Create characters bursting with personality! Hairstyle Tips

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[1] About this tutorial

In this article, Japanese illustrator Jimmy explains how to draw different hairstyles to match your characters’ personalities.


[2] Short hair

First let’s look at some short hairstyles.

You can use these styles to show your character’s personality or to create a sporty character.



■ Textured bob

A textured, inward-curling bob makes the character look cute and feminine.

Rather than showing the hair packed together, you can making the hair look light and fluffy by drawing loose strands of hair.

This hairstyle also suits children.



■ Straight bob

For this hairstyle, keep the hair a mostly uniform length with some random cuts.

A good way to approach it is to imagine a piece of paper making the shape of the hair, then draw the hair on top.

Using the illustration below, see how much jaggies you need for the hair.



■ Pixie cut

For the last short hairstyle, let’s look at how to draw pixie cuts.

If drawing a textured cut, check the overall balance as you draw to make sure it doesn’t look too messy.

This hairstyle suits sporty and lively characters.


The volume and shape of the hairstyle affects the impression. For example, you can show your character’s personality with messy styles with hair that flicks out.


[3] Mid-length hair

Next let’s look at some mid-length hairstyles.

First let’s cover the basics of straight and wavy hair, then move onto accessories.



■ Straight hair

The key feature of straight hair is that the hair touching the shoulder flicks upward slightly. I recommend you focus on this feature. The red arrow shows where the hair flicks.

You can make the hair flick inward or outward depending on your character’s style.



■ Wavy hair

Next let’s look at how to draw wavy hair.

Start by imagining a piece of paper, then gradually add a three dimensional effect like the following example.

Drawing multiple all the hair with the same movement makes it look unrealistic, so add some loose strands to make it look more natural.



■ Advanced tips

Let’s look at some ways to add variety to mid-length hairstyles.

Even with a simple hairstyle, you can add a variety of bangs: swept bangs, short bangs, long bangs, and so on. You can also tie the hair in different ways to express the character’s personality, or add accessories like clips, ribbons, and headbands.


[4] Long hair

In the last section, let’s look at pigtails, ponytails, and long loose hair.

Long hair can be arranged in many ways, so we’ll cover just the basics.



■ Pigtails

The key point when drawing pigtails is to keep the height of the band even.

The hair is pulled towards to the hairband (shown by the red arrow). The effect of pigtails depends on their volume and height, so explore a few different ideas.



■ Ponytail

Ponytails are basically the same as pigtails, but with one tie at the back. Think about the shape of the head when drawing a ponytail.

Drawing the hairline when the character faces sideways will increase the sense of realism. This can be a sweet and feminine hairstyle.



■ Straight hair

Finally, let’s look at long loose hair.

This technique is basically same as mid-length hair, but with less volume to make it look softer and more natural.

Layered long hair gets thinner towards the ends of the hair, while the length stays consistent for blunt hairstyles.

Long wavy hair is similar the mid-length hairstyle, but the waves can be bigger.

When drawing wavy hair, think about how many waves you want, as well as the point at which the waves start.

▲ From left: Straight layered hair, straight blunt hair, wavy hair


[5] Palmie video tutorial

Now we’ve covered short, medium, and long hairstyles! How was it?

In the video lesson by Palmie (Japanese), I’ll explain how to draw a complicated braid. Please check out the video if you want to learn how to draw different hairstyles in detail!

Note: This video is in Japanese.


Over 200 free lessons are available on the drawing course website Palmie! Please check it out!

Note: The website is only available in Japanese.


・ Artist profile: Jimmy

Hi, my name is Jimmy. I am still inexperienced, and I have many things to study, but I am happy if my course helped you.

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