How to Change Hair Color in Affinity Photo

As a graphic designer, you often have to alter the appearance of a photo to meet client standards. In the course of your work, you may find that you receive a request to change someone’s hair color while working in Affinity Photo.

Fortunately, changing hair color in Affinity Photo is totally possible, and can be accomplished through a variety of different strategies. Keep reading to learn more about how you can change how someone’s hair color looks while using Affinity Photo.

Changing Hair Color in Affinity Photo

Hair color is a fairly common thing that people may wish to change about their photo. While it may seem difficult to find a recoloring strategy that will not make hair look unnatural, there are several different options you can try.

The following sections will give a more in-depth look at recoloring hair in Affinity Photo.

Changing the Color

The first and most straightforward option is to recolor the hair manually using a variety of tools offered in the application.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Selection Brush Tool in the tool panel on the left hand side.
  2. Use the selection brush to highlight the area that you would wish to recolor. In this case, it will be the hair.
  3. Click on the HSL Adjustment. This will allow you to adjust luminosity, saturation, and hue in the photograph.
  4. Start with Hue. Using the Hue slider, you will be able to manipulate the color of your selected area. Do not worry if it doesn’t look perfect at this point, the main thing is choosing the general color that you wish to use.
  5. Adjust Saturation. Saturation will enable you to control how vivid the hair color looks.
  6.  Adjust Luminosity. This tool lets you manipulate the brightness of the color. Luminosity and saturation together will help you achieve a more natural hue.
  7. Continue adjusting these features as needed until the desired result is accomplished.
  8. Sometimes you may have color spill over into other areas. When this happens, you can use the Mode to Subtract to carefully reduce any overflow.
  9. Save your changes

Although it may take some patience, HSL Adjustment will be the easiest way to change the hair color. Just be sure that you are careful when using the Selection Brush Tool to only highlight the hair you wish to recolor.

The only downside to this method is it can lack precision if you are hoping to add highlights or advanced color manipulations.

Add a Layer Mask

Another potential option is to add a layer mask, which will allow you to adjust the overall luminosity or color of the given area.

To add a layer mask, follow these steps:

  1. Access the Mask Layers option from the Layers Panel.
  2. Select New Empty Mask Layer.
  3. Go up a layer and set the new layer as a mask for the one below by using the button Mask to Below.

Once you have followed this procedure, you can then change certain aspects about the layer, such as the color and brightness.

Make Use of the Adjustment Bar

If you are looking for other troubleshooting options, the adjustment bar can be a great asset.

The following features can all further help you adjust hair color.

  • Recolor: To recolor, you can go to the layers panel and select from the Adjustments bar. Recoloring is fairly simple, and allows you to use the hue slider and a blending feature to reach the desired color.
  • Brightness and Contrast: This feature will allow you to alter tone and contrast, which can be a great asset for enhancing highlights in a photo.
  • Curves: Using the curves graph is a bit more complicated, but this feature will allow you to fine tune the tonal range. If you find that a photo is not looking quite right, familiarizing yourself with the curves feature can be the trick you need.

In general, the adjustments bar can be the last step you take to make sure everything in the photo looks as it should. This is also a strong option if you have a photo where the hair color is faded and needs to be enhanced rather than completely recolored.


Hair is an important part of any person’s photo, and as a graphic designer it is crucial to know how to deal with hair color on Affinity Photo. Fortunately, there are several options that are fairly easy to use.