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How to remove dark hair on arm?

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  • How to remove dark hair on arm?

    I know there must be an easy way to do this, but my mind is drawing a blank right now. A client has requested that I "remove" the dark hair on this arm. Can anyone give me some tips for the best way to do this?

    Thanks, Jeanie
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Jeanie, I seem to recall that Dan Margulis had an exercise on removing 5 o'clock shadow in his book. It may do the trick in your pic. I don't have the book here, so can't give any details.


    • #3
      Two ideas:

      1. Eyedropper on skin, brush set to lighten, brush out the hair.


      2. Select the arm, make it another layer, gaussian/radial blur it (you want the overall lighting to be consistent in the blurred section, so radial might work better for some situations), set the layer mode to lighten, diddle with opacity and potentially curves/levels on the new layer to make it look right.

      Attached is an example; I played quick and loose with the mask, you'd need to retexture it to the rest of the photo, but it's one approach.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        I agree with TGL, lighten (and darken) are two excellent retouching modes, as is reduced opacity and noise.

        As well as painting or clone stamping in blend modes, or moving selections of pixels over the area and blending etc, one could see if the healing tools help (or image doctor plugs).

        I have used these methods to _reduce_ the appearance of unwanted arm hair on female models when retouching for magazine work. Totally removing hair is another matter.

        Stephen Marsh.


        • #5
          In this particular photo, the patch tool works pretty well, because you have the wrist area without hair to borrow from. I could have done it better with more time.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by Bill M; 04-08-2003, 01:00 PM.


          • #6
            Thanks for all of the replies. At least I was on the right track. I haven't been able to reduce the opacity of a layer set to lighten (or any other mode for that matter) without it looking really funky. So, perhaps one the healing brushes will work best.

            Stephen, I think that "reduce" is probably a better term than "remove". I think it would totally unnatural if I tried to completely remove it.

            I'm going camping for a few days, so if there are any other responses (which would be welcome ) that I don't respond to for a while, that's why.

            Thanks again,


            • #7
              Jeanisa, the lighten/darken method works miracles on such things as powerlines against the sky. But is it fair to say that, as a rule of thumb, it is less effective/ineffective where there is a known texture, such as skin, involved?
              Thanks, Bill


              • #8
                Hi jeaniesa!

                hope you had a lovely camping holiday!

                I also agree with Stephen about trying to 'reduce' versus 'remove' ....

                I used the Matching density to minimize staining technique explained in chapter 6 of Katrin Eismann's book, which consists of copying a good part of the image, (in this case of the arm), and pasting it Into the part I wanted to cover.
                After stretching it a bit, I used: Levels, Clone Tool and Healing Brush to adjust it to the rest of the arm.
                Attached Files


                • #9
                  I know there must be an easy way to do this, but my mind is drawing a blank right now. A client has requested that I "remove" the dark hair on this arm. Can anyone give me some tips for the best way to do this?
                  I'm not sure if I need sensitivity training or reading lessons

                  When I first looked at this post, I read it as "his" arm and I've been wondering why "he" is wearing a dress!

                  I'm no stranger to hairy arms among women - it's one of the crosses the women in my own family have to bear - but my poor, feeble mind could not reconcile what I "thought" I read with what I "thought" I saw in the picture....

                  OK, I'm going back in my rubber room now...



                  • #10
                    I'm going back in my rubber room now... -- Margaret
                    O.K. -- who was on duty at the rubber room door?
                    How many times do we have to remind you to KEEP THAT DOOR LOCKED!!

                    Jeanie -- see what happens when you go off on a holiday?!

                    Flora -- so good to see you back in the forums.
                    Nice solution to the problem.


                    • #11
                      OK, I'm back from camping (had a great time! ) and am now ready to try to tackle this problem (again). Thanks for all of the additional suggestions that came in - esp. Flora who pointed me to Katrins' book. Duh! At least I now I have some hope that I might be able to do this and have it look believable.




                      • #12
                        OK, here's what I came up with. I kind of combined a bunch of ideas to come up with this. I chose not to just stretch the good area (using Katrin's technique) because then I would have stretched the texture of the paper as well. And I could never get rid of the "patchy" appearance that the patch tool created. So, I came up with this:

                        1. Selected a non-hairy part of the arm (the wrist) and copied to a new image.
                        2. Made a pattern out of that selection. (Went through multiple iterations of filling a large space and then adjusting the pattern to get rid of noticeable repeated areas.)
                        3. Back in the original picture, selected loosely around the arm, created a new layer above it and filled it with the skin pattern.
                        4. Set the opacity of the layer to 75% (so that just a little hair from the original showed through in an attempt to make it look "natural."
                        5. Used the burn tool to add shadowing.
                        6. Adjusted the color tones and saturation to match the original.

                        Any other suggestions?

                        Thanks, Jeanie
                        Attached Files


                        • #13
                          Here's a little preview from the new edition of Katrin's book (I don't think she'll mind because she's also teaching this in her current seminars):

                          1. Select arm with zero feather
                          2. Apply gaussian blur until hair is gone, don't be afraid to go too high
                          3. Select the entire image
                          4. Define pattern
                          5. Use History to undo back to step 1, but leave arm selection
                          6. Select Healing Brush, huge size, zero feather
                          7. (here's the tricky part) Select "pattern" as source and use the pattern you just made. IMPORTANT: Click the "aligned" option
                          8. Paint within selected area with Healing Brush
                          9. While still selected, add monochrome Gaussian noise to match the rest of the image (not always needed, but helps with this particular image)

                          Don't forget to delete the pattern you just made, or it will eat up resources everytime you start Photoshop. Also, work on a merged layer. That way you can fine-tune (ie: add a layer mask, lower tranparency, cloning, etc.)
                          Learn by teaching
                          Take responsibility for learning


                          • #14
                            Awesome Doug - I'm going to try that right now!

                            Jeanie (almost never satisfied with my work )


                            • #15
                              Ahhh, but Jeanie, you also got rid of the dot texture. You didn't say you wanted to do that. Now it doesn't match the rest of the photo.
                              Warm regards, Bill


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