How to

How to Draw Anime & Manga Male & Female Hair


This comprehensive tutorial will guide you through the process of drawing various types of anime and manga hair for both male and female characters. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, this guide will provide you with the fundamental techniques and examples from different angles.

Anime hair and heads different views

Understanding Head Shape and Hairline

Before diving into drawing hair, it’s essential to grasp the basic shape of the head and the placement of the hairline. This knowledge will greatly assist you in creating realistic and proportionate hairstyles. As a beginner, it’s recommended to sketch the head structure before proceeding with the hair.

Anime hairline - female

In the realm of anime and manga, the shape of the head is usually similar to that of a real head, albeit with some stylistic variations. From a side view, the head can be drawn in a slight oval shape, while from the front view, it resembles a half circle.

Anime hairline - male

Please note that this tutorial focuses solely on hair drawing techniques. If you’re interested in learning about facial features, such as eyes, mouths, noses, or ears, we recommend referring to our other tutorials dedicated to those topics.

Understanding Hair Growth Patterns

To accurately depict anime hairstyles, it’s beneficial to have a basic understanding of how hair grows in reality. Although anime hair is a simplified representation, following the natural hair growth patterns adds an extra touch of realism to your drawings. The following directions commonly apply to both male and female characters:

  • Top hair: Primarily grows forward.
  • Back hair: Typically grows downward.
  • Sides hair: Generally grows downward as well.

Hair growth directions

Drawing Short Anime Hair

Anime hair is often depicted as clumps, similar to wet hair in real life. When drawing short hair for both male and female characters, aim to mimic the shape of the hairline with small clumps at the ends. For a more natural appearance, vary the direction of the clumps, some pointing towards each other and others away.

Drawing short anime hair front, back and side views

Drawing Medium Length/Long Anime Hair

Drawing medium to long anime hair follows a similar approach as short hair. However, with longer hairstyles, you can render the hair in more substantial clumps. Additionally, consider treating the sideburns as separate sections in addition to the top, sides, and back hair.

Drawing medium length anime hair front, back and side views

Drawing Combed Anime Hair

Combed-back hairstyles are quite common in anime and manga. When drawing such hairstyles, it’s crucial to pay attention to the hairline, as it becomes more visible when the hair is pulled or combed back. To achieve a natural look, incorporate jagged lines at the hairline, as real hair strands are not perfectly aligned.

Drawing combed back anime hair front, back and side views

Drawing Trimmed/Neatly Combed Anime Hair

Neatly combed hairstyles, like the popular “hime cut,” often give the appearance of a helmet on the character’s head. To make the hair appear more realistic, try incorporating splits into the hair, starting wider at the bottom and tapering as they move up.

Drawing cut/trimmed anime hair front, back and side views

Drawing Anime Pigtails

When drawing pigtails, it’s essential to indicate that the surrounding hair is being pulled towards the pigtails. Use lines to represent this effect. In the case of multiple pigtails, you can create a parting line where the hairs pulled in different directions meet.

Drawing anime pigtails front, back and side views

Drawing Curly Anime Hair

Curly anime hair can be depicted using spring-like shapes. The shorter parts of curly hair often resemble regular hair or incorporate slight curves. In this example, we will draw the hair with more pronounced curves at the ends.

Drawing curly anime hair front, back and side views


This tutorial serves as a solid foundation to assist you in drawing a wide range of anime hairstyles. While exploring different variations is encouraged, it’s also beneficial to refer to real hair and existing anime and manga references for additional inspiration and guidance.

If you enjoyed this tutorial, you may also find the following topics intriguing:

  • How to Draw Anime & Manga Style Hair Braids
  • How to Draw Anime Facial Hair – Beards & Mustaches
  • Different Ways to Draw Anime Hair Highlights

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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