How To Put On A Swim Cap

Long hair, short hair, no hair – what could all of these people have in common? swimming caps. That’s right. In addition to being a common denominator for swimmers, there is also the dilemma of how to wear a swim cap properly and comfortably! Follow on to learn the best technique on how to put on a swim cap.

A Brief History of the Swim Cap

The birth of the swim cap began with the invention of rubber in 1883. In the early 20th century, bathing caps became a fashion necessity for women who also wore full-body swimsuits on the beach or at the pool. During this same time, swimming grew as a sport, and competitors were required to wear swimming caps as part of their racing gear.

Since then, the popularity and use of swim caps has faded and flowed, ranging from the wartime disuse of rubber for anything not essential for the armed forces, to the 1950s when the caps re-emerged in bright, flowery, and distinctively fashionable forms.

How to put on swim cap

Today their use ranges from very stylish to extremely practical, satisfying everyone from the purely recreational swimmer to those who engage in competition.

Reasons to Wear a Swim Cap

There are a number of reasons why you should learn how to put on swim cap for your best swimming results. A swim cap:

  1. Holds your hair back from getting in the way of your swimming.
  2. Eliminates drag and improves your swimming speed.
  3. Keeps your hair protected from the harsh effects of salt water and pool chemicals.
  4. Protects you from potential hazards such as boats and other traffic, especially when the cap is brightly colored.

And so, you wonder, are there any reasons for you not to learn how to put on a swim cap? The only real disadvantage is either that you have a swim cap that doesn’t fit you well or that you have not put it on properly. These factors can result in a cap that slips and slides around on your head, or one that results in giving you a splitting headache. Thus, it’s imperative that you learn how to put on a swim cap for both your comfort and protection.

How to Put on Swim Cap

Swimming 101 – How to Put On A Swim Cap

You may say “I have short hair, so I don’t need a swim cap.” It’s true that many people, both men and women, with short hair don’t wear a swim cap, but wearing one will protect your hair. Likewise, if you are bald, you may also think a cap is unnecessary. Pool chemicals are harsh and can affect the tender skin on the top of your scalp.

Regardless of your situation, learning how to put on swim cap correctly can make a big difference to how you enjoy your swimming. Here are the steps for swim cap success:

1. Wet your hair  

There are 2 reasons why this is an important first step. First, simply putting a rubber cap over dry hair hurts! If you have long hair and you’ve ever had a rubber band caught up in your hair, you know all about it. Second, wet hair strands expand, discouraging chemicals or salt from penetrating the hair shafts and keeping hair healthy.

2. Tie your hair up

This is obviously for you long-haired folks. It is much easier to pull a swim cap on over a bun than a head full of long, loose hair. Plus, it slides on easily rather than griping and pulling your hair.

3. Stretch, stretch, stretch

A too-tight cap is not a fun cap, so by stretching it out several times with your hands, it will be easier and more comfortable to wear. Be sure to stretch it wide, but not so much that it rips.

4. Put the swim cap on

Take your stretched cap and hold it in both hands. Position the cap so that the front faces up. Some people find it helpful to bend down for this stage. Put the front of the cap on your forehead and quickly pull it around and onto your entire head.  

Especially if you have longer hair, you may need to tuck up any loose hairs that didn’t make it in when you first put the cap on.

Examine the cap closely before you put it on to determine the front, back, and sides. Do be careful not to put the cap on sideways as it won’t stay securely on your head. 

5. Find a helper

Once again, especially for those of you with long hair, it may help to have someone grab the cap once you have positioned it on your forehead and pull it back and over your head.

Swim Cap Materials / Types of Swim Caps

Now that you know how to wear swim cap, here are the different materials in addition to rubber that swim caps are made of:

  • Latex
  • Silicone
  • Lycra
  • Neoprene

Check out our post on best swimming caps in 2022, where we do a deep dive into some our top swim cap picks on the following topics:

  • swim cap for long hair
  • silicone swim caps

Would recommend starting with silicone swim cap from either Arena or Speedo.

  1. Speedo Silicone Swim Cap
  2. Speedo Silicone Swim Cap
    $12.00
    • Protect your hair from chlorine with this durable swim cap made from pliable silicone and designed to fit comfortably without any snagging or pulling.
    • Superior, soft texture
    • Excellent stretch, pliability, and durability


    Buy From Amazon Buy From Swim Outlet

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    06/23/2022 12:14 am GMT
  3. Arena Silicone Swim Cap
  4. Arena Silicone Swim Cap
    $10.00
    • Classic fit forms to a smooth, soft comfortable fit
    • Good for everyday use and training
    • Available in multiple colors


    Buy Now

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    06/23/2022 12:16 am GMT
  5. Speedo Swim Cap Silicone Elastomeric
  6. Speedo Swim Cap Silicone Elastomeric
    $12.00
    • Inner micro grid texture provides more comfort and stretchy silicone won't snag or pull hair
    • Contoured shape reduces drag for outstanding hydrodynamic performance


    Buy Now

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    06/23/2022 12:16 am GMT
  7. Speedo Swim Cap Silicone Long Hair
  8. Speedo Swim Cap Silicone Long Hair
    4.5
    $11.99
    • Lightweight, latex-free silicone provides durable performance and optimum fit
    • Easy on-and-off design won't snag hair
    • Extra space allows long hair to be tucked inside without compromising a smooth fit


    Buy From Amazon Buy From Swim Outlet

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    06/23/2022 12:14 am GMT
  9. The Friendly Swede Long Hair Swim Cap
  10. The Friendly Swede Long Hair Swim Cap
    4.0
    $19.99
    • PREMIUM DESIGN: Allergy-safe, 100% quality silicone for maximum stretch, durability and comfort. Hydrodynamic, wrinkle-free design reduces water resistance.
    • Ergonomic ear pockets for a perfect fit and to avoid overpressure. Our swimming caps are suitable for those with latex allergies!


    Buy Now

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    06/23/2022 12:11 am GMT
  11. TYR Sport Long Hair Silicone Swim Cap
  12. TYR Sport Long Hair Silicone Swim Cap
    4.5
    $13.23
    • 100% Silicone
    • Improved contour cut around ears


    Buy Now

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    06/23/2022 12:18 am GMT

Now that the lazy, hazy days of summer are here, what better time to jump in the pool or play in the surf than now – especially now that you know how to wear a swim cap, which will keep your hair (and scalp) healthy and strong.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to care for your swim cap?

That’s right! Your swim cap needs to be cared for properly. Important steps:

  • Beware of jewelry that may tear your swim cap when handling it.
  • Take care when stretching that you don’t tear it.
  • Dry your cap and treat it with talcum or baby powder after your swim, which will prevent the growth of bacteria.

Can you put a swim cap on dry hair?

Yes you can. However it is recommended that you wet hair first. If you have long hair and you’ve ever had a rubber band caught up in your hair, you know all about it. Second, wet hair strands expand, discouraging chemicals or salt from penetrating the hair shafts and keeping hair healthy.

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