Basic Manga Hair Tutorial18

Tutorial How To Draw Manga Hair For Beginner

Anime characters often have similar eyes, that is why hair got an important role to differ one anime character from the other. There are so many types of anime hair, but no matter how complex it is, everything start from simple thing. In this tutorial i will show you how to draw simple anime hair.

Any hair type grows from same part of the head and will fall onto the body because of gravity. It’s important to remember that the most common mistake in drawing hair is making hair shape which doesn’t match the head contours. It will make the head look malformed and unnatural. Make sure to draw the right headshape before start drawing hair to avoid this common mistake. Anime hair often get thick on the front and back of the head but thin on the top of the head. Look at the picture below for details.

Basically, every anime hair consists of many hair strands. To draw these strands first make a curvy stroke  (“s” shape)  and another curvy stroke which meet at the end of the previous stroke to make it look like a leaf. add another stroke inside the shape for detail. It’s important to always remember that hair is a flexible shape, so let your hand go freely to make natural strokes. Look at the picture below for details.

There are at least 3 basic hair types for anime character. They are straight hair, wavy hair and curvy hair. Another hair types are derived from these three.

Hair Movement

Because hair is flexible, you will need to notice where the hair will move when your character moves. In normal body position when the head is even, the hair will fall down because of gravity. But when the character moves, the hair will go on opposite direction. When moved by wind, every hair strands will move separately but still based upon gravity, Look at the picture below for details.

Hair Highlight

To make highlight for the hair, first you need to make two horizontal curvy lines on a strand. This curvy lines represent highlight area.Then make thick zig-zag lines around the highlight area. Make sure these zig-zag lines have pointy end to make the highlight look natural. After that, block all areas outside the highlight with any color you desired. Look at the picture below for details.

There are many ways to make highlights for the hair. you can make it on every hair strand if you like, or if you want simpler highlight you can make a “crescent” shape around the hair or just block all hair areas with no highlight at all. Keep experimenting with another highlight type to find which will suit you the best.

Hair Braid

Braided hair is easy to make, first draw zig-zag outlines like picture below. Make a curvy line  shown with red line, then make another line from opposite direction. Repeat the step and add some lines like shown on the picture for details. Easy isn’t it? and your braided hair is done!

Further Reading


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  • http://www.bellarosaclinic.com/ Bella Rosa MedSpa

    Very well explained. Thanks for sharing this hair tutorial.

  • http://www.tamashii.biz Brooke Richards

    I draw manga a lot and I want to draw a guy with curly hair but I can not seem to find a good tutorial.I think it is very helpful and good tutorial. Thanks

    • http://ncus.me Kuswanto

      Wait for another tutorial from us.

    • Nita Mihnea

      search for “mark crilley curly hair” on youtube, great artist and great teacher. helped me alot

  • http://eatmanga.com/ MangaReader

    I’m looking for software that assist manga artist, do you know one ?

  • http://www.linespictures.com dendy

    thanks for sharing!

  • Ekky

    NIce tutorial, thanks

  • http://www.hairrestoreadvanced.com.au hair loss product

    very impressive tutorial

  • Superstar


  • mtrowbridge1

    I really like this! A lot of anime hair tutorials just show how to paint it or something, and then the moderately useful ones only show the finished product. What i really liked about your is that you showed HOW to draw the strands, which is the part i have the most trouble with. Most just look past that and think that everyone knows how to do that already. *clap clap* bravo, job well done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003266138420 Jasmijn Batenburg

    I think manga really fun!
    but I always look for examples of the nose and the hair because it always goes wrong.and on this site, I find it!
    thanks you have helped me here! :)

  • Handy Fox

    The page is kind of obsolete.
    I can’t see most of the tutorial.

    • Samikasta Derp

      Possibly something to do with your browser.

  • John Gasbarro

    Thanks A ton for this tutorial, it helped me nail hair fluidity a lot better than i ever ad before!

  • moka140325


  • moka140325

    i like it

  • moka140325

    i need help changing my pic because im not a boy…

  • Mistur Lavigne

    Thanks! This helped a lot!