Drawing Anime Hair for Male and Female Characters

When you’re designing a character you’ll want to pay special attention to the hairstyle. Learning how to draw anime hair and manga hair will help you show off your character’s personality. The hair can be their signature feature! Here are a variety of approaches you can use for inspiration as you sit down to give your character just the right ’do.

Female Hairstyles

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Tightly-Curled Hair
Take your time as you indicate the individual coils. They spiral into individual lines as they reach the tips.

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Long Straight Hair
The key here is to ink each long line with a single stroke of the pen.

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Punk Hair
Defiant spikes and bangs cut high on the forehead help to convey her individualist streak.

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Short Hair
Giving a female character a super-short haircut is a bold choice. Go for feminine eyes if you’re concerned readers may mistake her for a boy.

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Braided Hair
Braids can be an attractive way of setting a character apart.

How to Draw a Braid

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1: Draw two vertical lines, tilting diagonally at the top on both sides. In the middle, draw a lop-sided  heart shape, one side of it a touch longer than the other.

2: Repeat the shape above and below until you’ve filled the whole braid.

3: Add one diagonal line into the middle of each heart shape, dividing it into two parts roughly the same size. Add a little “ponytail” at the bottom.

4: Add lines for the individual strands of hair. Ink, let dry, erase the pencil and you’re done!

Male Hairstyles

Male hairstyles are just as important as female hairstyles when it comes to differentiating one character from another. Think about your character’s personality and choose a hairstyle that conveys it to the reader.

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Spiky Hair
If you give one of your characters this type of hairstyle, try to organize the spikes so that you can draw them in roughly the same formation every time.

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Dreadlocks
Arrange the dreadlocks so that they can all be traced to a particular origin on the scalp, then fill in the surface of each one with tightly-packed lines.

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Wavy Hair
Drawing wavy hair requires a steady hand. Lay the individual lines in confidently, each with an individual stoke of the pen.

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Short Hair
This hairstyle stays very close to the outline of the head and separates into tiny spikes all across its surface.

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Ponytail
If you give a male character this hairstyle you may want to make his facial features extra masculine to ensure readers won’t mistake him as female.

Adding Highlights to Anime Hair

When coloring both male and female hair, manga artists often leave a white “shimmer” across the top of the head to make the hair look shiny. Here are three different approaches you can use to achieve that effect.

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You can find more instruction on drawing anime hair as well as manga poses and characters in the Mastering Manga series by Mark Crilley!

Mastering Manga by Mark Crilley | how to draw manga | how to draw anime | manga characters | Mark Crilley

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