How to Cut Out Hair in Photoshop with Channel Masking Technique

When cutting out hair from a background, it is helpful to keep in mind that it’s much easier to use dark hair against a light background or light hair against a dark background.

Creation of Selection with Channel Masking Technique 

First step is to find the color channel which shows the maximum amount of contrast between the hair and background. Duplicate that channel and increase the contrast with Levels. The darks should be extremely dark but if the edges of the hair look too coarse, you can decrease the darkness a little bit.

Hold CMD/CNTL and click on your channel copy. Click on the layer mask icon, and everything that was dark will turn invisible. All you have to do is invert the selection (CMD/CNTL + I). If parts of the image are transparent that shouldn’t be, you can paint over the layer mask where it needs to be filled in.

Removal of Fringing

To take care of fringing (light or white part around the edges of the hair), clipping masks will come in handy! -Create a new layer -Right click, and select “create clipping mask” -Use the brush tool or clone stamp tool to fill in the white areas Now, whatever work is done on that layer will only apply to the underlying layer. In other words, your new layer is clipped to what’s under it. Change the clipped layer from normal to darken- this will only effect the whitest part of the hair. Use the clone stamp tool to paint over the light parts of the hair.


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