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How to Make Facial Hair in Photoshop

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Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

If you want to create a beard in Photoshop, or if you simply want to learn how to Photoshop a mustache on someone's face, in this tutorial I'll show you how to create facial hair in Photoshop. We're going to start by creating two custom facial hair brushes, and then we'll add the beard to a photo of a cute baby!

And if you want to save time, you can use this facial hair Photoshop action from Envato Elements! You only need to select the area on the face, and the action will create the beard for you—you don't need to know how to add a mustache in Photoshop for this to work!

photoshop action beardphotoshop action beardphotoshop action beard
Facial hair Photoshop action

What You'll Learn in This Facial Hair Photoshop Tutorial

  • How to create facial hair Photoshop brushes from scratch
  • How to add a beard in Photoshop
  • How to add a mustache in Photoshop
  • How to Photoshop a mustache
  • How to use masks and Blend If settings in photo manipulation
  • How to create a beard texture in Photoshop

Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

What You'll Need

You can use your own photo, but if you want to create the same end result as me, here's the photo I used:

1. How to Create Facial Hair Photoshop Brushes

Step 1

First, we need to create a brush. Open a New File in Photoshop using these dimensions:

dimensions for the filedimensions for the filedimensions for the file

Step 2

Draw two points at some distance from each other using the Curvature Pen Tool (P). Make sure your Pen Tool is currently in the Path mode.

path settingspath settingspath settings
draw two path pointsdraw two path pointsdraw two path points

Step 3

Drag the line between these two points to create a slight curve.

turn path into a curveturn path into a curveturn path into a curve

Step 4

Take the Brush Tool (B) now and open the Brushes panel. Go to Legacy Brushes > Default Brushes and select Round Point Stiff. Set its size to 6 pixels.

select brushselect brushselect brush

Step 5

Take the Pen Tool (P) again, right-click on the canvas, and select Stroke Path. Select Brush and check Simulate Pressure.

turn path into a tapered stroketurn path into a tapered stroketurn path into a tapered stroke

Step 6

We have our first hair! To turn it into a brush, go to Edit > Define Brush Preset. Name it Beard Temp and press OK.

create brush presetcreate brush presetcreate brush preset

Step 7

Create a New File with larger dimensions—here we're going to test and adjust the settings of our brush. Set the background and foreground colors to two example colors of a beard. It will be possible to change them later, but we need something for the start.

create new filecreate new filecreate new file
change colorschange colorschange colors

Step 8

Press F5 to open the Brush Settings panel, and apply the following changes:

brush tip shape settingsbrush tip shape settingsbrush tip shape settings
shape dynamics settingsshape dynamics settingsshape dynamics settings
scattering settingsscattering settingsscattering settings
color dynamics settingscolor dynamics settingscolor dynamics settings
transfer settingstransfer settingstransfer settings
noise settingsnoise settingsnoise settings

Step 9

Click Create a New Brush, check all the options, and name it Beard. You can now delete the previous brush.

save the brush settingssave the brush settingssave the brush settings

Step 10

Let's create one more brush. Create another file and use the Line Tool (U) in the Shape mode to draw a black, vertical line. Turn it into a brush as well, naming it Stubble Temp.

line settingsline settingsline settings
draw a linedraw a linedraw a line

Step 11

Go back to our test file and adjust the settings of this brush the following way:

brush tip settingsbrush tip settingsbrush tip settings
shape dynamics settingsshape dynamics settingsshape dynamics settings
scattering settingsscattering settingsscattering settings
transfer settingstransfer settingstransfer settings
noise settingsnoise settingsnoise settings

Step 12

Save the brush and name it Stubble.

save new brushsave new brushsave new brush

2. How to Add a Beard in Photoshop

Step 1

These two brushes are all we need to create beard texture in Photoshop. Now we're ready to add some facial hair to our model! Open the photo that you want to use for this purpose. Take the Object Selection Tool (W) and outline roughly the lower part of the face.

select the faceselect the faceselect the face
automatic selection resultautomatic selection resultautomatic selection result

Step 2

Create a New Layer and add a Layer Mask to it. Name this layer Beard.

create new layercreate new layercreate new layer

Step 3

Take a Soft Round Brush and paint the basic shape of the facial hair with black.

paint beard outlinepaint beard outlinepaint beard outline

Step 4

Double-click the Beard layer and go to the Blend If section. Hold the Alt key and drag the lower white marker to make the beard more transparent.

change blend if optionschange blend if optionschange blend if options
blend if resultblend if resultblend if result

Step 5

Create a New Layer and name it Detailed Hair. Press Alt and drag the Layer Mask from the previous layer to it.

create new layercreate new layercreate new layer

Step 6

Lower the Opacity of the Beard layer to make it more subtle.

lower the opacitylower the opacitylower the opacity

Step 7

Now select both colors for your beard and start painting the hair, using the Beard brush. Try to paint over the area painted on the layer below. Because facial hair grows in different directions depending on the area of the face, open the Brush Settings panel (F5) and change the Angle and shape of the hair with these settings. You can also check Flip X to turn the curve the other way.

If you're not happy with the colors that this brush produces, experiment with the Color Dynamics section, or turn it off altogether.

change direction of the brushchange direction of the brushchange direction of the brush
add facial hair photoshopadd facial hair photoshopadd facial hair photoshop
These brushes allow you to easily add facial hair in Photoshop

Adjust the density of the hair and the size of the brush depending on the area for a more natural effect. Start slow, covering the area defined by the previous layer, and only then make the hair denser where it needs to be. The more attention you pay to the direction of the hair, the more natural the end result will be. If you paint the whole beard without adjusting the settings, it's likely to look fake.

how to add beard in photoshophow to add beard in photoshophow to add beard in photoshop

Step 8

Duplicate this layer with Control-J. Hide it for a moment and go back to the previous layer.

duplicate and hide the layerduplicate and hide the layerduplicate and hide the layer

Step 9

Double-click the layer and go to the Blend If section. Drag the lower white marker to the left until the beard starts disappearing. Then press Alt and drag it some more to create a smoother transition between the skin and beard.

make edge of beard smoothermake edge of beard smoothermake edge of beard smoother
smoother beard edgesmoother beard edgesmoother beard edge

Step 10

Now go back to the copied layer and make it visible. Take the Soft Round brush and paint with black on the Layer Mask to remove the hair. Then make the brush smaller and paint with white to reveal the thin layer of hair around the face. You can also use it to make certain patches of hair darker.

make beard darkermake beard darkermake beard darker

Step 11

To make the effect more realistic, create a New Layer and paint some stubble on it, using the Stubble brush. Just as previously, adjust the Angle in the settings. You can also change the Roundness to adjust the length of the hair. When you're done, you can make the effect smoother with a Layer Mask.

adjust stubble brushadjust stubble brushadjust stubble brush
draw stubble in photoshopdraw stubble in photoshopdraw stubble in photoshop

Step 12

Let's shade the beard a little now. Open the Adjustments panel and select Hue/Saturation. Press Alt and drag the Layer Mask of the Beard layer to it.

select hue saturation adjustmentselect hue saturation adjustmentselect hue saturation adjustment
add layer mask to adjustmentadd layer mask to adjustmentadd layer mask to adjustment

Step 13

Make the Lightness lower and the Saturation higher to create a nice-looking shadow. Then paint over the Layer Mask with a soft brush to remove the shadow from the illuminated areas.

change hue saturation settingschange hue saturation settingschange hue saturation settings
make beard darkermake beard darkermake beard darker
remove the shadowremove the shadowremove the shadow

Step 14

The beard is done, and now you only need to make minor adjustments to it to make it look more convincing to you. You can lower the Opacity of the Beard layer to make the effect subtler, paint on the masks to remove hair from certain areas, or add more hair. Adding lighter hair in the brighter areas may make it shinier, but you need to turn off Color Dynamics for that.

final adjustmentsfinal adjustmentsfinal adjustments

Good Job!

Now you know how to make facial hair in Photoshop! Now, if you want, you can add a mustache in Photoshop, or add facial hair in Photoshop.

And if you enjoyed this tutorial, maybe give these a try as well:

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