Two Easy Tricks to Regain Masked Hair in Photoshop

Here is a photograph of Laurel, taken against a white seamless background in a studio environment:

I wanted to replace the white background with this spotlight background:

GraphicLoot Spotlight Background.jpg

To do so, I of course needed to mask out the white background which I did with ReMask from Topaz. The Layers Panel in Photoshop looks like this:

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 7.27.05 AM.png

Next I placed the spotlight background under the Extract layer, transformed it to fit the frame, then I combined the bottom three layers into one layer. For trick #2 to work, this Background layer of the retouched model at the bottom of the Layers Panel is needed. The Layers Panel now looks like this:

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 7.33.36 AM.png

Here is what the image looks like at this point:

Laurel2.jpg

Some of Laurel's beautiful hair is definitely missing. Here is trick #1 to get it back: Make sure the top layer is active, and click on the layer thumbnail to select it. Go to Layer -> Matting -> Color Decontaminate... and drag the Amount: slider to 100%. Here is the result of this one move:

Laurel3.jpg

This looks better already. But wait, there is more - trick #2: Select the background layer (in this case the Spotlight Background layer) and set its layer blend mode to Multiply. Now there is even more hair:

Laurel4.jpg

I hope these two simple tricks will make you look like a masking guru!