How To Draw Anime Hair

How To Draw Anime Hair: A Step-by-Step Guide

Anime hair says a lot about a character’s look and personality. Because of that, artists always consider the type of hair they give any given character.

They’ve also perfected the art of creating unique and gravity-defying styles using a few easy to replicate techniques that anyone can learn. 

Interested? Let’s look at some anime hair basics, a step-by-step guide on how to draw anime hair for boys and girls, and the most common styles. 

Drawing Anime Hair Basics 

If you’re a beginner to the world of drawing anime hair, you’ll need to keep a few basic ideas in mind. 

#1 Draw Forwarding Facing

That means your character will be facing straight at you, like an ID picture. Why? Because you won’t have to consider the perspective or angles of a character whose head is tilted to one side. 

#2 Use a Template  

This will save you time and ensure you have the right proportions. 

#3 Draw Clumps, Not Strands

Take a look in the mirror and notice how many individual strands of hair you have, their texture, the different colors that make up your overall hair color, and the way the light hits it. That’s a lot to include when drawing. 

To simplify the process, anime artists draw clumps (or chunks) of hair, instead of individual floating strands. 

#4 Practice Your Clumps

Clumps are made of two curved lines that are farther apart at the top of the clump and gradually come closer together until they meet at the bottom. It looks like an upside down cone. 

Get in the habit of practicing the technique, because drawing anime hair is all about clumps and the cones they taper into. 

This is the basic cone structure at the end of each clump of hair:

You can work up to different types of cones and clumps to create different hair textures. 

#5 Direct Your Hair Clumps 

Think about where your clumps point. Bangs and straight hair will tend to point down. Wavy hair points toward the face. Spiky hair points outwards. Messy hair will point in alternating directions.

That’s not always the case, but it’s a good rule of thumb.

#6 Add Volume

Hair, especially anime hair, doesn’t sit flat. Make sure that there is space between the hairline and the top of your hairstyle. 

How To Use an Anime Base

While you could draw anime hair without a face underneath, you really need to understand how hair falls around the face to do it right. A template will help you do that.

You don’t have to draw facial features like eyes, nose, or mouth, but you should draw a few additional guidelines (explained below) to understand where those features would be.

And don’t forget to draw the lines lightly so that you can erase them later.

Step 1: 

The top of the circle is the top of your character’s hairstyle (minus any spikes or accessories). 

Step 2: 

The bottom of the circle is where the bottom of your character’s nose goes. We’ll refer to this as the nose line (even though there’s no line here).

Step 3: 

Draw a horizontal line in the bottom third of the circle (roughly where the face hits the circle). This is where the eyes go and we’ll refer to it as the eyeline.

Step 4: 

Draw another horizontal line in the top third of the circle. This marks the hairline.

Step 5: 

Draw a vertical line in the middle of the face. There are already empty spaces to indicate where this line should go, so you don’t have to draw it unless you want to.

Step 6:

Choose a hairstyle and get started!

Common Styles of Anime Girl Hair

This is where artists take the basics of drawing anime hair and come up with unique and character-specific hairstyles.

You’ll notice how it’s all about clumps of hair, how they are placed, directed, and combined together to make some of the most common anime girls’ hairstyles.

Layered Hair

Layers help frame the face and add extra oomph to a character’s look. Layered styles can be long or short like Tokizaki Maya’s long gradual layers from Hatsukoi, or Nishizono Mio’s short blue choppy bob from Little Busters!

Straight Hair

Considering the overwhelming amount of straight hair in Japanese culture, it’s no surprise that straight hair is the clear winner when it comes to anime hairstyles. A shining example is Classic Literature Club’s Eru Chitanda.

Hime Cut

A hime cut combines straight bangs; a thin, blunt jaw-length layer; and straight hair. It’s become so pervasive in the anime world that it’s also called the anime or jaw-drop haircut. You can spot it on Yumeko Jabami from Kakegurui - Compulsive Gambler.

Ponytails & Twintails

Often the epitome of the female anime look, ponytails and twintails (or pigtails) are a go-to hairstyle. Consider Sailor Moon’s iconic (and oh-so-long!) pigtails or Mai Kawakami’s side pony from Myriad Colors Phantom World.


Buns are another innocent, feminine hairstyle. They come in many styles, but we like Kagura’s Chinese-style covered buns from Gintama.

Hair Drills

Despite curly hair being less common, the anime alternative seems to be drill-like twirls. These take lots of practice to draw, but you can’t deny that the effect is pretty cool. 

You can find them on Athena Tennousu from Hayate the Combat Butler.


Ahoge translates to “idiot hair,” and it’s a stubborn piece of hair that sticks out of your head. In anime, it’s come to be associated with naive characters. It can be found on both male and female characters, but is slightly more common on girls. 


Whether they’re straight, parted in the middle, side-swept, or over the eyes, bangs are great at making hairstyles pop. 


Don’t forget about the part accessories play. Bows, hair ties, jewelry, flowers, and headbands take a front-row seat to some of our favorite characters’ most well-known looks.

How To Draw Anime Girl Hair: Short, Straight Hair


Here’s how to draw a chin-length bob with bangs that are grouped together in one clump in the middle of the face. 

Step 1: 

Set up your template using the instructions above. You’ll need the hairline, eyeline, nose line, and vertical line guides.

Step 2: 

Start where the hairline meets the vertical line. Draw a wide v facing down. Add a little bit of curve to your lines and extend them until the nose line. This is the inner outline of the hair.

Step 3:

Go back to the hairline. Add one clump in the center that curves slightly to one side of the nose (or your vertical line) and ends just below the nose line. These are the bangs.

Step 4:

To draw the outside outline of the hair trace the curve at the top of the template. Follow the top of the circle, then extend your curve out wider. Do this on both sides of the head and extend the lines until just below the chin.

Step 5:

Connect the inner and outer outlines of hair by drawing long, narrow hair clumps. Point them towards the face. If needed, add a few more clumps near the forehead and cheeks to frame the face.

Step 6:

Trace the outline of the hair darker, then erase any guidelines or overlapping lines.

Step 7:

Draw a few individual strands for texture and add color (if you’d like).

How To Draw Anime Girl Hair: Pigtails With Straight Bangs

Here’s how to draw pigtails with straight bangs.

Step 1: 

Set up your template using the instructions above. Include the hairline, eyeline, nose line, and vertical line guides. 

Step 2: 

Trace the top half of the circle from eyeline to eyeline. It will look like a semicircle. This will be the top of your hairstyle.

Step 3: 

Draw a smaller semicircle inside the one you just drew. Start where the eyeline meets the side of the head, draw upwards peaking at the center of the hairline, and back down to the other eyeline. This, combined with the next step, will make your bangs.

Step 4: 

Trace the eyeline so that you close the smaller semicircle. This is the outline for your bangs.

Step 5: 

Add upside down v’s of varying lengths and widths to the bangs. Since these are straight bangs, you can use the eyeline to close each clump, making the bottom of each clump a straight line. 

Step 6: 

Erase the eyeline in between each clump.

Step 7: 

Draw the ears from the eyeline to the nose line on each side of the head. 

Step 8: 

Draw the pigtails as if you’re drawing wings from each side of the head. Add 1-2 clumps at the bottom, then a few more clumps throughout the ponytail for texture.

Step 9: 

Trace the outline of the hair darker, then erase any guidelines or overlapping lines.

Step 10: 

Add texture by drawing in a few individual strands, add color, and add cute hair ties if you’d like to make it a little more fun. 

Common Styles of Anime Boy Hair

Boys’ styles can still (surprisingly) vary quite a bit, though (and, let’s be honest) there are less accessories to worry about. While girls' styles tend to be more sleek (even choppy layers still look put together), boys' hair can get a bit messier. 

Long Hair

Do most boy anime characters have short or medium length hair? Yes. Which is why longer hair tends to make a big impact. (Hello, there Katsura from Gintama.)

Short Hair

Tried and true, short hair is quick to draw and ranges from messy to sleek. The key is to use smaller clumps that vary in direction. A striking short-haired character that comes to mind? 

Haikyuu!!’s Kei Tsukishima.

Spiky Hair

Go-to spiky hair has been made popular by Naruto and countless other male anime characters. 

Messy Layers

Get messy by drawing lots of layers going in different directions, similar to Edgar J. C. Ashenbert from Earl and Fairy.

Bald or Buzz Cut

While it seems contradictory to include bald on the list (Hey! It’s the easiest one to draw!), you can’t deny that it’s a striking look. (We’re talking about you, Hanzo from Hunter X Hunter.)

Slicked Back Hair

As featured on characters like Daikoku from Noragami, slicked back hair is a look that will certainly have you using your hairline guides. 

Blinding Bangs

Lastly, blinding bangs is when hair falls in front of one or both eyes like  rom Shokugeki no Souma. To draw blinding bangs, you add long sweeping clumps to the front of the face. 

How To Draw Anime Boy Hair: Short Hair

Here’s how to draw a simple, messy short hairdo for guys.

Step 1: 

Set up your template using the instructions above. You don’t need a vertical line.

Step 2: 

Draw ears from the eyeline to the nose line on both sides of the head.

Step 3: 

Draw a flattened, small semicircle from the top of one ear, peaking at the hairline, and down to the other ear. Keep it light because you’ll erase it later. We’ll refer to this as your curved hairline.

Step 4: 

Draw tiny clumps along the top of both circles/semi-circles. Point the clumps in different directions. With an uneven line, connect each clump.

Step 5: 

Add a few more unconnected clumps within the top of the head.

Step 6: 

Trace the outline of the hair darker, then erase the semicircle guideline at the hairline, and all other guidelines and overlapping lines.  

How To Draw Anime Boy Hair: Spiky Hair

What anime list would be complete without spiky hair? Here’s how to draw boys' spiky hair a la Naruto. 

Step 1: 

Set up your template using the instructions above. You don’t need a vertical line.

Step 2: 

Draw a curved hairline, like the one for short hair above. Except this one goes from slightly below the eyeline up to the hairline and down the other side. Again, make sure it’s not a perfect semicircle, but slightly flattened.

Step 3: 

Draw ears from the eyeline to the nose line on both sides of the head.

Step 4: 

Draw longer clumps of varying sizes along the curved hairline guide. Point them towards the face and make sure they connect.

Step 5: 

Draw longer clumps that point downwards near the ears.

Step 6: 

Draw thicker clumps along the top of the head. Don’t go below the ears.

Step 7: 

Once you get to each ear, draw smaller clumps (these sit behind the ears) until you get to the neck.

Step 8: 

Add a few unconnected clumps within the top of the head.

Step 9: 

Trace the hair outline darker, then erase any guidelines or overlapping lines.


That’s it. Keep practicing by using different sizing, placement, and direction of clumps. Soon you’ll be on your way to becoming an anime hair drawing pro!

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