Recoloring Hair for Sims 2


18 Comments - LEAVE A COMMENT

How to recolor hair for the Sims 2. In this project we will create blue hair for your Sims. Bear with me, these tutorials were written in 2004, when Sims 2 first arrived! There are ways to make much more realistic looking stuff now, and hopefully I will soon have a chance to work on a new tutorial for this! But for now, these are great for the super easy beginner level!

How To Make Blue Hair, Streaks and barrettes!

What you will need:

You will need the following things to proceed with this tutorial:

  1. The Sims 2 Body Shop
  2. A paint/photo Program, such as Paint Shop Pro (30 day free trial), Gimp (free, but I don’t know it), OR Adobe Photoshop CS, has free trial, but not sure how long..
  3. Imagination and patience

Starting Out

First you will need to open Body Shop. I’ll assume you know how to do that ;). Once in Body Shop, in the top right hand corner, click where it says Create Parts. Good, now you will see two options: Start a New Project or Load a Saved Project. Since we want to start all the way from scratch, we are going to click on the first option, Start a New Project

For this lesson we are going to style the hair of the child blue, give the teen a barrette and streak the adult hair. You will also be asked to liven up the toddler and elder hair. So, you will now see three more options: Create Genetics, Create Facial Hair Makeup and Glasses and Create Clothing. Since we are going to be changing hair colors and style (we will be adding a barrette to the teen’s hair), we will choose Create Genetics, which also includes skin tones and eye color (shape, etc).

With me so far? Good. Now, we are in the genetics screen. Choose the head. Head Now, depending on which version of Body Shop you have you will see several different hair colors. Since we are going to be making a lighter blue hair color, let’s choose blonde to start. Below you will see the style I have selected. For the purpose of this tutorial and for you to be able to compare/contrast our outcomes, please use this same style. When you are done with this you should be able to edit any hair style to you hearts content, with recoloring, streaking ,barrettes . . . whatever!

Style Panel

Once you have it selected (make sure the bright green is surrounding it), click on the folder that has an arrow on it on the bottom. When you hover over it with your cursor it will say “Export Selected Textures”, and it looks like this: Export.

Once you click that, a screen will pop up and ask you to name your file. Let’s name it BlueHair for this project. Now, Body Shop will automatically take the hair files for ALL generations (from toddler to elder!) and copy them to a folder in your computer’s My Documents folder, which is used for user created objects specifically! Body Shop will then turn to the preview screen, but for now, we will not need it. Minimize Body Shop.

Open up whatever graphics editing program you are going to use. I’m using Adobe Photoshop, but Paint Shop Pro is very similar. Once the program is started, go to:

File — > Open –> My Documents –> EA Games –> The Sims 2 –> Projects

This folder, Projects is where all your exported Body Shop files will be stored. If this is your first time you should see only one folder, “BlueHair” (if you’ve followed my other tutorial for recoloring eyes you will see that folder and any of your own additional projects).

Click on the folder BlueHair to open it. You will then see a gazillion!, or so it seems, files, one of which you will NEVER touch (the .package file).


Ok, this may seem intimidating, but truly, it isn’t too hard to understand (hey, I started recoloring hair before knowing this next tidbit (prefixes), so you can imagine the binds I got into!). Now, take a deep breath and listen (“read”) carefully. For starters, half of the files there are alpha files (they end in _alpha) and we will not need them! Next, let’s look carefully at all the names. Notice something? They all are the basic same name, except each starts with a different letter! And here is the list:

  • A is for Adult
  • C is for Child
  • E is for Elder
  • P is for Toddler
  • T is for Teen

We’ll start with the child hair here, and make it just a nice soft blue. For the teen we will be adding a barrette, and for the adult some nice streaks! So, CTRL + Click with your mouse on all the files that start with a “c” (NOTE: Like I said, we will NOT be using the files that end with _alpha, so ignore those!). You should end up with 4 hair files open. Don’t be afraid you did something wrong if they all look the same! It’s ok. They are supposed to. Each one is a different “layer” of the hair. To show you what I mean I filled each one of the four files completely with a different color to demonstrate this.

Front Note: I’ve made the picture to the left look brighter than it is so you can see the black “underneath” of the hair. sideThe red is the “bangs” of the child’s hair. As you can see, just the front part of the hair is red. This is the file that starts out with cfhair_Casual1_~bangs_l5. You will also see a yellow layer white layer and black. The black is the underside of the hair. The black layer’s file name starts with cfhair_Casual1~bangs_l1. Next, let’s take a look at the side view (right) of the hair so we can see better the yellow and white layers. As you can see the yellow cfhair_Casual1~hair) is the dominate color for the entire hair style and the white (cfhair_Casual1~bangs_l3) is the edges, the “fringe”. This is a good exercise to do for each hair you make, so you can define which part of the hair goes where, so you will know where to add things when streaking or adding other stuff!

Now, knowing which part is located where isn’t going to actually be used in this part of the lesson, but I wanted to demonstrate that they each have specific reasons for being where they are. Ok, let’s make this baby blue!

You should still have the four files open.

Changing the Hair Color Using Layers

Ok, choose one of your files. It doesn’t matter which for this type of change. We are going to do practically the same thing we did for the eye color, by changing the hue, saturation and lightness of the default hair!

Ok! (from here on out, these instructions are specific to PhotoShop, but I’m sure Paint Shop Pro is very similar. I at least know the Hue/Saturation editing boxes are under the Image tab!).

Press CTRL and U at the same time, or go to Image –> Adjustments –>Hue and Saturation. You will get the a box with three different items you can edit.

hue and saturation

The first option: “Hue”, will change the actual color. The second, “Saturation”, will change how much of the color will come through (how dark/gray or bright it will be) and the third, “Lightness” will determine how light or dark the items will be on whole. On the bottom right corner you will also see 2 check boxes “colorize” and “preview”. For this example, we are going to check “colorize”. (Although sometimes you will not check it. It all depends on your desired effect. (so try both ways to see which looks better!)

Ok, now after adjusting all those options, I ended up with this:

blue bangs

As you can see, I edited the front bangs file. You can use any one you want for this, so if your color is in a different place, that is fine, if it is on the underside of the hair you may want to try doing another part since it is kind of hard to see. Try messing around with your options and see if you can get your hair near my color.

Below are the numbers I used to achieve my bangs color.


Once that is done click CTRL and S to save (or file –> save).

Ok, let’s maximize Body Shop, to see what we have! You will see a line up of all the generations of hair styles. Find the child (should be the second model, and you should be able to see you changes right in the preview picture) and click on it. Your model to the left will be refreshed and you will see you changes.refresh If you already had the child selected, find the image to the left on your Body Shop screen. When you hover over the arrow you will see that message. Click on the arrow and watch your model sim’s hair change! Great! Now, next to where you pressed the refresh button is a text area, where you can type in a “tool tip” for your hair. This is what the user will see when they hover over your hair color in the “create sims” area. Type in whatever you want. I put in “Blue Hair”.

Minimize Body Shop again and maximize your graphics program.

The next step you will need to repeat two times after you do it. (So you will have to do the next step three times in total.) First, make sure you still have the file you just colored open. (If not, just open it back up). Than select the entire canvas. You can do this by pressing CTRL + A or going to Edit –> Select All. Next copy that entire selection by either pressing CTRL + C or Edit –> Copy. Now you can close or minimize your original, and select one of the three remaining. Now, by either pressing CTRL + V or going to Edit –> Paste, paste the entire copy of hair. Good. Now we will need to save. Now, pay attention, because the next part is important!

Now we have to save this file, but we have to be careful. All the items we created MUST be saved as .bmp files, otherwise known as bitmaps. Since we created a new layer, Photoshop is going to try to save it as a .psd file. But we don’t want that. So when you save (CTRL + S or file –> save) and the box comes up, make sure where it says “Format” you switch it (by scrolling through the list until you see bmp or pressing b) back to .bmp. Then you should just press enter (or click save). Do not change the name. If none appears, just find the original name from the list of files and click on it. Then save. Two boxes will then pop up (“Are you sure . . . ” and “BMP Options”.) Click yes for the first and ok for the second. Just don’t change a thing. Good. You can close that file. (Note —– In Photoshop when you try to close these files, a message will pop up asking you to save the file (it’s still trying to get you to save it as a .psd file. Just click “no”. You will not lose your work. You’ve already saved. No worries.)

Now, you will have two files left. You will not need to copy again, so starting from the paste instructions, repeat.

Ok? All set? Good.

Back to Body Shop. Refresh again and this is what you should get after refreshing:


Now, one last thing to do, to completely be finished. The same graphic that before let you “Export” will now say “Import” when hovered over. Click it, and it will send your finished product into your game, and into Body Shop so you can create Sims and upload them to the Exchange (or package them for your own site!). You will be sent then into the same screen you started at, the main hair genetics screen. At the very end you will see a little asterisk looking graphic. Click on it. If you have no other custom hair it will be the only thing there. If not they go in alphabetical order by file name, so it should be quite near the beginning. Also, make sure you have the child Sim clicked, or else you won’t see the appropriate style.


Now, click on the “Build Sims” Button. Build your Sim and see how a finished Sim looks with your hair!

my sim

Here is mine! You can download the child from the official site

Learn How to Put a Barrette in Your Sims Hair

Return to the main site or Return to the main tutorials page

Jump to Comments

18 Responses to Recoloring Hair for Sims 2

  1. hannah says:

    Hello I am new to making custom content and have just tried to use your tutorial but for some reason it has not turned blue what could i have done wrong? many thanks

  2. z.leach says:

    hi i cannot do the recolouring of hair i have completely followed your instructions and nothing shows up i tried both blue and pink hair and nothing please can you help me all i wanted was pink hair for student sims lol thanx

  3. Airiseku says:

    Excelent tutorial! it was really help for me, because i was searching for a blue hair and i couldn’t find it! When you don’t find something…create it! xD Thanks^^!!!

  4. makayla friend says:


  5. makayla friend says:


  6. makayla friend says:

    hey i want you to help me download colors for my peoples on sims 2 and can you put some hairs and clothes for us please sorry i was mean but thank you very much!!!

  7. makayla friend says:

    make a sims 2 site and put clothes and hairs please we really need it i know your working rite now but i luv yeah!!! oh and please i means it im sorry of all that im very very very sorry and go to Day Of Our Lives to chat to talk to me and peoples ty!!!

  8. nic says:

    that was extremely hard to follow , i tried and it didnt work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. nic says:

    that was extremely hard to follow , i tried and it didnt work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. cicci says:

    OMG!! it didnt work for me! i can just get the half hair. and for adults i get nothing!

  11. maire says:

    i got confused alot

  12. Shay says:

    i had the same problem as cicci only the under layer and the top layer went blue… and i followed all your instructions carefully. i even tried it 3 times with all the same results.

  13. Alix says:

    Like, it didn’t work … could it be cos I used Serif Photoplus or is it just cos I’m 12 ;] rofl

  14. meeee says:

    hey thanks for the tip. real helpful.

  15. Fabb says:

    Great! I love it! Thank you for post this! Really thank you!

  16. Coco says:

    I want to make the sims hair different, like have long hair with some curls, but i dont know how to do it. Can u please help me?

  17. Coco says:

    Hi, i tried recolouring the sims hair to blue, but i havent had any sucess with it.
    Maybe there is another way?
    Thanx 4 helping though

  18. Andrea says:

    Very helpful tutorial. Thanks. I can’t wait to try it out!