How to Draw Anime Hair: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Draw Anime Hair: A Step-by-Step Guide


Anime hair plays a crucial role in defining a character’s personality and style. Drawing anime hair can seem challenging, but with the right techniques and practice, you can achieve stunning results. In this comprehensive guide, we will break down the process of drawing anime hair into easy-to-follow steps. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist looking to refine your skills, this article will provide you with valuable insights and tips on how to draw anime hair like a pro.

Understanding Anime Hair Styles

Anime hair comes in various styles, ranging from simple and sleek to wild and extravagant. Before diving into the drawing process, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the different anime hair styles. Let’s explore some popular ones:

1. Straight Hair

Straight hair is one of the most common anime hair styles. It is characterized by its simplicity and clean lines. To draw straight hair, start by sketching the basic shape of the head, then add straight lines flowing downwards to represent the hair strands. Refine the details and add shading for a realistic touch.

2. Spiky Hair

Spiky hair is often associated with energetic and rebellious characters. To draw spiky hair, begin by outlining the head shape and then sketch sharp and pointed spikes in various directions. Add volume and texture by adding more spikes and defining the shadows and highlights.

3. Wavy Hair

Wavy hair is characterized by its gentle curves and flowing appearance. To draw wavy hair, start by drawing the basic head shape and then add loose and curved lines to represent the waves. Pay attention to the direction and flow of the waves to create a natural and dynamic look.

4. Curly Hair

Curly hair is full of volume and unique patterns. To draw curly hair, start by sketching the head shape and then add tight and spiral-like curls. Vary the size and direction of the curls to create a realistic and textured effect. Don’t forget to add shading to enhance the depth and dimension of the curls.

5. Ponytails and Braids

Ponytails and braids are common anime hair styles, especially for female characters. To draw a ponytail, begin by drawing the basic head shape and then add the ponytail flowing from the back. For braids, start by sketching the head shape and then draw the individual sections of the braid, paying attention to the overlapping strands.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Draw Anime Hair

  1. Step 1: Start with Basic Head Shape

    Begin by drawing a circle or an oval to represent the head shape. This will serve as a foundation for drawing the anime hair.

  2. Step 2: Determine the Hairstyle

    Decide on the hairstyle you want to draw, keeping in mind the character’s personality and style. Refer to the previous section for inspiration and choose a hair style that best suits your character.

  3. Step 3: Sketch the Hairline

    Using light and loose lines, sketch the hairline according to the chosen hairstyle. Pay attention to the direction and shape of the hairline as it will define the overall look of the hair.

  4. Step 4: Add the Hair Strands

    Start adding the individual hair strands, following the shape of the head and the hairline. Use swift and confident strokes to create a sense of flow and movement in the hair.

  5. Step 5: Refine the Details

    Refine the shape and volume of the hair by adding more definition to the strands. Remember to consider light and shadow to create depth and dimension in the hair.

  6. Step 6: Add Shading and Highlights

    To make the anime hair look more realistic, add shading and highlights. This will help create the illusion of light and enhance the texture of the hair. Pay attention to the light source and add shading accordingly.

  7. Step 7: Erase Guidelines

    Carefully erase any unnecessary guidelines or construction lines. Use a kneaded eraser or a soft eraser to avoid damaging the drawing.

  8. Step 8: Final Touches

    Add any final touches or details to complete the anime hair. You can add accessories like hairpins or ribbons to enhance the character’s style.

Tips for Drawing Anime Hair

  • Experiment with Different Hairstyles

    Don’t be afraid to try out different anime hair styles. Experimenting will not only help you improve your drawing skills but also allow you to create more diverse and unique characters.

  • Observe Real-Life Hair

    Take inspiration from real-life hair and observe its texture, flow, and movement. This will help you add more realism to your anime hair drawings.

  • Study Anime Hairstyle References

    Look for references from anime and manga that showcase various hairstyles. Analyze how artists depict hair and use those references as a guide to improve your own drawings.

  • Practice Drawing Hair from Different Angles

    Drawing anime hair from different angles can be challenging but essential. Practice drawing hair from the front, side, and back views to develop a strong understanding of hair anatomy.

  • Use Different Pencils for Texturing

    Experiment with different pencil grades to achieve different textures in your anime hair. Softer pencils like 2B or 4B can be used for shading and creating darker areas, while harder pencils like H or 2H can be used for lighter areas and fine details.


  1. Q: How long does it take to learn how to draw anime hair?

    A: The time it takes to learn how to draw anime hair varies from person to person. With regular practice and dedication, you can start seeing improvement within a few weeks or months. However, mastering anime hair can take years of practice and continuous learning.

  2. Q: Can I create my own anime hair style?

    A: Absolutely! In fact, creating your own anime hair style can be an exciting way to express your creativity. Use references and experiment with different shapes, textures, and accessories to design unique and captivating hairstyles for your characters.

  3. Q: Should I always draw anime hair in black?

    A: While black is a common color for anime hair, it is not the only option. Feel free to explore different hair colors that suit your character’s personality and style. Experiment with shades of brown, red, blonde, or even vibrant colors like blue or pink to create visually appealing and distinct hairstyles.

  4. Q: Are there any shortcuts for drawing anime hair?

    A: While there are no shortcuts to becoming a skilled artist, there are techniques that can help you improve your drawing process. Breaking down the hair into basic shapes, using guidelines, and practicing different hairstyles are some techniques that can make drawing anime hair more manageable and enjoyable.

  5. Q: Can I use digital tools to draw anime hair?

    A: Absolutely! Digital tools offer a wide range of possibilities and can be a great aid in drawing anime hair. Software like Adobe Photoshop or Procreate provides various brushes and tools that can assist in creating detailed and dynamic hair. However, it is essential to practice traditional drawing techniques as well to develop a strong foundation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *