Guide To Swim Caps: Choose The Right Swim Cap For You

how to put on a swim cap
Danila Novikov
All-American swimmer and founder of NYC based swim school.
Hi, I am Dan. I am an All-American swimmer and New York City-based swim school owner.

Today, I will help you navigate the world of swimming caps.

You'll learn:

  1. Why wear a swim cap
  2. Latex VS Silicone cap
  3. How to put on a swim cap
  4. And more

If you are a beginner swimmer looking for a right-fitting swim cap, this article is for you.

Why do you need a swimming cap?

A swim cap seems one of the smallest, often wrongly perceived as unnecessary, swimming accessories. In reality, swim caps serve recreational and competitive swimmers in various ways.

A swimming cap protects your hair

The history of a swimming cap goes back to 1900s, when women, in many attempts to protect their hair from chlorinated water while swimming, started experimenting with the design and material. A trend for longer hair among men only pushed the production of swim caps higher, making a swim cap an accessory you want to get if you care enough about your hair.
why do you need a swim cap

It keeps your hair dry

As obvious as it sounds, a swimming cap prevents your hair from getting wet. While it's not 100% protection and won't keep your hair completely dry, it can save you some time if you have long hair.
swimming pool caps

A swim cap can make you swim faster

Yes, it's true. By keeping your hair and ears covered tightly, swim caps reduce drag, thus making you swim faster with less effort. Plus, you won't need to focus on getting your hair out of the way; instead, you can focus on what matters the most - swimming.
wearing a swim cap

Types of caps: fabric, silicone, and latex caps

Fabric caps

Fabric caps are usually made out of softer and less aggressive material. Many swimmers use fabric as their second cap that goes underneath a latex or silicone cap. By wearing two swim caps, swimmers are able to protect their hair from the constant pulling of hair from latex or silicone cap.
durable swim cap

Silicone caps

Silicone caps are typically made out of softer and thicker materials, making them more durable than latex caps. They stretch well, allowing swimmers to cover their entire head and ears without tearing apart.
putting on a swim hat

Latex caps

Latex cap is less durable than silicone, and many swimmers prefer latex caps because they tend to sit tight on your head without slipping off. It's a convenient option for many people with longer hair, tired of constantly adjusting a cap during swimming. But those caps tear apart pretty easily, so you might want to get a couple of caps in advance.
dry hair swim cap

How to put on swim cap: step-by-step guide

Method #1: Do it yourself

1. Make sure your hair is dry and tied neatly with a hair tie. Putting a cap over wet hair makes the process harder, and your cap might slip off your head.

2. Put your hands inside the cap with your palms slightly pulling against the sides of the cap.

3. Stretch a cap to the sides and pull it over your head through the top of your head down to your ears.

4. Make necessary adjustments to make sure a swim cap sits tightly on your head.
dry hair swimming caps

Method #2: Ask a friend.

1. Grab the front of the cap and put it close to your forehead.

2. Ask the person helping you to grab the back of the cap, stretch it, and simultaneously pull it over your head all the way to the neck.

3. Make adjustments as needed to put all the hair under the cap.
hair wet swimming cap

Bonus: Pro tips

If you don't succeed after the first try, put some baby powder inside your cap to have a better grip on it.

Avoid wearing a swim cap with sharp accessories like earrings. Sharp objects can easily damage your cap, making it tear apart. Additionally, be careful putting a cap on if you have long fingernails. Avoid pinching the cap inside.

If one swim cap feels uncomfortable, try wearing two caps with fabric underneath silicone.

If your swimming cap keeps slipping off your head, try putting swimming goggles over it to secure it additionally.

For those with long hair, remember to secure your hair in a bun with a hair tie. Don't rely on a cap keeping your hair inside as eventually it'll fall out of the cap.

If you're struggling with your goggles leaking or slipping, wear them under your cap. That will secure your goggles, preventing the strap from slipping from your head.
sprinkling baby powder swim caps