Adding Beards & Stubble to a Portrait Tutorial

This photoshop tutorial will show you how you can easily add beards and stubble to a portrait. Here’s my before and after photos..


Step 1.) Create new layer, and paint the beard area using a midtone gray using a soft-edged brush.


Step 2.) Apply gaussian noise filter ( filter >> noise >> add noise) to your the gray you’ve just painted on the new layer. The amount of noise used will depend on the size of the image you’re working on.


Step 3.) Now apply the Radial Blur to make the stubble. First, we must set the midpoint for the blur by hold on ‘alt’ as you draw an elliptical marquee from the center out. Starting from the bridge of the nose and enclosing the whole beard area.


Step 4.) Chose radial blur (filter > blur > radial blur: zoom, best).


Step 5.) Now change the layer mode to hard light to make the stubble transparent.


Step 6.) To make the beard darker, you can lower the brightness by using the Curves Adjustment (Image > Adjustment > Curves)



Tutorial written by Steve Caplin, the author of How to Cheat in Photoshop (Shared with permission).

29 Responses to “Adding Beards & Stubble to a Portrait Tutorial”

  1. dayemn says:

    that’s pretty sweet. good tut.

  2. HIValicious says:

    This is so fu*king cool.. I mean simple, useful and fun.. I love this and use constantly

  3. CHongo says:

    Great tutorial! It’s Strangly addictive, half my photo collection is as of now full of oddly bearded women, its got great practical uses aswell of course!

  4. laura boone says:

    Great tutorial i will have to try this one

  5. laura boone says:

    I rate this one an 8

  6. Davis says:

    This is awesome, you are great!

  7. Xopa says:

    Simple yet effective. Fantastic tutorial!

  8. TRTint says:

    Nice tutorial, thnx

  9. Glen says:

    Great tutorial! Welldone.

  10. eliasmoskona says:

    Hahaha best tutorial ever… Both my 14 y/o brother and my mom are happy with their beards (Y) It is an addictive effect

  11. itsiam says:

    realy worth

  12. Sandeep says:

    Good one….. Thanks

  13. Rachit Sheth says:

    good tutorial!
    thanx! 😀

  14. SIG916 says:


  15. Bacon says:

    This Tut is the best so simple i thought id run into problems as i mostly do with tut’s but with this is was spot on no problems what so ever I reckon just about anyone could do this!

  16. Jeff says:

    It doesn’t work. You can’t apply a gaussain noise filter on a specific area-it coveres the entire image!

  17. Lolz says:

    Make sure you create a new layer for the stubble, otherwise you will do the whole image rather than just the stubble

  18. errisi says:

    veryy cool thank you verry much

  19. photo retouching says:

    A great bit of photo retouching ,I will recommend this to my students.

  20. retoucher77 says:

    thats excellnt! Really great job, thank you for posting this tut 🙂

  21. Suzy says:

    This is amazing!
    Okay I’m going to go waste an hour having fun with this now, thank you 😀

    (seriously though, great tutorial)

  22. Adithya says:

    wow man.. pretty good tutorial.. thanks!!!!

  23. Michael says:

    If you’re showing it to someone who’s never seen a real beard they might believe it wasn’t faked… But as someone who regularly sports a beard it looks absurdly fake.

  24. jk says:

    Awesome dude

  25. Sepehr says:

    Thanks that was So Cool 😉

  26. Dave says:

    Wonderful tutorial! Works like a charm!

    Only issue I had was that it I can see some coloured spots in the gaussian blur. Maybe I should make the amount lower and also make it monochrome?

    Still, works fantastically! Thanks!

  27. sharseencalge says:

    Привет. Как ваши дела-то?
    На вашем форме спамить-то можно?

  28. Jimmy Wilson says:

    This is brilliant, but why don’t you sample color from the hair’s midtones to make the stubble look more natural?

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