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A swimming cap is an important part of your swimming gear, however, many swimmers do not know the real purpose or functions of a swimming cap. In fact, most people believe that the purpose of wearing a swimming cap is to keep your hair dry….. This is far from the truth! Most swimmers will testify that a swimming cap rarely keeps your hair dry, so let’s check out the facts on swimming caps – their function and fit.
Reasons for Wearing a Swimming Cap
Swimming caps are designed to protect the hair from chlorine. When you dive into the water, your hair is exposed to the chlorinated water and the water can damage your hair. When you wear a swimming cap, you protect the hair from coming into direct contact with the water, thereby limiting the amount of damage. Your hair will become wet, but it will not be in direct contact with the chlorinated water.
If you are involved in competition swimming, then you know the essence of speed. The functional ability of a swimming cap to make you more streamlined while you are under the water, is obviously appealing. Hair can cause drag, and the swimming cap reduces the water drag, helping you glide effortlessly in the water. In addition, the swimming cap removes the hair from your face, and therefore, you can see clearly when you swim.
Furthermore, swimming caps are part of good grooming. It is hygienic to wear a swimming cap when you get into the water because you will not lose hair strands that can end up floating on the water. And most importantly in the Winter months, a swimming cap keeps your head warm when you swim in cold water.
Common Types of Swimming Caps
If you want a durable swimming cap, then you should consider buying a silicone cap. It is sleek, and it fits snugly over your head when you are swimming. Therefore, it limits the amount of water getting into the cap, and it can keep your hair relatively dry. If you want to participate in competition swimming, you can wear a moulded silicone or “speed” cap in order to enhance your water streamline. Speed caps do not have the crease down the middle of the cap, thus provide a snugger, firmer fit, to reduce drag in the water. Silicone and speed caps are highly durable due to their thickness.
Latex swimming caps are cheaper and thinner than silicone caps. If you want a lighter cap, then you can buy a latex cap. Latex caps can be a perfect choice if you are swimming in a swimming pool that has warm water. Be aware, they are not as durable as silicone, and usually used as a cheaper option.
Alternatively, you can go for a bubble cap, which is made from latex rubber. If you have long hair, then you can wear a bubble cap because it is comfortable to wear and has a superior grip over long hair than a standard silicone cap. The bubble cap can also usually cover your ears, and may be ideal if you are swimming in open water.
So pending on your purpose in the water – recreation, competition, or open water, in addition to your budget, will depend on the best cap for you!