How to Draw All Hair





Today you will learn how to draw simple straight hair and complicated curly hair types using different drawing styles. Once you finish this tutorial, you will have the information and confidence to draw all hairstyles from reference and imagination.


Whew! That's the most drawings I've ever done for a tutorial. I did over fifty for the video. There was a lot to cover, and I wanted to ensure I got everything in, yet I may have still shortchanged you somehow. If you want more information, details, or examples about anything, please let me know in the comments below. I'll do another video. If this was helpful to you in any way, then please click the heart below.


These are some of the brushes for hair I downloaded that you'll see me using in this tutorial. They are available from the Clip Studio Assets on the Clip Studio website at CLIP STUDIO ASSETS ( for English-speaking users.


Hair is the threadlike outgrowths that grow on the body.

Hair is weird in that it stands for the plural and singular designations.


Strand; a single hair

Head of Hair


Then we have all these words to suggest a plurality

Tuft · clump · bunch · knot · cluster · tuffet · lock · wisp; that means a bunch or collection of hair.


For our purposes, we are going to use the word lock.

Many strands are a lock of hair.


We will call it "lock" because it sounds more romantic than clump, bunch, cluster, and bunch. Wisp was in the running; however, it doesn't roll off the tongue in this context very well.


My purpose is not to teach you how to draw like me. I'll be using a few different styles to teach you how to create hair that will fit your drawing styles.


Check out the paint demo of the drawing below in my video tutorial as well as more detail on the tips written here.


There have been many hairstyles since the beginning of civilization. It would be hard to count the number of hairstyles that exist, even in this century alone.


So instead of trying to teach you how to draw hairstyles. I will teach you how to draw all the hair types to illustrate or paint any hairstyle you desire.

Love the Locks

The hair follicle shape determines whether your hair is one of the four main types. From left to right:

straight, coily, wavy, and curly.

12 Types of Hair

Like 12 music notes make an infinite amount of music, there are 12 types at the root of every hair type created.


Hair type is based on the hair's curl pattern. The amount of curl is determined by the hair follicle.

And these primary types are divided into 12 subcategories of hair. Learn how to draw these twelve types of hair, and you will be able to draw any hairstyle past, present, and future.


As you look at the illustration above, you're thinking right about now, "He can't count. I only see nine." Have patience; all will be explained.


This type of hair has no-curl at all. Individual strands may be fine, coarse, thick, or thin, but they hang without waving from root to tip.

Completely Straight

Hair with a flat thin texture and little to no body. It will be shinier because the natural oils in the hair travel straight down from the root to the tip.

Straight with Some Texture

This hair is straight yet not as flat and has a medium texture. It has more body and texture. It can hold a curl when it is styled. Often, this hair type even has curled or flipped ends.

Straight with Soft Bends

This is the one that has the most body and soft bends. It is loose in texture.


In this category, we have to look at natural hair to understand it because when you draw it, it may look the same for all three types when it is in its natural state.


Here we see a lock of hair from an afro.

We can see a springy s-curl. This was cut from the edge of Afro, where you can see it is stretched out, and two separate coils are clearly visible.

The other hair is more subtle; however, they are still coiled.


Now let's understand the coils better with this phone cord. The coils can be compressed tightly or at rest. These are the normal states of the curls in the hair.

Dense Springy Tight Coils

The curl pattern is a springy, S-shaped coil you could wrap around a chopstick.

The tight coils, when stretched, reveal an "S" pattern. The curls are usually cylindrical and springy in nature. This hair has a more defined curl pattern and is looser than other coil types.

Zig-zag Curls

This hair has a zig-zag shape or is shaped like a "Z.

This hair type takes on more tight and crimpy textures that, when stretched out, form more of a "z" instead of an "s." The hair bends at very sharp angles. The ends of the hair shaft usually have a more clearly defined pattern than the roots.

Curls with Zig-zag Pattern

These hair curls are the tightest and have a zig-zag pattern

This hair is different from other kinds of coily hair, as it consists of zig-zag patterned loops that usually show very little or no definition at all.


Tousled with Stretched S-waves

This hair has graceful beach waves. It is mainly straight near the scalp. The wave structure appears near eye level.

S-Shaped Waves

The hair curls from the midpoint to the ends. It is flatter at the roots and has a more distinct S-curl pattern starting around the eye area.

Wavy Hair With Some Curls

The most well-defined S-shaped waves begin close to the crown and tumble downward. This hair is often thick and has some spiral curling. This means the waves are very tight and curl around themselves, which adds a bit of bounce to the hair.


Large, Loose Curls

S-shaped curls form loose loops. The lack of tightness gives the hair more shine.

Springy and Bouncy Ringlets

This hair has a medium amount of curls, ranging from loose, bouncy spiral ringlets to tight spiral-shaped corkscrew coils with volume. These curls have a circumference almost the width of a Sharpie marker. Curls originate from the roots and have ample volume.

Tight Corkscrews

These curls are tight and springy — they would coil to fit perfectly around a drinking straw or a pencil.

The hair type consists of tight and highly textured curls and has lots of volumes. Curls are reasonably defined; however, they are not as smooth as the other curly hair types.


We would rarely be drawing this type of hair and coily hair this close-up as we see here. We will usually be drawing it from a distance,. We will be scribbling inside and making it more distinctive on the edges. We'll look at this process a little later.


The look is basically the same from far away for this hairstyle and all coils. The way to tell the difference is mainly at the edges, as we saw with natural hair earlier.


Note: A person may have different curl patterns on other parts of their head. If you're not drawing a live person's portrait, then you don't have to worry about it and can keep things simple.

Line Techniques

Sketch the head.

Determine light direction. Establish the hairline and contour of the hairstyle

Draw the volume.

Analyze the locks. Think about the planes. Yes, even an afro has planes.

Draw the locks of hair. The first layer of scribbles is the base values

Next, add Medium values to define the planes.

Add dark shadow - these will have less texture. Also, add the strands of hair on the edges.

Highlights may or may not be added depending on the lighting.

Cartoon Techniques

Sketch the head.

Determine the origin point of hair.

Draw volume of hair — picked a spot for hair to grow from. Draw the contour of the hair. The hair wraps around the head. This is the basic shape of the hair. The hairstyle. Draw locks of hair.

Use Base Flat medium value first. Lock transparency. Decide on the light source. Choose your color palette.

Lay down medium gradient.

Lay down shadow areas with a soft brush. Use shadow colors at light opacity for precise shadows and blur extremities.

Then make pointy hair strands with dark strokes.

Add highlight color.

Painting Techniques

When painting, you want to choose your colors ahead of time. So make yourself a color palette that includes a light value, a low light value, medium value, shadow, and dark value. These are not official designations, but you should have five values, which I am calling them.


Sketch the head - some artists will do a pencil sketch or start painting directly. Establish the hairline.

Find the volume of the hair. Draw the contour of the hair. The hair wraps around the head. This is the basic shape of the hair. The hairstyle.

Lay down medium base color. Make a color palette.

Lay down shadow areas. Add shadow details. The shadows create separation between the hair to give it depth.

Low light values and shadows for locks of hair.

Create highlights.

The Beard

Draw edges


Follow planes of the face.


Shorter hairs are closer to the face. Longer hairs farther from the skin.


Drawing the beard is similar to drawing the hair on the head. The exception here is that where it is close to the skin is when you're actually trying to draw individual hair strands. This will depend on how the beard is cut. You'll see more with a close shave than with a full beard. Or the beard may fade from the skin to full growth.

Pencil Techniques

Value is the degree of light or dark in your drawing.

You want to use at least five values in your pencil drawing. That would be light, low light, medium, shadow, and dark.

1. Sketch the head (using Real Pencil tool)

2. Determine light direction. Establish the hairline. Find the volumes of the groups of hair. Analyze the locks. Think about the planes. Simplify the shapes. Draw the contour of the hair. The hair wraps around the head. This is the basic shape of the hair. The hairstyle.

3. Draw the locks of hair. Establish the flow of the hair.

4. Draw the planes. A study of Greek statues will show precisely how planes are created for hair.

5. Medium values have the most visible texture (using Tapered Pencil with 22 density)

6. Add shadow - these will have less texture. Deep shadows create the separations between the locks. (Real Pencil)

7. Add texture — strands of hair (Real and Darker Pencil and with Transparent Mode)

text, photography and art copyright 2022 H. Simpson



New Official Articles