Perfectly Isolate Hair... Using AI (Hair Selection in Photoshop!)

27 Oct 202308:09

TLDRIn this Photoshop tutorial, viewers learn how to expertly select and refine hair edges against a busy background. The guide demonstrates using the Select Subject tool and the Refine Edge tool, and introduces the Generative Fill feature to seamlessly integrate hair textures with the background. The step-by-step instructions, including the use of Quick Mask mode for fine-tuning, empower designers and photographers to achieve professional-grade hair selections.


  • 🎨 Start by duplicating the background layer to preserve the original image.
  • πŸ–ΌοΈ Use the 'Select Subject' tool for automatically detecting and selecting the subject, especially useful for complex selections like hair.
  • πŸ” Refine the initial selection with 'Select and Mask' for a more accurate result.
  • πŸ–ŒοΈ Employ the 'Refine Edge' tool to further adjust and improve the edges of the selection.
  • 🌟 Add a layer mask to isolate the subject from the background after refining the selection.
  • 🎨 Add a new background to complement the subject, positioning it below the subject layer.
  • ✍️ Enter 'Quick Mask' mode by pressing 'Q' to paint and refine the hair edges with ease.
  • πŸ”„ Invert the 'Quick Mask' to focus solely on the hair area for precise adjustments.
  • πŸ–ŒοΈ Use a mid-tone gray brush to soften and blend the hair edges naturally.
  • πŸ”§ Utilize the 'Generative Fill' feature to fill in any gaps or imperfections with AI-generated pixels that match the surrounding texture and color.
  • πŸ“ Recap: Duplicate the layer, refine the selection, add a new background, activate 'Quick Mask', paint edges, and use 'Generative Fill' for a professional finish.

Q & A

  • What is the main challenge addressed in the Photoshop tutorial?

    -The main challenge addressed in the tutorial is selecting hair on a busy background and creating refined hair edges.

  • Which tools are suggested for separating the subject from the background?

    -The Select Subject tool and the Select and Mask tool are suggested for separating the subject from the background.

  • How does the Select Subject tool work in Photoshop?

    -The Select Subject tool works by using artificial intelligence to automatically analyze the image and create a selection around the subject, particularly useful for complex selections like hair.

  • What is the purpose of duplicating the background layer before starting the selection process?

    -Duplicating the background layer allows you to work on the copy without affecting the original image, providing a safe environment for making adjustments.

  • How can you refine the edges of the selection in Photoshop?

    -You can refine the edges of the selection using the Refine Edge tool, which allows you to adjust the edges to make them more accurate.

  • What is Quick Mask mode in Photoshop and how is it used in this tutorial?

    -Quick Mask mode is a mode in Photoshop that allows you to paint on the mask using brushes, making it easier to refine the edges of the selection. In the tutorial, it is used to further refine the hair edges.

  • How does the Generator Fill feature work in Photoshop?

    -The Generator Fill feature uses artificial intelligence to analyze the image and generate new pixels that match the surrounding area, which is particularly useful for cleaning up complex selections like hair.

  • What should you enter in the text box when using the Generator Fill feature for curly hair?

    -When using the Generator Fill feature for curly hair, you should enter 'curly hair' in the text box to tell Photoshop to generate pixels that match the texture and color of curly hair.

  • What is the recommended workflow for refining hair selections in Photoshop according to the tutorial?

    -The recommended workflow is to first create a rough mask, refine the edges in Quick Mask mode, and then use the Generator Fill feature to fix any remaining imperfections.

  • What is the significance of inverting the Quick Mask in the tutorial?

    -Inverting the Quick Mask makes the hair area active and the background area inactive, allowing you to make changes only to the hair area without affecting the background.

  • What is the final result of using the techniques taught in the tutorial?

    -The final result is a beautifully refined selection with each strand of hair looking natural and seamless against the new background, providing a professional finish to the image.



🎨 Photoshop Hair Selection Tutorial Introduction

This paragraph introduces an exciting Photoshop tutorial focused on a common challenge faced by designers and photographers: selecting hair on a busy background. The tutorial aims to teach viewers how to separate their subject from the background and create refined hair edges. It begins by opening an image in Photoshop, featuring a subject with curly hair and a busy background. The first step is to duplicate the background layer to preserve the original image. The tutorial then proceeds to use the 'Select Subject' tool, which leverages artificial intelligence to detect and select the subject, particularly useful for complex selections like hair. The selection process is highlighted by the appearance of a marching ants border around the subject. The paragraph concludes with an overview of refining the selection and adding a layer mask to isolate the subject.


πŸ–ŒοΈ Refining Hair Selection and Background Replacement

This paragraph delves into refining the edges of the hair selection and replacing the background. It starts by addressing common issues with automatic selections, such as imperfections and visible background areas. The 'Refine Edge' tool is introduced as a solution, allowing for adjustments to make the selection more accurate. The tutorial then guides the viewer to add a new background, which could be a solid color, gradient, or another image. The next step is to enter Quick Mask mode for further refinement of the hair edges. The process involves inverting the Quick Mask to make only the hair area active and using a brush to soften the edges. The paragraph concludes with the use of the 'Generative Fill' feature to fix any remaining imperfections, resulting in a natural and professional-looking hair selection. The summary also provides a recap of the steps and emphasizes the tutorial's value in improving photo editing workflows.




Photoshop is a widely used software application for image editing and manipulation developed by Adobe Inc. In the context of the video, it is the primary tool for selecting and refining hair edges in a photograph, allowing designers and photographers to create high-quality, professional images by separating subjects from complex backgrounds.

πŸ’‘Select Subject Tool

The 'Select Subject' tool in Photoshop is an artificial intelligence-powered feature that automatically detects and selects the main subject of an image, making it easier to isolate the subject from the background. In the video, this tool is used as the first step to separate the subject with curly hair from the busy background.

πŸ’‘Duplicate Layer

In Photoshop, duplicating a layer involves creating an exact copy of the original layer. This allows users to work non-destructively, meaning they can edit the duplicate without affecting the original image. In the video, the background layer is duplicated to ensure that any adjustments made during the selection process do not harm the initial photograph.

πŸ’‘Layer Mask

A layer mask in Photoshop is a tool that hides or reveals parts of a layer without permanently deleting any content. It is essentially a grayscale image that sits atop a layer and controls the transparency of the layer beneath it. In the video, a layer mask is added after the selection to hide the background, leaving only the selected subject visible.

πŸ’‘Refine Edge Tool

The 'Refine Edge Tool' in Photoshop is a feature that allows users to fine-tune the edges of a selection, particularly useful for intricate details like hair. It provides options to adjust the edge of the selection to make it more accurate and blend seamlessly with the surrounding image.

πŸ’‘Quick Mask Mode

Quick Mask Mode in Photoshop is a temporary selection mode that allows users to easily paint on mask areas with a brush, making it simpler to refine complex selections. When activated, the entire image is covered with a red overlay, and any painted areas become the active selection. This mode is particularly helpful for fine-tuning the edges of a selection like hair.

πŸ’‘Generative Fill

Generative Fill is an advanced feature in Photoshop that uses artificial intelligence to fill in selected areas with pixels that match the surrounding texture and color. It is ideal for complex selections where traditional fill methods may fall short, as it can intelligently generate content that blends seamlessly with the original image.

πŸ’‘Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think, learn, and problem-solve like humans. In the context of the video, AI is utilized in Photoshop's 'Select Subject' and 'Refine Edge' tools to automate and improve the accuracy of complex tasks such as selecting and refining hair in images.

πŸ’‘Complex Backgrounds

Complex backgrounds are those that have a lot of detail, color variation, or busy patterns, which can make it challenging to isolate the subject, particularly when it comes to selecting fine details like hair. The video addresses this challenge by providing techniques to effectively separate the subject from such intricate backgrounds.

πŸ’‘Non-Destructive Editing

Non-destructive editing refers to techniques in image editing where the original image is not permanently altered, allowing for flexibility and the ability to revert changes without losing quality. In the video, duplicating the background layer before starting the selection process is an example of non-destructive editing, as it preserves the original image data.

πŸ’‘Professional Image

A professional image is one that meets high standards of quality, clarity, and presentation, suitable for use in professional settings such as advertising, portfolios, or publications. The video's main theme is teaching viewers how to achieve a professional look in their images by mastering the art of hair selection on complex backgrounds using Photoshop.


Photoshop tutorial for selecting hair on a busy background

Separate subject from background using select subject tool or select and mask tool

Duplicate the background layer for non-destructive editing

Use artificial intelligence in the select subject tool for complex selections like hair

Refine the selection with marching ants border and add a layer mask

Refine edges of selection with the refine edge tool

Add a new background to the image

Enter quick mask mode to further refine the edges of the hair

Invert the quick mask to isolate the hair area for adjustments

Use a brush tool with gray color to soften and blend hair edges

Adjust brush size and hardness for precision in quick mask mode

Exit quick mask mode and use generative fill to fix imperfections

Generative fill uses AI to match surrounding texture and color

The technique saves time and frustration in photo editing workflow

Mastering the art of hair selections can be a game changer for photo editing

The tutorial provides a step-by-step guide for creating refined hair edges