Looking to protect your hair at the pool? Here are the best swim caps for long hair to keep your hair out of the pool and protected from harsh pool chemicals.
Swim caps are one of the basic pieces of swimming equipment for those of us who hit the pool, but also one of the most misunderstood.
How can a latex or silicone swim cap be misunderstood?
For starters—and this will blow your soggy, chlorinated hair back—is that swim caps don’t actually keep your hair dry. For real. I’m assuming that your next thought is something along the lines of, So, why am I wearing one?
Why You Should Always Wear a Cap When Swimming
The big misconception about swim caps is that their primary function is to keep your hair dry. But no matter how tightly you wrap your swim cap around that long-hair-do of yours, water will inevitably seep in.
There are several reasons why you should wear a swim cap, especially you swimmers with long hair:
1. Swim caps keep your long hair out of the pool.
Hair falls out. Fun fact.
When it falls out in swim pools it accumulates into little balls at the bottom of the pool, floats like strings across the sub-surface of the water, and gets caught in the pool filters. I can’t count how many times I have taken a stroke mid-workout and someone’s errant hair(s) have gotten tangled across my fingers.
In terms of pool maintenance and reducing the yucky factor (no one likes swimming mouth first into someone else’s hair, after all), swim caps keep your long, luscious mane centralized on your head.
2. Swim caps protect keep that long hair-do from chlorine and other harsh pool chemicals.
Even though your hair won’t be 100% dry at the end of your swim, a cap does do a lot of good when it comes to protecting your hair from chlorine.
Chlorinated water will seep in there, but it won’t be the same kind of soaking that you will receive without a cap on. Pool chemicals can really do work on your long hair, so protect it with a swim cap.
Pro Tip: Rinse your hair with water before you get into the pool to give it another layer of protection from chlorine. Your hair will absorb far less chlorinated water because it is already wet. Science!
3. Keeps your hair out of your face when swimming.
Pony tails can work in a pinch, but if you want to make sure that hair doesn’t mat down across your favorite pair of swim goggles and blind you Cousin It-style, wrap that long hair up in your swim cap. Being able to see where you are going is key when swimming. This is also one of the reasons that young children should wear a swim cap for toddlers when in the water–seeing where they are and where they are going is key.
Safety first and all that!
4. Swim caps help you swim faster.
The actual amount of drag that your hair causes when swimming is minimal, and obviously depends on how much hair you are tugging along behind you in the water. Your hair absorbs water, creating excess drag. When you wrap your head in a swimming cap specifically designed for long hair, you cut down excess weight and resistance in the water (which is nearly 800 times denser than air–let that sink in for a moment).
Alrighty, with all that goodness behind us, let’s take a gander at some of the best swim caps for long hair, shall we?
Speedo Silicone Long Hair Swim Cap (#1 pick)
We all know and love Speedo. They make some of the best gear for swimmers. From racing suits to goggles they make it all. They also make some of our favorite swim caps.
Our top pick for best swimming caps for long hair is their basic silicone cap. Caps made of silicone are soft and don’t yank on your hair when you pull it off, something that comes in extra handy when you have a whole bunch of hair up there.
Speedo’s silicone long hair cap is offered in five different colors, is super durable (another perk of silicone caps!), and will stay nice and snug on your head while you churn away the laps at the pool.
TYR Sport Long Hair Swim Cap
California-based TYR’s series of long hair swim caps are designed much like the Speedo cap above, but with a little more space at the back of the cap.
Made with 100% silicone, the TYR Sport long hair cap has a specially contoured cut around the ears and sits softly and comfortably around your head while you swim up and down the pool.
Vitchelo Long Hair Swim Cap
The product description for this particular cap reads as being waterproof, which is a handy feature for something that will be in the…water. Anyhoo, jokes aside, the Vitchelo Long Hair Swim cap is hypoallergenic, made of silicone, and is priced at about half of what the other caps in our little list come in at.
A lot of the reviews online talk about their frustration with the cap not keeping their hair perfectly dry. If you’ve been paying attention so far, swim caps aren’t able to keep your hair 100% dry.
Keep that in mind, and the Vitchelo Swim Cap will do the other fun things that swim caps can do for your hair.
For a change of pace, we have the Friendly Swede cap for long hair and covering your ears. Here is a mannequin somewhat angrily displaying how the cap stretches to fit over the ears:
If the idea of getting water anywhere remotely near your ears makes you a little nervous, this cap will completely wrap around them, giving you a silicone shield around your hearing apparatuses.
(The cap won’t give your ears 100% protection if you dunk your head though. If you want to keep water out of your ears when swimming consider picking up the best earplugs for swimming, Mack’s silicone soft putty ear plugs.)
The Friendly Swede caps come in a 2-pack, with two different color combination choices.