If you’re new to swimming and have longer hair, you’ve probably noticed that it’s a bit annoying swimming with your hair dragging in the water and in your face.
Before you start a swim workout, we highly recommend investing in a swim cap that’s affordable and reliable, to make your training more comfortable.
Swim caps come in all shapes, sizes, materials and styles, and we want to help you find the perfect swim cap for you!
What’s the point of a swim cap?
- Keeps your hair out of your face, so you can focus on your workout.
- Helps you swim faster by eliminating drag in the water. Swim caps work better than just tying your hair in a ponytail, because they secure all the small hairs around your forehead and neck, and you won’t feel your ponytail dragging in the water.
- Protects your hair. Swim caps are not meant for keeping your hair dry, but they do add a small layer of protection against chlorine damage on your hair.
- Keeps you safe. Light-colored caps help other swimmers or boaters see you if you’re swimming in open water with heavy traffic. Some even keep your head warmer when you’re swimming in cold, large bodies of water!
Is wearing a swim cap necessary?
Nope! It is not required for swimming, but if you have hair that is 6+ inches or longer, we highly recommend wearing one. It’s perfectly acceptable for both men and women to wear caps.
What are the different types of caps?
Silicone swim caps
- Pros: Made of silicone, so they’re the most durable and will last the longest. Smooth edges protect your hair from breaking, and are easier to put on and take off. Special, dome-shaped caps have fewer wrinkles will reduce drag in the water. These are highly preferred for competitive and fitness swimmers.
- Cons: Caps can sometimes slip off your head because the material is so smooth.
- Average Price: $3-$8
Latex swim caps
- Pros: Made of latex rubber that fits snug, and won’t budge. Material is thinner, and more breathable. Medium level of durability, highly preferred for competitive and fitness swimmers.
- Cons: A bit difficult to put on and take off, and might pull very tightly on the short hairs around your forehead and neck. They rip after a few months of wearing them continuously. Not good for people with latex allergies.
- Average Price: $1-$4
Lycra swim caps
- Pros: Made of lycra fabric, this cap will feel like a swimsuit on your head. They are very cozy and comfortable, since they won’t squeeze your head.
- Cons: This cap is not recommended for competitive or fitness swimming. The fabric quickly loosens due to chlorine exposure, which makes it slip off and slow you down in your workouts. It also doesn’t protect your hair from chlorine as well as silicone or latex caps.
- Average Price: $5-$9
Neoprene swim caps
- Pros: These caps are made out of the same material as wetsuits, and are great for keeping your head warm if you’re swimming in open water races in cold bodies of water.
- Cons: Neoprene is very thick, has heavy seams, and may smell different than your average cap. It will take some getting used to.
- Average Price: $20-$45
Fun and silly swim caps:
- Pros: Lots of companies are making caps that have bubbled textures, “shark-fins” and flowers on the exterior. These fun and stylish designs are not recommended for training, but could be good for you if you’re not looking for a cap that will help with your efficiency and speed in the water.
- Cons: These caps are are not recommend for swim workouts. They will slow you down in the water, and will not last long in the chlorine.
- Average Price: $5-$15
Where can I buy a swim cap?
We recommend searching for a local sporting goods or swimming store, so you can get a feel for the material before purchasing. You can also try shopping from online retailers.
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