This article is from the Miniatures Painting FAQ, by Brenda Klein email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
It's honestly not as hard as it looks, though you do
need to both wash and drybrush it. Base in a good
neutral tone for the colour you want (a dark yellow
for blondes [tan, dun, khaki, yellow], dark red for
redheads, lighter for auburn, orange for strawberry
blondes, any shade of brown for brunettes, and black
or dark blue for black hair). Then darken it or select
something a couple of shades darker and wash. Let that
dry, then wash thicker and darker. Let that dry and
drybrush with the original colour. Then a lighter shade.
(For black hair, drybrush in dark blue and leave it at
that, drybrush in dark gray, white or light for salt-and-
pepper, or don't even bother to drybrush if you like
the colour it ends up after washing.)
Black hair can honestly be achieved with a dark, dark blue
base, two black washes (one light and one heavy), then
a very light dark blue drybrush. A royal blue drybrush
achieves a nice punkish-look.
Blonde starts out best with a dark base then lightening
with drybrushes. Wash chestnut or light brown.
Redheads are best if understated a little. Don't use
red unless you want something impossible to nature. Dark
red-browns are best (Polly S Demon Deep Red is great, too)
washed in brown and highlighted with first the original
shade, then something lighter in that line, then perhaps
a dark orange or yellow-brown brushed very, very lightly.
Here are some extremely good tips from Chris Pierson
<firstname.lastname@example.org> for specific hair colors:
"Golden blond: Polly S Canine Yellow-Brown, drybrush with
Polly S Griffin Hide ("don't" use the "real" yellow as a
base coat. That oughta keep it from looking like Loni
Anderson. :) ) This one works well for elves.
Ash blond: Sort of a Norse-type blond, very pale. Polly S
Manticora Tan (a light tan), drybrush with Ral Partha Ivory.
I've got three redhead styles:
Auburn (dark redhead): Base coat Ral Partha Dark Brown or
Polly S Kobold Dark Red-Brown. Drybrush with Ral Partha
Redhead (standard): Base coat Partha Red-Brown. Drybrush
with Polly S Rust.
Strawberry Blond (light goldy red): Base coat Polly S
Rust. Drybrush with Polly S Manticora Tan.
For the Polly S impaired, Rust = reddish tan; Manticora
Tan = light sandy tan." Griffin Hide = dusty yellow