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How to Put on a Swim Cap Without Pulling Your Hair

Most swim caps are made of either latex or silicone, which tend to stick to dry hair. Putting on a swim cap without pulling or snagging hair is a challenge, but the following tips can help avoid this discomfort. These tips will also prevent you from damaging the cap.

Stretch It Wide to Avoid Pulling Your Hair

If putting a cap on by yourself, make sure your hair is already twisted or gathered close to your head. Put your hands inside the cap and stretch it open as wide as possible. Lower it onto your head, let the front catch on your forehead, and then pull it down to cover the rest of your hair.

Get Your Hair Wet

Since cap the material slides more easily over wet strands of hair, dunk your head in the pool or give it a shower before putting on your cap. You can also coat your hair with leave-in conditioner to further protect it. Always wetting (or conditioning) your hair before putting on your swim cap will save you lots of time, pain, and broken caps!

Enlist a Friend

A friend's assistance can help stretch the cap out wide enough to avoid catching any hair as you fit it over your head. You should hold the front of your cap at your forehead while your friend uses both hands to stretch the cap open and pull it over your head.

Try a Different Cap

If you've been using latex caps, try a silicone or even a LYCRA® one. They're made of softer material and may not pull your hair as much. Some swimmers even layer a rubber cap over a LYCRA® one. The LYCRA® cap easily contains their hair and makes it easier to put on the latex or silicone cap.

Treat Your Cap Gently

Swim caps are somewhat delicate, and a small rip or hole will quickly turn into a big one. Avoid using your fingernails when pulling on the cap, and if you need to tug it into place do so gently. A little care when putting on and adjusting your cap makes a big difference. After a bit of practice, you'll figure out how to quickly and cleanly put on a swim cap without pulling your hair.

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3 months ago.
Can I put baby powder in my cap to make my hair absorbe less chlorine?
3 months ago.
Hello Jewl,

Doing this will not make your hair absorb less chlorine but will make it easier to put on/take off your cap. To protect your hair from the chlorine, I would suggest wetting your hair with non-chlorinated water before getting in the pool, and if possible, also coating your hair with conditioner. This saturates the hair and prevents it from absorbing as much chlorine. Hope this helps!
10 months ago.
Do you wear the googles under or over the cap?
10 months ago.
Hi Lee,
It really is a matter of preference. For the most part I see people placing the goggles over the cap. Please let us know if you have any further questions. Have a great day!
8 months ago.
hi lee,
i reccommend wearing goggles over the cap so it wont rip the cap. hope this helped!
10 months ago.
I do not know the difference between latex and silcone. Can you tell me??
10 months ago.
Hi Nikkie,
Latex swim caps are stretchy and tight fitting compared to the silicone ones. The silicone ones are thicker and more durable. I hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have any questions. Have a wonderful day!
10 months ago.
2 years ago.
I have a lot of hair and big head and is very hard for me to put the cap. What can I use under the cap to hold the hair? a fabric cap maybe?
2 years ago.
Hi Rosie,

Have you tired the Speedo Long Hair Silicone Cap or the Speedo Silicone Aqua-V Large? Both caps are a bit larger than normal ones for extra hair. The links are below. I hope this information is helpful. Have a great day!
2 years ago.
I feel that the silicone caps are better, they last so much longer and I only once had one break. I also find that the latex caps makes my head feel kind of itchy. I will always suggest getting a silicone they are just more comfortable.
2 years ago.
Whenever i put on my latex swim cap, it rolls ups and tugs my hair. Is it because I have a big head?
2 years ago.
I have the same issue with latex caps. I have been swimming for about ten years now, and I always wear silicone caps. About 90% of the people I swim with have the same problem, and all of us have simply switched caps. Also, silicone lasts about five times longer than latex, because, in addition to fitting better, it is by far more tear resistant.
2 years ago.
I want to prevent my hair from getting wet. Can a swim cap protect my hair from the damaging chlorine to my hair?
2 years ago.
Hi Amy,

Unfortunately, no cap will keep your hair completely dry. Swim caps are designed to create less resistance in the water as well as to keep the hair out of your face while swimming. Layering a latex cap on top of a silicone cap may keep a little more water out than usual. You may also want to put a thin layer of Vaseline around the inner rim of the cap to help create a better seal. However, we are not able to guarantee either method will work for certain. I hope you find this information helpful. Should you have any additional questions please do not hesitate to let us know. Have a great day!
3 years ago.
Do Swim caps come in various sizes? I wear my hair in African American braids; I need a larger cap or is this possible?
3 years ago.
Hey Winnie -

I would suggest looking for any cap made out of latex. They tend to stretch and stay on better than silicone caps. Most caps are one size fits all, so I would say to try both a silicone and latex cap and see which one works better for you!

Hope this helps!

2 years ago.
they have caps for long hair which should accommodate you.
3 years ago.
Are caps made to be worn over the ears to keep water out?
3 years ago.
Hey David -

Caps can be worn a number of different ways; over the ears, ears out, half way on the ear. There's no right or wrong, it's simply your own preference.

Unfortunately, water seems to get in the ear however you wear your cap, so there are a few things you can do:

1. Get used to the feeling, I know it's hard at first! I've been swimming for about 20 years now and swear by rubbing alcohol to get the water out after a swim.

2. Ear plugs for swimming! Here is a link to where you can find them on our site:

We hope this helps!

3 years ago.
Which caps were recently used in the Olympics by the American Team. Do you carry them? Further more i noticed that they use two caps, does anyone know why?
3 years ago.
I don't know if they carry them, but i do know why they wear two caps. They wear both to ensure that there are no wrinkles. Wrinkles in caps can, believe it or not, slow them down. The second cap is much thinner and it protects the wrinkles and it also holds the goggles in place.
Anthony Kasenda
3 years ago.
Do you carry swim cap brand: Canadian flag?
3 years ago.
Hi Anthony!

We do have a Canadian Flag Swim Cap. You can find it here:

marcella akridge
3 years ago.
I purchased a slicone cap. I used leave in conditioner after washing my hair and before going in the pool and the cap slides off. What can I do to keep the cap on?
3 years ago.
Hi Marcella,

I would suggest wearing a latex swim cap, either underneath the silicone one or on its own. You can view our collection of latex swim caps here:

3 years ago.

Have you tried Kids' Swim Caps? You can find our collection here:

3 years ago.
How do I choose a size for 6-7 and 3-4 year old kids
3 years ago.
Try choosing a junior cap. Sporti has some really cute fun ones meant for smaller heads
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