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Swimming Caps

swimming cap

Goodbye Chlorine manufactures anti-chlorine products for swimmers’ hair and skin. Click here to see our entire product line, or our buyer’s guide.

Listen to the audio version of this article.

If you’ve been to a swimming pool, you’ve probably seen a variety of swimming caps. Have you wondered why people wear them, what they are for and if you should be wearing one too?

In this article, we take a look at all aspects of swimming caps and answer your most pressing questions.

Why do swimmers wear caps?

Primarily, swimmers wear swimming caps to protect their hair from the chlorine in the swimming pool water. However, some public swimming pools require swimmers to wear swimming caps. Swimmers may also wear swimming caps to help keep them warm in cold water. Swimmers who compete wear them to make their body more hydrodynamic (streamlined), thus it makes them faster.

Do swimming caps keep your hair dry?

Swimming caps are not waterproof and will not keep your hair dry. No matter how hard you try, water will get in. Some elite swimmers wear two caps, but for different reason, even double-capping it won’t keep your hair dry. This product claims to “help[ing] to keep your hair dry”, but it looks suspiciously similar to double-capping it which definitely isn’t a waterproof solution.

If you swim holding your head above water, then a swimming cap will keep water from splashing on your hair. Otherwise, as soon as you put your head underwater, the swimming pool water will get your hair wet.

How do I keep my hair from getting wet in the pool?

If you put your head underwater, then your hair will get wet even if you are wearing a swimming cap. The only way to keep your hair dry is to keep your head above water while wearing a swimming cap. Even so, it is nearly impossible to keep your hair completely dry. Our advice is just relax and get wet–it’s a swimming pool!

Are there waterproof swim caps?

There are no waterproof swimming caps.

What is the best material for swim caps?

The most common material for swimming caps is latex followed by silicone. You may also find swimming caps made from lycra/spandex, rubber, neoprene, and polyurethane.

How long do swim caps last?

Swimming caps last from one month to three years depending on the material they are made from, how often you use them, and how well you care for them.

A swimmer who is in the swimming pool 8 or 9 times a week wearing a latex cap, may get a month or two use from the cap if they dry and powder the cap after each use.

Should swimming caps cover the ears?

It’s a personal preference whether you cover your ears with a swimming cap or not.

Do you put a swimming cap on with wet or dry hair?

It’s easier to put on a cap when your hair is wet as the water provides some lubricant. Here is an instructional video that covers the basics of putting on a swimming cap. Here is a funny video if you like.

Why do swimmers wear two caps?

Competitive swimmers wear two swimming caps to help secure their goggles and to make them more streamlined. The goggle strap is sandwiched between the two caps, making it less likely that their goggles fall off in a start. Also, they may use a thicker material such as silicone on the outside layer which is less likely to wrinkle making them a little faster through the water.

Is wearing a swimming cap necessary?

Some public swimming pools require swimmers to wear swimming caps. Otherwise wearing a swimming cap is a personal preference. People who swim often generally do wear a swimming cap because it helps protect their hair from the swimming pool chlorine.

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Science of Chlorine: Why it is important for public health.


I speak for most all swimmers: We are extremely grateful for the discovery of chlorine and for sanitary swimming pools. Science ABC wrote an easy-to-read article explaining how chlorine works to keep our swimming pools sanitized.

So it’s great that pools are clean and that chlorine work. If you’re into the science of it all, read the Science ABC article Why is Chlorine so Important for Swimming Pools?

The last point they make is that although we’re happy chlorine is used to keep our pools clean, it is also an irritant. Here is what they say:

Is Chlorine an Irritating Agent?
While chlorine undeniably helps in decontaminating the water, the potential drawbacks of treating pool water with chlorine cannot be ignored. It has a very sharp, distinctive smell that is not particularly appealing to many people, and it can also cause itching of the skin, which is thoroughly irritating to swimmers. Hypochlorite ions can also stick to fabrics if not rinsed immediately after leaving the pool. This is the reason why the colors of swimsuits fade rather quickly. At unusually high levels, chlorine can even cause breathing problems and be hazardous to human health.


Swimming in chlorinated pools is just a fact of life, but now if you use our personal care products, swimmers can now leave the chlorine in the pool.

You might also be interested in:

Swimmer’s Hair: How to avoid it and fix it.
This is one way to get rid of your body hair.
Three chlorine protection tips you need to know.
How do swimmers get the chlorine off?
How swimmers protect their hair and skin.
Use this shampoo for swimmers and look great out of the pool.

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Twitter: Our work is not done here.

twitter hall of fame

Some are funny, some are serious, and all are true tweets. Check them out here:
Well, maybe we can’t help here. If you like smelling like chlorine then move along.
Why chlorine is good for public health.

You might be interested in these articles:

Swimmer’s Hair: How to prevent chlorine from damaging your hair.
Chlorine removal shampoo for swimmers.
How do swimmers get the chlorine off?