5+ Ways Swimming Caps Can Make Your Swim Better

Swimming caps enhance swim performance, protect hair from damage, improve safety, regulate body temperature, and provide ear protection.

what do swimming caps do

Whether you are a seasoned swimmer or new to the pool, consider making a swimming cap part of your swimming routine. Swim caps are known for giving an advantage in swim performance, including faster speeds and ease when moving through the water.

Additionally, swimming caps increase your safety and comfort, making your time in the water more enjoyable.

Before your next lap session, check out a few reasons why you want to wear a swimming cap, plus learn how to make sure you find the best option for your needs.

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Protection for Your Hair

Hair color services and treatments at salons don’t come cheap! So taking proper care of your hair after treatment is vital to protect that expensive work, and prevent the need for corrective care later.

Chlorine and other chemicals in pools, exposure to hard water, and sun damage affect the quality of both treated and natural hair. Extended time in the water can also dry out your hair.

Swimming caps offer a protective barrier for the hair, which can help to maintain hair health, and support the integrity and strength of your hair.

The momentum of your body means the water slightly pulls on your hair. This tension can be damaging but is preventable with a swimming cap.

Better Performance While You Swim

Even for those who aren’t the competitive type, a swimming cap can drastically improve your performance in the water.

A swimming cap makes your head more conducive to gliding through the water, eliminating friction that can slow you down.

With better hydrodynamics, water will slide past you easily with each stroke. That means faster swim times and less fuss. And because your hair is out of the way, you’ll have a less constricted view!

Helps Protect Ears

It’s great to feel “in the zone” and enjoy the quiet during a swim, but that doesn’t mean you want the same experience outside of the pool!

Ear damage can be more than bothersome; it can be painful and cause long-term effects on hearing and comfort.

Swimming caps help protect the delicate inner ear area from the water while you swim, thus keeping out chemicals if you’re swimming in a pool.

Keeps You Safer in Open Water

Picture this: it’s a beautiful, sunny day and you’ve decided to take your swim practice out to a local beach. Far from shore, you lift your head to enjoy the view, only to find a jetski headed directly toward you.

Thankfully, your neon orange swim cap lets the driver easily spot you, and he changes course.

Public water is a great place to get some movement, but not everyone is well-educated in safety protocols. It is imperative to be as safe as possible in such situations.

A brightly colored swimming cap will help boats and jetskis spot you while far offshore and help those on shore locate you should you need help.

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On a happier note, an eye-catching swimming cap can help your family spot you from the stands in your next competition, so they can cheer as you cross the finish line!

Regulates Body Temperature

Mom was right when she told you to wear a hat in the winter, and her suggestion rings true for your swim, too! When you enter cooler water, body heat begins to escape through your head.

A swimming cap will keep your head insulated while you swim, meaning you’ll feel more comfortable throughout your time in the water.

This can be especially important if you’re swimming in open water where the temps are naturally colder than in controlled areas like a pool.


Here are the most common questions people ask about swimming caps, and their answers.

Who should wear swimming caps?

You don’t need to be a professional swimmer to wear a swimming cap. Even if you’re only swimming recreationally or simply adding a few laps in the pool to your workout routine, a swimming cap is a smart choice. They are simple, affordable solutions that offer added health benefits every swimmer should keep in mind.

What kinds of swim caps are available? 

There are many kinds of swimming caps available, so it’s important to shop around and consider your needs. Caps come in different sizes depending on the length of your hair, so be sure you choose a cap that fits whether you’ve got long, luscious locks or a short and sporty cut.

As you’re shopping for the right size, feel the material for thickness as well. A thicker cap is great if you’re swimming in cooler water to keep you warmer.

Also, consider the materials that make up the swimming cap. If you have a latex allergy, opt for other materials like Silicone, and consider any potential skin sensitivities when choosing your new gear.

What should I look for in a swim cap?

Now that you’ve chosen the capacity for your hair length and materials for your skin’s needs, it’s time to get an outside opinion. A store associate with knowledge of the products can help you find the right swimming cap.

If shopping online, read plenty of reviews. Reviews give insight as to the feel and fit of the cap from those who’ve tried it, so you can learn real-world experience before you take the plunge.

How do I put on a swim cap?

Start by securing your hair if you have longer strands. A small bun or ponytail toward the back of your head should do the trick.

Decide whether you want to wear your goggles under your cap or over; many professional swimmers put on their goggles before they put on their cap. Once your hair is back and goggles on, open the cap with both hands and start by putting the front of the cap at the top of your forehead, and pulling the cap over your head toward the back.

More FAQs

What is the benefit of wearing a swim cap?

The benefit of wearing a swim cap is that it prevents loose hair from clogging the pool and shields your hair from chlorine damage, even during casual swimming. Swim caps are not limited to safety purposes; they are particularly advantageous for competitive swimmers or those on a team as they aid in minimizing water resistance.

Why do Olympic swimmers wear 2 swim caps?

Olympic swimmers wear two swim caps to enhance their performance in the water. The first cap is made of latex and is used to provide a better grip on their hair and head. The second cap, made of silicone, is worn on top of the latex cap to minimize any crinkling and create a smoother surface on the head. By reducing any bumps or wrinkles, the second cap helps to decrease drag in the water. Without the second cap, the first cap could wrinkle, leading to increased resistance and potentially slowing down the swimmer.

Why do swimmers wear caps and skin tight suits?

Swimmers wear caps and skin tight suits for one main reason: to minimize drag. By donning gear that fits tightly, swimmers can reduce resistance in the water as they improve their technique and propel themselves faster through the pool.

Do swim caps make a difference?

Swim caps make a difference as they prevent hair from obstructing vision and breathing for swimmers. Additionally, they minimize the risk of hair entanglement with other swimmers or lane ropes. Moreover, swim caps can aid in maintaining the focus of distracted swimmers during lessons by discouraging them from fidgeting with their hair.

Should you wear a swim cap if you swim everyday?

You should wear a swim cap if you swim every day. The Swimtastic Squad highly recommends using a swim cap regardless of age, from kids to adults. Not only does it benefit the swimmer, but it also prevents hair from clogging the pool drains, filters, and pumps. Additionally, swim caps give a stylish appearance and make the swimmer feel like an official competitive athlete.

What are the disadvantages of not wearing swimming caps?

The disadvantages of not wearing swimming caps include the loss of hair in the pool, which can lead to hair floating in the water and clogging up the pool filters. Wearing a cap can prevent stray hairs from interfering with your swimming experience and help maintain the cleanliness of the pool for you and your fellow swimmers.

Why do professional swimmers wear two caps?

Professional swimmers wear two caps because the first cap is designed to tightly cover their hair, ensuring a better fit on the head due to the latex material. The second cap, made of silicone, is used to minimize any crinkling that may occur with the latex cap, resulting in a smoother surface on the head. By wearing two caps, swimmers can reduce drag in the water, as the second cap prevents any wrinkling that could occur with just the first cap.

Are swim caps supposed to cover ears?

Swim caps are supposed to cover the ears in order to help protect them from getting wet while swimming. It is crucial to properly put on the swim cap, ensuring that the ears are completely covered. To do so, insert your hands inside the cap with your fingers laced.

Do swim caps keep hair dry?

Swim caps do not keep hair dry; their primary purpose is to minimize drag and maintain hygiene. However, utilizing silicone caps or layering two caps, with a silicone one on top, can effectively create a tight seal that significantly reduces water penetration.

Why do swimmers have dry hair?

Swimmers have dry hair due to the damaging effects of pool sanitizing chemicals, particularly bromine and chlorine. Swimming, which has numerous proven benefits for the body and provides enjoyable family bonding time, can take a toll on hair health, resulting in hair that feels crunchy, dry, and resembles brittle straw.

Do you wear a swim cap on wet or dry hair?

The answer to the question “Do you wear a swim cap on wet or dry hair?” is that it is recommended to wet your hair before putting on a swim cap. This is because the material of the cap slides more easily over wet strands of hair. To provide additional protection, you can also apply leave-in conditioner to your hair.

How can I protect my hair when swimming everyday?

To protect your hair when swimming every day, you can take the following steps: Start by rinsing and wetting your hair before and after swimming. Additionally, you can apply natural oils like coconut oil or olive oil to your hair. Another option is to use Swim Spray, which helps to neutralize the effects of chlorine. Opt for gentle shampoos that are specifically designed for swimmers. Consider wearing a swim cap to minimize exposure to chlorine and other chemicals. If you have long hair, tying it up in a ponytail can help reduce damage. Lastly, choose to swim in outdoor pools whenever possible.

What are the disadvantages of not wearing a swimming cap?

The disadvantages of not wearing a swimming cap include the potential for hair loss in the pool, which can lead to hair floating in the water and causing blockages in the pool filters. By wearing a cap, you can prevent stray hairs from interfering with your swimming experience and maintain cleanliness in the pool for yourself and other swimmers.

Do swim caps help with hair damage?

Swim caps do not completely prevent hair damage, but they do offer protection against chlorine and salt water saturation, which can be highly detrimental. It is important to note that wearing a swim cap does not guarantee completely dry hair upon exiting the water.

Do you have to wash your hair after swimming with a cap on?

You should wash your hair after swimming with a cap on, as experts recommend it as the best course of action to take after using the swimming pool, regardless of the level of protection provided by the cap.

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