Imperfections like flyaway hair can ruin a perfect photo. However, it doesn’t mean you should delete the image. Instead, you can easily remove those rebel hairs in Photoshop.
There are many ways you can remove flyaway hair in Photoshop, but I will show you two methods. One uses the Spot Healing Tool, and the other uses the Clone Stamp Tool.
The Spot Healing Tool is useful when you want to get the job done quickly. On the other hand, you should opt for the Clone Stamp Tool if you prefer more manual control since it requires more effort but gives you more control of the outcome.
How To Easily Remove Flyaway Hairs In Photoshop
The Spot Healing Brush Tool is one of Photoshop’s tools for removing objects from an image. It differs from other tools used for the same purpose because it removes small objects, such as stains, dust, and acne.
The Spot Healing Brush Tool analyzes the area with imperfections and chooses the best pixels from the surrounding area to replace it. It considers the colors and luminance values of the target area to correct it. This produces clean and natural results.
Since artificial intelligence is used to correct imperfections, you don’t have to worry about figuring out how to fix problem areas. Thus, you can remove minor imperfections quickly.
Because flyaway hairs are thin, the Spot Healing Tool is the perfect tool to remove them. Here is how to remove flyaway hair using the Spot Healing Brush Tool in three simple steps.
Step 1: Create A New Layer
First, insert your image in Photoshop. Then, go to the Layers panel and create a new blank layer by clicking the small cross icon.
The changes will be placed in this extra layer, and your original photo will remain intact. This is good practice to edit non-destructively.
Step 2: Adjust The Spot Healing Brush Tool Settings
You can find the Spot Healing Brush Tool in the Toolbar. You can also use the shortcut J.
Once you enable the Spot Healing Brush Tool, you must adjust its settings in the Options bar.
First, you have to adjust the Brush Options.
The brush Size needs to be slightly larger than the flyaway hair. You can also alter brush size by pressing your keyboard’s right or left bracket key. The right bracket key ] increases brush size while the left bracket key [ decreases it.
You can remove flyaway hair effectively by using 50% Hardness. This removes the strands of hair quickly while preventing the background from being stained.
The Blend Mode options contain some of the blend modes found in the Layers panel. For removing flyaway hair, Normal is the best choice.
There is also a unique option to The Spot Healing Brush Tool that’s called Replace. Replace fills the target area with new pixels, but it doesn’t soften the edges of the filled area, unlike other blend modes.
You can control how Photoshop corrects the target area in the Type section.
When removing flyaway hair, Content-Aware is the best option. This is because it uses artificial intelligence to determine the best way to fill the target area seamlessly, preserving the area’s luminance and hue values.
Create Texture fills the target area with a pattern made of pixels from the surroundings of the target area. This is recommended when working with solid backgrounds. When working with busy backgrounds, there is a high chance of staining your photo.
Proximity Match fills the target area with pixels next to the object you want to remove. This mode usually produces similar results as Content-Aware, but Content-Aware can also use pixels that are not directly adjacent to the target area.
You need to mark the Sample All Layers checkbox. This option allows you to sample pixels from any layer in the Layers panel. That way, you can work with multiple layers. Thus, you can sample pixels from a photo and place them on a blank layer, which allows you to work non-destructively.
You can change the Brush Angle to see if it’s easier to cover an area when flipping the brush or slightly angling it.
If you have a drawing tablet, you can take advantage of the Pen Pressure option since it gives you more control over the pressure to which the brushstrokes are applied to your image.
Step 3: Remove The Flyaway Hairs
With the necessary settings adjusted, keep the layer you created selected.
Then, zoom in on the strain of hair and drag over it from end to end.
The strand of hair will disappear immediately after this.
Generally, you will only need to drag over the flyaway hair once. However, if the background of your photo is too busy, you may need to drag over the target area a couple of times until the flyaway hairs disappear entirely.
Repeat the step above in other parts of the hair until all the flyaway hair from your subject’s head is gone.
Using The Clone Stamp Tool To Remove Flyaway Hair
If you used the Spot Healing Brush to remove flyaway hair and the outcomes didn’t turn out the way you wanted, you can try the Clone Stamp Tool.
With the Clone Stamp Tool, you have more control over how the area with flyaway hair is covered. This tool allows you to manually choose the pixels used to fill the target area, unlike the Spot Healing Brush tool, where Photoshop chooses the replacement pixels.
Additionally, the Clone Stamp Tool offers you more adjustment options, which gives you even more control of the outcomes.
To use the Clone Stamp Tool to remove flyaway hair, you first need to create an empty layer by clicking the small cross icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. This will separate the corrections from the original photo, preserving the image.
Afterward, select the Clone Stamp Tool in the Toolbar (S).
Don’t forget to zoom in on the area to be corrected so that you can see the imperfections better. Once you enable the Clone Stamp Tool, you must adjust some settings in the Options bar for the tool to work correctly.
The brush Size should be slightly larger than the strand of hair you want to cover.
Leave Hardness at 0% so that the pixels covering the flyaway hair blend seamlessly with the pixels from the surrounding area.
Set the Blend Mode to Normal.
Set Opacity to 100%. You can also lower the opacity depending on the area. For example, if your background is blurred or composed of various colors, lessening the opacity will help blend pixels better.
Leave Flow at 100%.
Check the Aligned checkbox since it makes the Clone Stamp Tool sample different pixels as you drag with the mouse, avoiding repeated pixels.
Lastly, set Sample to All Layers. This allows you to work with more than one layer from the Layers panel, which is essential since you created an empty layer for the corrections.
After adjusting all necessary settings, zoom in on the strand of hair to be removed. Then, hold Alt (Win) or Option (Mac). Your cursor will turn into a target icon.
Then drag over the pixels to be sampled, preferably those adjacent to the strand of hair to be removed. After that, drag over the target area to cover the strand of hair.
Repeat these steps to sample new areas and then paint over the hairs close to the sampled pixels until you remove all the flyaway hairs.
You can combine the Spot Healing Brush Tool with the Clone Stamp Tool for a more optimal result. You can also consider using other similar tools like the Healing Tool. This operates very similarly to the Spot Healing Brush but with the option to sample before you paint over the unwanted strands of hair. To see all three of these tools compared, check out my guide to removing objects in Photoshop.