Different Ways to Draw Anime Hair Highlights

This tutorial will show you how to draw highlights for anime hair. These examples show realistic, simple, and gradient highlights.


Anime hair highlights drawing examples

Highlights are simply light reflecting off the hair. They can take on a variety of colors depending on the light source, but they are generally white.

Manga and anime hair highlights are usually very simple and easy to draw. However, the method you use to draw them will depend on whether you’re using digital or traditional media.

No Highlights Anime & Manga Hair

Anime hair is no highlight

This tutorial will focus on drawing highlights for hair, but it is important to mention that there are occasions when you can draw anime hair without any highlights.

Simple Anime & Manga Hair Highlights

Anime hair simple highlight

You can draw the simplest type of hair highlight in anime or manga by drawing a single shape.

Anime hair simple highlight drawing example

This type of highlight can be done by drawing two lines at the top and bottom to show the highlight. Then, either leave it white or add bright color.

Gradient Anime & Manga Hair Highlights

Anime hair gradient highlight

The gradient hair highlight looks similar to the one above, but the edges are blended to create a smooth transition between highlight and color.

Anime hair gradient highlight drawing example

This type of highlight can be difficult to draw. You may want to draw two lines on paper to mark the edges of your highlight. Then blend inwards using those lines.

It is possible to draw the highlight digitally, but it will depend on what drawing software you use. Usually, you can just use a soft (blurry brush) to create this type of highlight.


Realistic Anime & Manga Hair Highlights

Anime hair realistic highlight

This style of highlight is more natural and close to real hair highlights.

Anime hair realistic highlight drawing example

You can create a real highlight on paper by either leaving a white area around the highlights or lightly highlighting the highlights before coloring your hair.

You can add the highlight to your digital drawings after you have finished coloring the hair. This can vary depending on your drawing software, but you can generally draw the highlight using a series of brush strokes.


Although anime hair highlights can be fairly simple to draw, the difficulty of the drawing will vary depending on the highlight type and medium you use.

You can find out more about drawing anime hair here:

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