Swim caps are such an important piece of gear for swimmers. They can kind of make-or-break your training experience! They keep your hair out of face, reduce drag in the water, protect your hair from chlorine damage, and can even keep you warm in colder water.

But how do you put one on correctly? Let’s walk through the steps and considerations for choosing and wearing a swim cap effectively. Watch our video!

How To Put On a Swim Cap

Preparing Your Hair

If you have long hair, here’s a step-by-step guide to prepping it before putting on the cap:

  1. Tie Your Hair: Use a hairband to secure your hair in a medium-to-low ponytail at the back of your head. If it’s too low, it might slip out the bottom of your cap.
  2. Create a Bun: Twist your ponytail into a loose bun. It doesn’t need to be perfect as it will be tucked inside the cap.

Putting on the Swim Cap

You’ll want the seam of the cap to go from your nose, to the back of your neck. It should cover all your hair, plus the top part of your ears, and sit in the middle of your forehead.

There are two main methods to put on a swim cap:

By Yourself

  1. Position the Cap: Hold the cap with both hands, fingers inside the cap along the edge.
  2. Start from the Forehead: Place the front of the cap on your forehead.
  3. Stretch and Pull: Stretch the cap over your head, pulling it down towards the back. Use your fingers to tuck in any stray hairs.

With Help from a Friend

  1. Hold the Cap Against Your Forehead: Grab the inner edge of the cap and hold it on your forehead.
  2. Flip it On: Bend down and have your friend hold the other end of the cap, then flip the cap over your head.
  3. Tuck in Stray Hairs: Ensure all stray hairs are tucked in, and adjust the cap for a snug fit. Tuck your ears in, and adjust the cap so it’s resting on the upper part of your forehead. It should not cover your eyebrows.

Related: Buy This Blue MySwimPro Swim Cap on Amazon >

Tips for Wearing Swim Caps

  1. Goggles Placement: You can wear your goggles over or under the cap. Wearing them over the cap allows for easier adjustments.
  2. Double Capping: For races, some swimmers use two caps – one over the goggles to keep them in place.
  3. Avoid Tearing: Be gentle when stretching the cap. Older caps or overly stretched ones are more prone to tearing.

Additional Advice

  • Do Swim Caps Keep Your Hair Dry? No, swim caps are not designed to keep your hair dry. Your hair will inevitably get wet, but you can protect it from chlorine, sea salt, or sun damage by wearing a swim cap.
  • Hair Products: Avoid using too much conditioner or sunscreen as they can make the cap slip off more easily. If you wet your hair before putting on the cap, it can help reduce chemical damage from the pool. A cap also prevents hair getting tangled in the goggles straps.
  • Head Position: Keep your head position low in the water to reduce resistance and prevent the cap from slipping off.
  • Cap Care: Rinse your cap with fresh water after each use and let it air dry to prolong its lifespan.

Related: Essential Gear For Beginner Swimmers >

Types of Swim Caps

Before diving into the how-to, it’s helpful to know that swim caps come in two main materials:

  1. Latex Caps: These are typically thinner and can feel more snug. They may have more wrinkles, which can increase drag.
  2. Silicone Caps: Thicker and more durable than latex, silicone caps provide a smoother surface with fewer wrinkles, reducing drag significantly. They are also easier to put on without tearing.

Dome Caps

For competitive swimmers, dome caps are a popular choice. These caps are designed to fit the contour of your head more closely, minimizing wrinkles and reducing resistance in the water. They come in various sizes and shapes to suit different head sizes and hair volumes.

Choosing the Right Cap

  1. Material: Decide between latex and silicone based on your comfort and swimming needs.
  2. Size: Ensure the cap fits your head comfortably without being too tight.
  3. Color: For open water swimming, opt for bright colors like red, pink, or yellow to enhance visibility.

Practice these steps, and you’ll be a pro at putting on your swim cap in no time.

Buy our blue MySwimPro “SWIM” caps, plus see our other recommended swim goodies on our Amazon storefront. Shop online >

Happy swimming!

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  1. Hi, loved all these tips. I am disabled so unable to use one leg for the breast stroke style. I am using my arms and kicking my legs. If I need to stop quickly I get panicky and splash desperately with my arms.
    Is there anyway you can help me with this, I am so grateful to be able to use the pool but don’t know how to stand up safely and easily.
    Many thanks

    • Paige Walters Biskaduros on

      Hi Jan, thank you for reading, and for leaving a comment. I’d suggest trying to get a lane that is next to the side of the pool, that way you are always a quick arms-length away from the wall for support. Or, if your pool has sturdy lane lines, do not be afraid to hold on to those for balance. Happy swimming! – Paige

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