The hair, just like the eyes, is an elementary part of an anime character. In this tutorial, you will learn how to draw anime hair step-by-step within just a few minutes.
The article is divided into three sections. First, you will learn what material you need. Then you will see how to draw a female anime hairstyle. You will also find hairstyle inspirations for female figures. Then we will take a look at how to draw male hairstyles with the same approach.
- HB Pencil
- 2B Pencil
- Drawing paper
- Kneaded eraser
How to draw manga hair of a female character
Anime hair is often based on real hairstyles but is drawn in tufts rather than individual strands. An important reason for this is that it would be too time-consuming if you draw several single images of a manga with too much detail.
A good way to learn how to draw anime hair efficiently is to divide the hairstyle into several parts. First the front part of the hairstyle, then the sides and then the back/bottom (e.g. braids).
Let’s see how you can draw a typical anime hairstyle for girls. The figure has diagonal bangs on the front and a braid hanging down the back of the head.
1. How to draw anime hair: The preliminary drawing
Start by first creating a drawing of the head. The Loomis method is most suitable because you can quickly achieve a proportional result.
Tip: If you want more precise proportional rules, you should take a look at our tutorial on how to draw a face.
With the Loomis-method, you can quickly draw the head from chin to hairline. This will help you to estimate the length of the bangs and the sides of the hairstyle in proportion to the face.
Only draw this preliminary work very delicately in order to erase them with ease later on.
2. Draw the front part of the hairstyle
With this hairstyle the front part of the hair is rather short, so you only need a few strokes to indicate the bangs. Notice how the strokes are firmer now that we are drawing the outlines of the final shape of the anime hair.
The side hair rests along the cheeks and hugs the face.
3. Draw the middle part of the hairstyle
You can indicate the area of hair at the crown of the head with a single line. To do this, orientate yourself again on the shape of the constructed head to reproduce the curve of the skull reasonably accurately. At the vertex, you can draw one or two intersections of the hairs to suggest specific hair flow.
Reinforce the hairline by drawing auxiliary lines at the level of the forehead to divide the hairstyle into separate strands.
4. Draw the back of the anime hair
Now you do the same with the rest of your hair. In our case, only one braid needs to be drawn. First, draw the outline of the pigtail.
Then you can also indicate individual strands by drawing guiding lines into the hair.
5. Shade the hairstyle
Finally, only a little shading is needed to give the hair more expressiveness. Instead of focusing on individual strands of hair (see: Hair Drawing Guide), Anime hairstyles focus on emphasizing light reflection using light/dark contrasts.
First, hatch the hair with a pencil of your choice depending on the desired darkness. Then blend the pencil strokes with a blending stump or cotton swab to create a smooth graphite surface. Next, pick up the kneaded eraser and brighten up the areas where the source of light is supposed to be reflected.
Now you can draw some weak outlines of strands into the hatched area. The intensity of the lines should harmonize with the hatching.
Female Anime Hairstyles Inspiration
Once you are familiar with the procedure, you basically know how to draw any anime hair. The creation process is similar to any of the following hairdos. They only differ in the shape of the strokes.
Experiment a little and find out which styles are best suited for your character.
How to draw anime hair of a boy
Of course, you can apply the same method to male characters, too. The sequence of actions is almost the same except for the more pronounced facial features and the flow of the hair.