How to Draw Female Hair

In this tutorial, we will learn how to draw female hair. I will specifically focus on techniques to draw long flowing hair and to bring out the swirls and layers in long flowing female hair. Once the techniques are understood, limitless variations on it can be done from your imagination.

Key aspect of drawing such hair is the ability to draw flowing pen lines. Practice them extensively.

Step 1: Draw the Outline

Start by drawing an outline that indicates the overall flow and layers in the hair. Study the image below. In it you can see and feel the arrangement of layers and flow of hair. This initial arrangement establishes the overall feel and is very important to do it properly. Without such an outline, you will not be able to add volume properly in subsequent steps.


Step 2: Add Volume

Once the outline is properly established, next steps are just addition of volume using more lines. Notice that hair lines follow the curvature of outline.


Step 3: Maintain Highlights

It is very important to maintain highlights, or lighter areas, to bring out the form or volume in the hair. Hairs on the top receive more light and hence are lighter (highlights) compared to hair behind. Study the drawing below to notice how highlights are maintained to give sense of volume.


Notice that even a small speck of white is enough to give a feel of highlight and sense of volume to hair.

Step 4: Finish

Adjust the tone in the end to your desired effect. More contrast with intense highlights gives more dramatic effect compared to subdued use of tone. Below I added more dark under the face and at the top and also some in the hair to add more contrast. There is no right or wrong. Experiment to see what you like.


By using different arrangement of layers, limitless variations on this can be drawn from imagination. Following is another example.


Yet another examples.

Following are some more examples of my drawings done with similar steps.


Here is more detailed drawing. Once you practice and get hang of drawing flowing lines, you can attempt such drawings as well.


This completes this tutorial on how to draw female hair. Click here to download template to practice steps discussed above.

Hopefully you found it useful and inspiring to attempt such drawings. If so let me know and any suggestions for improvements.

Happy Drawing,


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