I am using Adobe Photoshop CS6

I am having challenges trying to remove a background from an image. I followed the generally used method of using selections, masks, refine edge, edge detection and so on.

The best tutorial I found on the topic was on YouTube. It is a for Photoshop CC but works well for CS6. Followed it to the book and was impressed by the removal of the background from the hair.

I do have a challenge though on a particular portion of hair, that lies between two subjects. I was able to remove the background around them and to get back the "missing strands" of hair that were initially cut out.

I failed to, however,remove the background between the two subjects.

See images below, from LEFT to RIGHT:

  1. Left: original image
  2. Middle: my final image with a white background
  3. Right: my final image with a black adjustment/colour layer

Original Image Intermediate image Intermediate image with black color/adjustment layer

  • 2
    When it comes to hair... I have never in my career made a quality mask without manually painting on the mask in addition to manually painting in strands of hair after the subject has been masked. Automated methods will, at best, get you 80% of the way.. the rest takes a brush and hand work.
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 12:13
  • Hi Scott, thanks for the response. When you say manually painting, do you mean recreating the strands of hair after masking? Any steps you could maybe compile? Or resources that do show it?
    – tinonetic
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 12:20
  • 2
    Yes.. actually painting in strands of hair which are too thin to mask well. - You mask them away.. then paint them back. Realize that the important aspect is things looking naturally. In most cases, you don't have to match the photo exactly. If that were the case... actors/actresses would be MUCH less attractive :)
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 14:47
  • Ive seen several tutorials online specifically about clipping hair in photoshop.
    – Webster
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 22:06
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Techniques for cutting out hair accurately
    – Luciano
    Commented May 7, 2019 at 12:36

2 Answers 2


Go to the rgb list by the layers tab. Play with the blue and other colors until you contrast the dark/light so your hair/girl is darker. Select her, then do the mask. Could do quick selection if you had it really fine and zoomed in, but that would be a pain in the butt and almost too much work.


Another thing you can try is to go into the "channels" pallete and select the blue channel. Since the blue channel is white in the white part and dark in the skin in hair (not a lot of blue there), it can help create your mask.

There's still a lot of manual tweaking involved.

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