Anime Drawing

How to Draw Anime and Manga Hair – Female

This tutorial shows the art of drawing manga and anime hairstyles with 12 step-by-stage drawings of typical manga and anime hairstyles that are suitable for female characters.


Drawing Anime & Manga Hair

Anime hair with different hairstyles drawing examples

Hairstyles in anime often are inspired by real hairstyles, but typically, it is drawn in clumps, rather than individual hair strands. One reason is that if you’re creating multiple animation frames or multiple pages of a manga, it’s going to be too much time-consuming to draw anything that is too elaborate.

An effective method of drawing the hair of anime is to divide it into various parts like the sides, front and top, and back (as will be illustrated on each of the hairstyles below).

To draw characters that be paired with these hairstyles, look up:

How to Draw Anime Characters Tutorial

For more details on how to draw anime hair, you can find:

Drawing Long Anime Hair

Anime long hair drawing breakdown

Hair that is long and straight is among the more well-known hairstyles seen in anime and is relatively simple to draw.

Above you can view the breaking down of the drawing for long hair into:

  • Red-Front Hair
  • Green-Side Hair
  • Blue – Back/Top Hair

It is possible to apply the same approach to drawing different hairstyles, too. The hair in this way makes the process of drawing much easier to control.


With this in mind, it is time to move on to how to draw.

Anime long hair step-by-step drawing

Step 1

Begin by drawing an outline of the head, and then a sketch for the line of hair. Although in this particular hairstyle the hairline doesn’t matter as much since it’s full of hair, it’s still a good way to in determining the length and the position of the side and front hair sections. The hairline should be drawn very light to allow you to easily erase areas of it later on.

Step 2

Hairline: Draw hair straight across the hairline, and draw a hairline like in the illustration above.

This particular hairstyle is suitable for this. If the front portion of the hair is cut short, you can create tiny clumps of pointy hair.

Create”the “side hair” fairly long with the overall shape curving. You could also break it into smaller clumps at the end.

Draw the top of”back hair.” Draw the top part of “back hair” pretty much in the same way as the head (a small distance from it) before expanding until it’s concealed behind the shoulders.

Step 3

Remove the areas of the head that are concealed behind hair. Add the lines that reveal the folds in the hair in the front and back. It is generally recommended to put these folds within the knots of hair because this is the place where they most often appear when you have real hair.

Step 4

Then, folds are added to your “back hair” to give some definition to its shape, and also to ensure that it doesn’t appear like a flat cut-out.

You could also apply some simple shading in order to help your hair pop better after you’ve completed the drawing.

Drawing Short Anime Hair

Anime short hair drawing breakdown

The drawing of short hair above is pretty similar to the long hair, with hair being broken down into three main components: sides, front and back.


The real structure of the drawing process may be:

Anime short hair step-by-step drawing

Step 1

Start the drawing of the short hair with the hairline and head. Similar to the example above, hairline won’t be as crucial here as it is in other styles of hair, but is still useful.

Step 2

It’s a bit like the long hairstyle, you can draw it similar to the long hair draw the “front hair” section with tiny hair clumps. This particular instance’s hair will appear a little messy and the clumps will be curving in various directions. If you’d like neater hair, draw them as in the previous illustration.

Step 3

As before, remove any areas of the head that are hidden in the hair. Draw the lower portion of the hair in the back. It is generally a good idea to leave this part of hair for the final part of drawing the lines since when you look at the front of the head, it will be behind all the other areas of hair. If you try drawing it in the beginning without using other hairs to “frame” its position you are likely to get some overlapped lines, and you’ll need to do a second erasing.

Step 4

Include the fords in the inner (just one of them in the case) and, if you’re feeling fancy you can add some simple shading.

Drawing Trimmed Anime Hair (Hime Cut)

Anime “Hime Cut” hair drawing breakdown

To trim hair, create a clump of hair with straight ends that appear as if they’ve been taken away by scissors.

To give a clean appearance, the various hair clumps must generally be drawn in the same direction as the clumps to their right and any changes in direction must be gradual.

Anime “Hime Cut” hair step-by-step drawing

Step 1

Begin by drawing the hair, then mark the hairline. To create the “Hime Cut” the hairline is again completely covered by hair.

Step 2

To draw the first sketch of your hair’s actual shape, you can begin by drawing the sides, followed by the back. You can draw the front part of the hair using only one line.

Step 3

Then draw small splits between the front and sides of your hair. This will create a more natural look. Eliminate the line that runs between the splits after you’re finished. It is also possible to erase areas of the head that are covered by hair.


Step 4

In the same way as the previous example, draw lines along the hair at the back to show its different folds inside. Make sure to draw them with unpredictably random spacing, and differing curves. If you spread everything out evenly and let all curves trace one another close, the hair won’t appear very natural.

Drawing Long Messy Anime Hair

Anime long messy hair drawing breakdown

The messy long hair is similar to the previous example, however, it has the addition of hair that clumps. It can also be split into three sections, similar to the other examples we have seen up to now.

Draw the messy, long hair in the following manner:

Anime messy hair step-by-step drawing

Step 1

Like the other examples, start by drawing your hairline and head. Drawing the hairline can aid in ensuring that there are no splits in the hair clumps to create”front hair “front hair” go too high.

Step 2

To make your hair appear messier, draw the hair’s frontal clumps of hair that are pointing in different directions, and of various forms and curves. You could draw some that are curly and others that curve to one side.

Draw the middle section of these clumps, which extends further. It is possible to do the same for the outer clumps that are on the side of the front section. This can give more evidence hair that is not properly groomed.

Step 3

Then draw some more hair clumps, randomly that are sticking from the back section of hair. This makes the otherwise clean-looking hair appear messy, too. You could also add a couple (or more) hair clumps in the inner areas of your “side hair”. You can erase the outline of the hair on which you’d like to draw these or draw them in and then erase the outline that overlaps afterward. Then, you can draw some split lines within the hair clumps, similar to several other illustrations. For the final line drawing, you can erase any areas of the head and face that are covered by hair afterward.

Step 4

This example has a long hairline on the back, it is possible to draw the folds of its inner parts to make it appear more authentically hair. You could also make them wavier than others to make the hair look messy.

Drawing Anime Pony Tail /Tied Back Hair

Anime ponytail hair drawing breakdown

Another hairstyle that is very popular in anime is the ponytail. It is evident that there is nothing on the sides in this instance (other than tiny hairline bits along both sides). The hair can therefore basically be divided into two sections. The back is comprised of hair that is over that top part of the head and hair on the tail.

Hairstyles of this kind are drawn according to:

Anime ponytail hair step-by-step drawing

Step 1

Draw the head and mark the hairline that for this particular hairstyle is more significant than previous ones as certain areas parts of the hairline will become apparent in the final drawing, as already illustrated.

Step 2

You can make a frame for the front hair with this style with only three curly lines. Two curves for both sides, and the third for the bottom. There is small side hair in this instance since it is pulled up, revealing the hairline.

Draw the hair on the back slightly above the head before merging into the sides.

Although most ponytails look straight backward in anime hair, you may draw it slightly towards the other side so that its shape is more apparent. In other cases, the ponytail could appear like an unintentional bump on the head. It is possible to sketch the tail using the shape of a question mark or shape. You could also draw an elongated split in the middle.

Step 3

Similar to the “Hime Cut” draw in small splits in the front part of the hair. Then remove parts of the bottom part of the “front hair” to make gaps between the two. Also, erase the areas of the head that are concealed behind the hair.

Step 4

It is also possible to give your hair a slight shading if you want. It is also possible to draw a few more lines to create a look that is more splintered as opposed to it is “Hime Cut” which tends to be thicker “front hair”.

Drawing Anime Hair Over One Eye

Anime hair over one eye drawing

If you want to wear hair that covers one eye, you may divide your hair into the front side, back and sides. The front portion of the hair will appear quite large and will blend with what is known as the “side hair” next to the eye that is covered.

Anime hair over one eye step-by-step drawing

Step 1

Draw the hairline on the head like in the previous examples.

Step 2

This particular hairstyle is best drawn with the front hair clumps that go deep enough to completely cover the eye. To create”side hair,” or “side hair” you can draw the portion that is on the other side of the eye that is slightly blending in with your frontal hair.

Draw the hair on the back split into two curly lines which pretty much follow your head shape. They fall down, eventually sticking out in clumps along the sides.

Step 3

The very bottom part of the hair’s front makes small hair clumps that extend around the neck’s top area. Remove any lines that cross the head, which should be concealed by the hair once you’re done.

Step 4

For a final sketch, you could add a few lines to show curvatures and splits in the hair as it moves within the hair clumps.

Drawing Anime Pigtails

Anime pigtails hair drawing breakdown

Pigtails are a different popular style of hair in anime. Like the ponytail illustration, you will see the pigtails can be easily broken to the rear and the front sections of hair. The “back hair” split into the hair that covers both the top of the head as well as the ponytails. The hair is actually tiny fragments of real “side hair”.

Anime pigtails hair step-by-step drawing

Step 1

Draw the head as well as the hairline. In this case, a huge part of the hairline is evident in the final sketch. It can also assist us to locate the front part of the hair.

Step 2

Although the majority of the hairstyles in this instance will be pulled back, you may draw clumps from the front part of the hair on only one side to give the hairstyle more intriguing.

As we’ve already said, there’ll almost certainly be none of the side hairs other than small bits of hair that are around the tops of the ear. Draw the back and top of hair that blends with the side hair.

For the real pigtails, make them look like those in the “Ponytail” example vaguely resembling two question marks in their overall shape, with one of them being turned over.

Step 3

Add some hair clumps that stick out of the pigtails to give them a look that is a bit more interesting. You can also eliminate any lines of overlap result. Also, erase the outline of the head, as it’s obscured in the hair.

Step 4

You can add a few more lines to indicate folds in the hair that are visible to the pigtails, and possibly some shading.

Drawing Neatly Combed Anime Hair

Anime neatly combed hair drawing

This hairstyle could be divided into three sections comprising the front, back, and side hair. The front portion of the hair is different from the examples previously mentioned.

Anime combed hair step-by-step drawing

Step 1

Draw the hairline and head. The hairline drawn in this illustration will be especially useful for putting the front of the hairline.

Step 2

Draw the sides of hair using constant cures, a bit hugging the contour of your face. From the center of your hairline, draw two curves that go downwards to”side hair” and “side hair”.

This is hair that is the “front hair” tucked underneath the sides, which is laid over it. Draw the back hair using an obvious split at the middle, with two curves running in opposite directions. This will demonstrate how the hair been of been neatly comb-tied to the opposite side.

Step 3

Make small hair clumps on the hair on the bottom of the background.

Step 4

Then you can include a small hair clump hanging from the center of the front section of hair. Because sometimes, the hair that is in that region is too small to be pulled under the sides and some of it will hang down. This makes the hairstyle appear more natural and intriguing. Also, add fold lines on the front section of hair that are extending towards the sides to make it appear as if the hair is tied under the hairline.

Drawing Curly Anime Hair

Anime curly hair drawing breakdown

Curly hair is among the most difficult cartoon hairstyles that you can draw. The hairstyle could be divided into front and back sides, and the hair on the front is identical to the earlier example.

Anime curly hair step-by-step drawing

Step 1

Begin drawing hairline and head sketch.

Step 2

From the hairline, draw two lines that go toward the sides of your head, to show the hair on the front. To indicate that the hair is curly, you can draw the lines with soft waves.

The “side hair” in this illustration will be totally curled. It is possible to draw lines at the beginning of the curvatures to indicate the size of the hair. The hair will then change into the form of “spires” of hair below.

To draw the actual curls, first, sketch the portions of them in the front. It’s possible to imagine these as being a cone that has been cut on an angle and then pulled apart.

Step 3

Remove any areas of the head that are hidden by hair, to avoid confusion. Add the lines that run along with the background of the hair curls. These can be thought of as the front areas that are filled over.

You can also draw cuts at the top of the curls.

Step 4

In the last step, you could draw a tiny hair squiggle hanging towards the middle of your front portion and add lines at the top of the hair background to mark the folds inside. Create lines that are wavier than in the preceding examples to indicate it is curly.

Drawing Anime Hair Buns

Anime hair buns drawing breakdown

The hair buns are more uncommon, yet still the most popular hairstyles for anime. The hair bun is also split into sides, front as well as back.

You can draw hair buns hairstyle in the manner explained in the following:

Anime hair buns step-by-step drawing

Step 1

Then, start drawing again with the hairline and the head.

Step 2

Make your “front hair” in small groups that are pointing towards the middle of your face. The sides are like the majority of other examples.

Create”side hair” or “side hair” with light curves, a bit “hugging” the face.

Create”the “back hair” pretty much wraps around the head.

Then draw those hair buns in an oval-like shape, with a portion of it concealed between hair that is hidden behind “back hair”.

Step 3

To do this, simply remove the areas of the head obscured by hair.

Step 4

Draw some of the curvatures on the inside of your hair. It is possible to draw them at will, but try to follow the outside curvature of the bun using at minimum a few lines. This can help to create that “ball of yarn” look hair buns typically be.

Drawing Short Messy Anime Hair

Anime short messy hair drawing breakdown

The hair that is messy and short is also easy to separate into the front side, back, and front sections.

You can draw it by following these steps:

Anime short messy hair step-by-step drawing

Step 1

Similar to the other examples, draw the hairline and the head starting.

Step 2

Draw the front portion of hair, with the outside clumps sticking to the sides rather than resting on your forehead like many other examples.

Include the side sections, that have the splits on the end protruding in the opposite direction.

Draw the background hair using the hair slightly split to one side, and then draw the two curvatures that emerge out, eventually changing into hair clumps on either face.

Step 3

Add a pair of Wavy clumps on the upper split from the hair that is background, and another pair of clumps on the areas to the inside in hair that is the “side hair”. Eliminate the sections of hair that you added the clumps. Also, erase any other areas of the lines of the face or head which are covered by hair.

Step 4

Include the bottom of the hair design in small clumps that are like the other examples of shorter hair included in the tutorial.

Drawing Short/Low Anime Pigtails

Anime short low pigtails drawing breakdown

As the final illustration of anime hair in this tutorial, we’ve got pigtails that are short and low. Similar to the other examples in this tutorial, this one can also be split into the front, sides, and top hair.

This particular hairstyle can be drawn in the following manner:

Anime short low pigtails hair step by step drawing

Step 1

Begin by drawing your hairline and head as in the examples before.

Step 2

Include the front part of the hair first, as in this instance, it is sticking out slightly more than the sides, overlapping the sides. Make the “front hair” split into small clumps. You can do similarly with the sides of the “side hair”.

Create”the “back hair” pretty much like the shape of the head.

Then, add the pigtails to the top of the head. They will have small splits at their end.

Step 3

Make sure the drawing is clean by erasing any parts of the head that are hidden by hair.

Step 4

Include lines to show the hair’s curves inside and fold. In this case, only one line for the hair on the front clump.

Hair Highlights

Highlights on hair can make your hair stand out without the need for additional shading. They are also fairly simple to apply.

To draw them, check out:

Different Ways to Draw Anime Hair Highlights


When drawing hair, it can be beneficial to arrange the hair into different sections. Not only does this aid in getting an understanding of the best way to draw hair, but it will also permit you to easily modify the style by changing components. For additional hairstyles, you can try mixing various elements of the front back, and side sections of hair in this video tutorial or by creating completely new styles.

For hairstyles that shade, see:

How to Shade Anime Hair Step by Step

For more information on manga and drawing anime hair, check out:

If you’d want to learn to draw the head drawing using every facial feature look at the following:

How to Draw an Anime Girl’s Head and Face

For drawing hats, hats, and headwear, refer to:

How to Draw Anime Hats & Head Ware

This tutorial was almost totally rewritten and updated using new designs, however, you can view the older examples below.


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