Questions about painting hair

Hi there everyone! I would like to learn how to paint hair as I don’t believe I have the patience for rooting a full head of hair. I’ve seen in some videos where the artist uses a rake/comb/grainer brush to do painted hair. Does the hair look as realistic with that brush? I’ve also seen some use the Christine Woolley brush which I also have. These are the brushes I am talking about:

and Christine Woolley’s brush:

For those who have painted hair, I have a question or two.
1.) I use air dry paints. What is the paint consistency needed for painted hair?
2.) How long does it take to paint hair? Hours?
3.) Do you varnish the head before you paint the hair or do you varnish afterwards?
4.) If you do varnish before you paint the hair, do you go over it with sealer when finished?

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I’ve tried actually painting… but I do much better with using a dark umber prisma pencil… or maybe darke ember… some of these ladies that actually PAINT hair… it looks absolutely real… amazing. I’m fairly confident in blushing skin tones… but I’m like taking baby steps in creating painted drawn hair… plus I feel it can help keep the cost down… and rooting does takes patience.

Good luck and I’ll check back as i can learn with you.:pray:

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I use a small and medium liner brush. Use different types of brushes, you will soon find witch one works best for you. You will need one or two test heads and you will have to practice a lot. Try different methods and techniques until you find your own way.
Paint need to be diluted a minimum, but add a lot of retarder. 2-3 colors or shades is a must for 3d effects.

I varnish before and after


I would use a much finer brush. I cut a small brush to make it just a few hairs. I can put more paint on for general strokes and less for fine hairs that way.

Prismacolors also work. Just make sure to seal the head afterward. :slight_smile:


I use a variety of brushes depending on the type of hair I want to achieve. I will use the rakebrush to create clumps/flow of hair and then use varying liner brushes for definition.


Painted hair takes many hours depending on the style and realism you want. I use airdry paint and usually start with several layers of prisma. It is quicker and lays out the pattern. Then, I do a layer of varnish with Angie’s recipe to seal the prisma. I try and let the pencil set overnight before varnishing unless I am impatient lol. I gently varnish over the hair with a small flatbrush, trying to glide over the top and not use much pressure or it could take off some of the pencil. A little will still come off so I wipe the brush off once in a while. Then, I continue with more layers of paint over top, Getting darker with each layer for brown hair, or lighter for blond hair. I used the Wooley brush for my big June, but it was hard to get the more delicate hairs. I usually use a cut down liner brush or maybe nail art brushes.