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How to Clean Up Edges and Create a Hair Outline

The Spot Healing Brush Tool gets confused when working on more complicated areas like the edges of the hair.

To create a clean edge, we need to create a selection. Start by using the Pen Tool to trace an edge around the hair in your photo. Simply click and drag in the direction of the hair and create a loop. After making a Pen Path to define the edge, right-click on the path and choose “Make Selection”

After making a selection, create a new layer and choose the Clone Stamp Tool. Be sure to sample “Current and Below.” With the selection active, hold ALT/OPTN to sample outside of the hairline, then paint inside of the selection to remove stray hair and clean the edge of the hair.

If needed, inverse the selection and paint more hair inside of the hair line. Repeat these steps as necessary to clean up the complete hair line.

Add Additional Hair with the Brush Too

To begin, choose the Brush Tool and make the brush size small enough to replicate the width of a hair. Sample the color from the existing hair by holding ALT/OPTN and clicking on the hair. Next, paint small lines at the edge of the hair to replicate stray hair.

Why would we add more stray hair? Hair will never have a 100% solid edge, after all, it is made up of thousands of individual strands. To make the hair more realistic, paint in a few “well placed” strays. The goal here is to make the hair look real, not to make it messy again.


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