the perfect hairstyle. Here are expert tips for shading anime hair like a pro:

  1. Determine the Light Source: Before you start shading, identify the direction and intensity of the light source in your drawing. Understanding the light source will help you create realistic shadows and highlights on the hair.
  2. Create a General Shape: With the light source in mind, use shading colors to establish the overall shape and volume of the hair. Start with light strokes and gradually build up the shading to achieve the desired effect.
  3. Polish for Realism: Take your time to refine the shading, paying attention to the hair’s texture and individual strands. Use darker shades for areas with more shadow and lighter shades for highlights. Blend the shading smoothly to create a cohesive look.
  4. Experiment with Backlights: Adding backlights can add depth and visual interest to your anime hair. Try incorporating subtle hints of lighter colors or even a soft glow effect to make the hair stand out.
  5. Consider the Color Palette: To create a cohesive look, choose shading colors that complement the overall color palette of your drawing. Use similar tones to maintain consistency and harmony throughout the artwork.

By mastering shading techniques, you can elevate your anime hair art to the next level. With practice and these expert tips, you’ll be able to create stunning hairstyles that bring your characters to life.

shading techniques for anime hair

Pros of Shading Techniques Cons of Shading Techniques
Brings realism and dimension to anime hair Requires practice and experimentation
Enhances the overall look of the drawing Can be time-consuming
Allows for creativity and the use of different color palettes May require additional layers or adjustments

Adding Highlights to Anime Hair

Highlights play a crucial role in adding shine and depth to anime hair, bringing it to life. By strategically placing highlights, you can enhance the overall appearance and make your character’s hair more visually appealing. Here are some top tutorials and techniques for drawing anime hair highlights:

Airbrushing Skin Color Technique

An effective technique for adding highlights to anime hair is the airbrushing skin color method. Start by airbrushing the skin color on the bangs or the area where the hair is parted. This provides a base for the highlights and adds a natural-looking glow. Once the base layer is dry, use a white color or a lighter shade to carefully apply highlights on top, focusing on areas where light would naturally hit the hair.

Experiment with Shapes and Colors

When adding highlights, don’t be afraid to experiment with different shapes and colors to achieve a stylized look. Vary the size and shape of the highlights to create depth and texture in the hair. Consider the lighting and the character’s personality when deciding on the color of the highlights. Warm tones like golden or honey shades work well for natural-looking highlights, while vibrant colors can be used for more dramatic and unique hairstyles.

Transparent Eyelashes and Eyebrows

For an extra touch of realism, consider making the eyelashes and eyebrows transparent in your anime hair drawing. This subtle technique helps create a more natural and cohesive look. To achieve this effect, use a lighter color or decrease the opacity of the eyelashes and eyebrows, allowing the highlights in the hair to shine through. This technique adds depth and detail to the overall drawing.

Highlights anime hair

Adding highlights to anime hair is an essential skill in creating dynamic and captivating drawings. With the right techniques and a bit of experimentation, you can elevate your anime hair art to the next level. Let your creativity shine through as you master the art of highlighting anime hair!

Choosing Colors for Anime Hair

When it comes to coloring anime hair, there is no limit to creativity. The vibrant hues and unique combinations you choose can bring your characters to life and add personality to your artwork. Here are some tips to guide you in creating vibrant anime hair colors that make a statement.

Exploring Color Combinations

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to selecting colors for anime hair. Experiment with different combinations to discover what appeals to you. Consider the mood of your character or the overall atmosphere of your artwork. Bold and contrasting colors can make a character stand out, while subtle and complementary tones can create a more harmonious look.

Considering the Surroundings

When choosing colors for anime hair, it’s important to consider the surrounding elements in your drawing. Keep in mind the color palette of the overall composition and aim for colors that complement or contrast with the background. This will ensure that your character blends seamlessly into the scene.

Creating Complex Hair Colors

If you are aiming for complex hair colors like gradients or rainbow shades, it’s best to utilize blending modes and separate layers. This allows you to experiment with different color combinations without affecting the overall drawing. Take advantage of digital tools and software to achieve the desired effect with precision and ease.

coloring anime hair

The image above showcases the vibrancy and excitement that can be achieved with creative anime hair colors.

Drawing Different Anime Hairstyles

When it comes to anime hairstyles, the possibilities for creativity are endless. Whether you’re drawing long and straight locks, short and spiky cuts, messy bedhead styles, playful ponytails, or trendy hair covering one eye, each hairstyle brings a unique personality to your characters. To help you master the art of drawing different anime hairstyles, we’ve compiled step-by-step tutorials and expert tips. Get ready to unleash your artistic talent!

“Anime hairstyles allow artists to express the personality and style of their characters in a visually captivating way.”

Tutorial: Long and Straight Hair

Long and straight anime hair is a classic look that’s both elegant and versatile. Follow these steps to bring this hairstyle to life:

  1. Start by sketching the general outline of the hair, paying attention to its length and shape.
  2. Add subtle curves to mimic the flow and movement of the hair.
  3. Use shading techniques to create depth and realism, emphasizing the strands of hair.
  4. Finish by adding highlights and reflections to make the hair shine.

Tutorial: Short and Spiky Hair

Short and spiky anime hair is often associated with energetic and rebellious characters. Follow these steps to achieve the perfect spiky look:

  1. Start by sketching the basic shape of the hair, focusing on short, pointed layers.
  2. Use quick, deliberate strokes to create sharp, defined spikes.
  3. Add shading to give the hair texture and dimension.
  4. Highlight the tips of the spikes to make them stand out.

Tutorial: Messy Bedhead Hair

Messy bedhead hair is a popular choice for carefree and laid-back characters. Here’s how you can create this effortlessly cool hairstyle:

  1. Sketch the hair with uneven and tousled strands to capture that “just woke up” look.
  2. Add shading to create depth and texture, focusing on the tangled sections.
  3. Emphasize the messy appearance by highlighting random strands.
  4. Optional: Incorporate accessories like headbands or hair clips for extra style.

Tutorial: Ponytail

A ponytail is a simple yet stylish anime hairstyle that can be customized in various ways. Follow these steps to draw a dynamic ponytail:

  1. Sketch the head and choose the position of the ponytail.
  2. Add volume and flow to the hair by sketching the shape of the ponytail.
  3. Use curved lines to indicate the direction of the hair strands.
  4. Refine the details with shading and highlights to make the ponytail look realistic.

Tutorial: Hair Covering One Eye

A hairstyle where the hair mostly covers one eye adds mystery and intrigue to a character. Here’s how you can draw this captivating look:

  1. Sketch the basic shape of the hair, covering one side of the face.
  2. Pay attention to the direction of the hair flow, emphasizing the strands closer to the eye.
  3. Add shading and highlights to create depth and contrast.
  4. Focus on rendering the covered eye to maintain a sense of allure.

Remember, anime hairstyles are not limited to these tutorials alone. Exploring references, experimenting with different techniques, and embracing your own artistic style will help you create truly unique and expressive hair designs. Don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild and adapt hairstyles from your favorite anime drawings to suit your own vision.

Anime Hairstyles

Comparing Different Anime Hairstyles

Hairstyle Characteristics
Long and Straight Elegant, versatile
Short and Spiky Energetic, rebellious
Messy Bedhead Carefree, laid-back
Ponytail Dynamic, practical
Hair Covering One Eye Mysterious, alluring

Drawing Anime Hair for Females

When it comes to drawing anime hair for female characters, it’s important to consider various styles, lengths, and textures. To bring your female anime characters to life, follow these steps:

Step 1: Sketch the Head Shape

Start by sketching the head shape, taking into account the desired hairstyle. Use basic geometric shapes such as circles or ovals to create the overall structure of the head.

Step 2: Draw the Hairline and Front Section

Next, draw the hairline and the front section of the hair according to the chosen hairstyle. Pay attention to how the hair frames the face and falls naturally.

Step 3: Outline the Top, Sides, and Ends of the Hair

Outline the top, sides, and ends of the hair, adding volume and flow. Use a combination of curved lines and sharp angles to create different hair textures such as straight, wavy, or curly hair.

Step 4: Add Details and Remove Unnecessary Guidelines

Add details such as individual strands of hair, bangs, or hair accessories. Refine the initial sketch by removing unnecessary guidelines and ensuring that the hair looks cohesive and realistic.

Step 5: Color or Shade the Hair

Finally, bring the hair to life by adding color or shading. Consider the color palette of your character and use appropriate shading techniques to create depth and dimension. Experiment with different hues and highlights to enhance the overall appearance of the hair.

drawing anime girl hair

Now that you have the basics of drawing anime hair for females, let your creativity run wild and experiment with different hairstyles, colors, and textures to bring your characters to life!

Hairstyle Description
Long and Flowing Classic anime hairstyle that cascades down the back, emphasizing beauty and elegance.
Pigtails Cute and playful hairstyle where the hair is divided into two sections tied with ribbons or hairbands.
Short Bob A trendy and stylish hairstyle that features hair cut to the chin or above, framing the face.
Twin Tails A youthful hairstyle where the hair is parted down the middle and tied into two high pigtails.
Braids A versatile hairstyle that can take various forms, such as single braids, fishtail braids, or braided buns.

With these techniques and hairstyle ideas, you’ll be able to create stunning anime hair for your female characters. Remember to practice, experiment, and enjoy the process of bringing your drawings to life!

Drawing Anime Hair for Males

When it comes to drawing anime hair for male characters, short and spiky styles are often the go-to choice. Follow these steps to bring your male anime characters to life:

  1. Sketch the head shape and hairline: Start by sketching the basic outline of the character’s head and defining the hairline. Pay attention to the angle and curvature of the hairline, as it will determine the overall style of the hair.
  2. Draw the spiky sections of hair: Begin drawing the individual spikes of hair, focusing on their direction and thickness. Use quick, confident strokes to create a sense of movement and texture. Vary the length and angle of the spikes to add depth and visual interest.
  3. Add depth and detail: To make the hair appear more realistic, add shading and highlights to create volume. Use lighter lines or strokes to indicate areas where light hits the hair, and darker lines or strokes to represent shadows and depth.
  4. Erase unnecessary guidelines: Once you are satisfied with the shape and details of the hair, carefully erase any remaining guidelines or construction lines. This will give your drawing a cleaner and more polished look.
  5. Color or shade the hair: Finally, bring your drawing to life by adding color or shading to the hair. Choose colors that complement the character’s overall design and style. Use gradients or different shades to create a sense of dimension and visual interest.

drawing anime boy hair

With practice, you’ll be able to capture the unique personality and style of your male anime characters through their hair. Have fun experimenting with different hairstyles and techniques to create captivating and visually appealing designs.


Drawing anime hair is a skill that requires practice and patience. By following the art tutorials provided in this article, you can learn essential techniques for creating dynamic and realistic anime hair.

Using references is vital to understand the shape, volume, and different styles of anime hair. Sketching with intention helps you establish the overall form and movement of the hair. Creating clean lineart or refining your sketch adds definition and depth to your artwork.

Shading and adding highlights bring realism and dimension to anime hair. Experiment with different colors and techniques to create vibrant and visually appealing hair. Choosing colors that complement your character’s design and the overall artwork is essential.

Remember, character design is about expressing your unique style. So, use these art tutorials as a foundation and adapt them to suit your artistic vision. With practice and dedication, you can master the art of drawing anime hair and bring your characters to life.


What are some tips for drawing anime hair?

Use references, focus on the general outline and shape, experiment with different techniques, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

How do I create lineart for anime hair?

Start with a sketch, use brushes designed for lineart, and add thickness to the lines for depth and definition.

What are some shading techniques for anime hair?

Determine the light source, create a general shape with shading colors, and add complexity gradually as you gain more experience.

How do I add highlights to anime hair?

Experiment with different techniques, such as airbrushing skin color on the bangs before adding white highlights on top.

How do I choose colors for anime hair?

Play with different color combinations, consider the surrounding colors in your drawing, and use blending modes for complex hair colors.

How can I draw different anime hairstyles?

Experiment with different styles like long and straight, short and spiky, messy, ponytails, or hair covering one eye.

How do I draw anime hair for female characters?

Start with a sketch of the head shape, draw the hairline and front section based on the desired style, and color or shade the hair to bring it to life.

How do I draw anime hair for male characters?

Sketch the head shape and hairline, draw the spiky sections of hair, and add depth and detail before coloring or shading.

What are some key takeaways for drawing anime hair?

Practice with references, experiment with different techniques, adapt and make the techniques your own, and keep practicing to develop your unique style.

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