Swim caps & dry hair

Not only does a swim cap keep hair out of your eyes, it will make you more aerodynamic and prevent your hair from tangling in your goggles strap. Men and women with both short and long hair can benefit from using a swim cap. Depending on the material in the cap, it may keep you warm by preventing body heat from escaping from your head. If you choose the right kind, it will also keep your hair dry.


Latex caps are cheap---usually less than £1.90---but are more likely to rip and can pull out hair. These caps will help keep hair dry.


Silicone caps are more durable than latex and kinder to hair. They usually cost between £5 and £7, and will help keep hair dry.


Lycra caps are kindest on hair but, because the material absorbs water, can slow a swimmer down. You can purchase a Lycra cap for about £6. If you're wearing a cap to keep your hair dry, definitely don't use a Lycra one.


These caps usually have a chinstrap and are for cold-water swimming. Like latex and silicone, neoprene will also help keep hair dry. Neoprene caps are the costliest, usually ranging from £13 to £19.

Hair Health

Some pool swimmers who want to minimise chlorine damage to their hair will wet it with fresh water before applying a cap.

Another option is wetting the hair and then either apply a specially formulated shampoo to combat chlorine or any conditioner through the hair before putting on a cap.

Putting on a Swim Cap

While you can use swim caps both wet and dry hair, they're usually easier to put on wet hair.

For short hair, simply stretch the cap over the top of the head, and then pull it down and adjust it.

For longer hair, most people find it easy to first tie their hair into a bun or ponytail before pulling the cap over their crown and down over the rest of the head. If you've put your hair in a ponytail, simply stretch the bottom of the cap out with one hand while tucking the hair inside.

Keeping Hair Dry

If you want to emerge from the water with dry hair, put on a cap and follow these tips: Don't dive into the water. Instead, wade or slip in. Keep the swim cap pulled on snugly. If the cap starts to slip up your forehead or off one of your ears, readjust it. Swim with your head out of the water. If you swim with your head under the water, keep your head angled down. Ideally, you want to be looking halfway between the bottom and the water directly in front of you.

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About the Author

Michelle Panik has been writing professionally since 2000. She previously worked as a print and Web publications coordinator for the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California-San Diego. Panik has a Bachelor of Arts in writing and art history and criticism from UCSD and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Maryland.