Always fancied being a blonde? Or do you want to give the subject of a portrait a new look? The latest version of Adobe Lightroom makes it much easier than before to virtually dye a person’s hair. Here’s how to change hair colour in Lightroom 2023.
(Please note that the guide below uses Lightroom Classic on Mac, but you should find the same features in the cloud-based Lightroom, on both Windows and Mac).
Change hair colour in Lightroom
Start by selecting the portrait you wish to use and then enter Develop mode at the top of the screen.
Under the histogram in the top right-hand corner, select the circular masking icon, which is highlighted with the red arrow in the screenshot below.
Once you’ve opened the masking tool, click on the thumbnail image of your subject, which is highlighted with the yellow arrow above. If you’ve got multiple people in the image, Lightroom should have a thumbnail bubble for each.
When you click that thumbnail, you should see a Person Mask menu like the one below. Select Hair from the list:
Now click Create Mask.
You should now see the hair of your subject has a red overlay on it, indicating which parts of the image you’ll be adjusting. The sliders on the right of the screen should also be highlighted, encouraging you to experiment with settings such as colour temperature and hue until you get the desired colour for your portrait. As soon as you start moving the sliders, the red overlay should disappear, so you can see the effect of your changes.
Tweak until you’ve got the perfect colour! As you can see from the menu to the top right of my portrait, the hair is selected as a mask. If you decide you don’t want to change the hair colour after all, you can simply delete the mask, rather than undoing edits or using the History facility.
I’m off to explain to my daughter why I’ve made her a red-head!