How to Draw Anime and Manga Hair – Female

This tutorial illustrates how to draw anime and manga hair and some common anime and manga hairstyles for a female character.

For more on drawing anime hair you can also see:

How to Draw Anime & Manga Male & Female Hair

examples of how to draw anime and manga hair
Examples of how to draw Anime and Manga hair

Drawing Anime and Manga Hair

Anime hair is often based on real hairstyles but tends to be drawn in clumps rather than individual strands. One good reason for this is that if you are drawing multiple frames of animation or multiple panels of a manga it will simply be too time consuming to draw anything overly detailed.

draw anime hair
Examples of how to draw anime hair
Long anime hair female
Example of how to draw long anime hair

Drawing Long Hair

For long hair the different hair clumps can overlap or interweave with one another just as real long hair is likely to do unless it has been neatly combed and is not curly.

When drawing keep in mind that long hair cannot stick out as much or be as spiky as short hair as it will be pulled down more by gravity.

Of course it also depends on how realistic of a hairstyle you want to draw.

anime female short hair
Example of how to draw short anime or manga hair

Drawing Short Hair

Short hair is generally easier to draw than long hair. Simply draw each hair clump in two curved lines that meet to form a pointy end.

anime trimmed and neat looking female hair
Example of how to draw trimmed and neat looking anime or manga hair

Drawing Trimmed and Neat Looking Hair

For trimmed hair draw the ends flat just like real hair that’s been trimmed by scissors.

For a neat look the different hair clumps should generally be drawn pointing in the same direction as the clumps next to them and any shifts in direction should be gradual. This of course excludes wavy or curly hair which is a little more difficult to draw.

Anime female messy hair
Example of how to draw messy anime or manga hair

Drawing Messy Looking Hair

For a messy look draw some of the hair clumps sticking out in different directions and overlapping.

anime hair tied into pigtails
Example of how to draw anime or manga pigtails

Drawing Tied Back Hair

When drawing hair that’s been tied into pigtails, ponytail, etc… Draw it in one big clump that slowly curves downwards in a smooth curve. Draw some splits at the end to give an indication of different hair strands.

Line Weight When Drawing

When drawing you should also slightly vary your line weight making your lines thinner towards the ends. This will give the hair a lighter and more natural look.

line weight
Example of varying line weight

Hair Highlights

The highlights depend on the direction of the light source. In the examples shown in this tutorial we have two. One from the main light source and one from a secondary light source.

The highlights should normally be the brightest part of the hair. Most of the time you can make them white.

For a tutorial on drawing the highlights see:

Different Ways to Draw Anime Hair Highlights

If you would like to learn how to draw the full head you can also check out the Draw a Female Anime Character’s Head Tutorial.