Can You Dye Shoes With Hair Dye?

Looking to add a splash of color to your shoes? Have you ever wondered if you can dye shoes with hair dye?

While it may seem tempting to use hair dye to color your shoes, it is not recommended. Hair dye is specifically formulated for use on hair, which is a different material than the shoes. The chemicals in hair dye may not adhere properly to the shoe material and could result in an uneven or undesirable color. Additionally, hair dye may not have the longevity needed to maintain the color on shoes, which undergo more wear and tear than hair.

In the following paragraphs, we’ll explore the possibilities, discuss the necessary steps, and offer tips to ensure a successful transformation.

Can You Dye Shoes with Hair Dye?

Can You Dye Shoes With Hair Dye

Hair dye has long been used as a means to express oneself and experiment with different looks. But can it be used to dye other items, such as shoes?

The answer is yes, you can dye shoes with hair dye, but there are a few important factors to consider before diving into this DIY project.

Understanding the Materials

When it comes to dyeing shoes with hair dye, it’s important to understand the materials you are working with. Most shoes are made from a variety of materials, such as leather, suede, or synthetic fabrics.

Before proceeding with dyeing, check the shoe’s care label to ensure it can withstand the process. Leather shoes are generally the best candidates for dyeing with hair dye, as the dye can penetrate the material more effectively.

The Process:

  • Clean the shoes thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Apply a small amount of hair dye to an inconspicuous area of the shoe to test the color and compatibility.
  • If the test is successful, prepare a dye bath by mixing the hair dye with warm water in a container.
  • Immerse the shoes in the dye bath and allow them to soak for the recommended time.
  • After the desired color is achieved, rinse the shoes with warm water until the water runs clear.
  • Allow the shoes to air dry completely before wearing or applying any protective products.

Benefits of Dyeing Shoes with Hair Dye

Dyeing shoes with hair dye offers several benefits. Firstly, hair dye comes in a wide range of colors, allowing for a variety of customization options. It is also a relatively inexpensive option compared to purchasing new shoes in a specific color.

Additionally, dyeing shoes with hair dye allows you to repurpose or revamp old, worn-out shoes, giving them a new lease on life. This DIY project can be a fun and creative way to refresh your footwear collection.

Hair dye can be used on various shoe materials, including leather, canvas, and some synthetic fabrics. It provides a quick and easy way to transform the color of your shoes without the need for specialized shoe dyes.

With hair dye, you have the flexibility to experiment with different shades and create unique, personalized designs on your shoes.

Cons of Dyeing Shoes with Hair Dye

  • Limited color options for some shoe materials
  • The dye may not adhere evenly
  • Potential for color transfer onto skin or clothes
  • Risk of damaging the shoes if not done correctly

Can you dye leather shoes with hair dye?

No, you should avoid using hair dye on leather shoes. Leather is a porous material, and hair dye may not penetrate or adhere to it properly.

Additionally, the chemicals in hair dye could potentially damage or discolor the leather surface. It’s best to use leather-specific dyes or seek the assistance of a professional if you want to change the color of leather shoes.

Leather dyes are designed to work specifically with leather materials, providing better color absorption and longevity. They come in a variety of shades and finishes and can be found in specialized shoe repair shops or online.

While exploring the versatility of using hair dye on shoes, you might wonder about specific materials and brands. If you’re particularly interested in silk shoes, check out our detailed guide on Can You Dye Silk Shoes. For those who love their TOMS and want to give them a fresh look, our Can You Dye TOMS Shoes article provides insights tailored for you.


In conclusion, it is possible to dye shoes with hair dye, but it’s essential to understand the materials involved, follow proper preparation and dyeing techniques, and take necessary precautions to achieve the desired results.

Remember, creativity and experimentation are key, so have fun with this DIY project and enjoy creating your unique, custom-colored shoes.

Leave a Comment