How to Put on a Swim Cap

Styling Tips

Follow these steps to quickly and painlessly put on a swim cap.

Last updated: 13 June 2022
3 min read
How to Put on a Swim Cap

A swim cap is a key piece of gear for swimmers. Swim caps can reduce drag in the water, help stop chlorine from damaging your hair and keep loose hair out of your face—and the pool. While it seems simple, getting this small, silicone cap on your head can be a pain if you're not used to it.

You'll want the swim cap to be secure before you hop in the water to ensure you have a great swimming workout. Check out these tried-and-tested tips from Nike for how to put on a swim cap.

How to Properly Wear a Swim Cap

When you purchase a new swim cap, it'll typically have a crease along the middle of the cap from the packaging. When you properly put on a swim cap, that crease should sit at the centre of the top of your head, running straight through the middle from front to back. (Imagine a line going in the same direction as a shark fin on the top of your head.)

If you put on the cap so the crease sits horizontally on your head (meaning the crease goes from ear to ear), it'll create more drag in the water. Since one of the benefits of a swim cap is to reduce resistance when you're swimming, make sure you align the cap correctly when putting it on.

Make sure the cap is also pulled down to the middle of your forehead, rather than sitting on your hairline. This will help ensure the cap stays on as you dive into the pool and swim.

How to Secure Your Hair Under a Swim Cap

If you have long hair, tie it into a ponytail. If your hair is long enough that it sticks out from underneath the cap, even after it's in a ponytail, tie it firmly into a tight bun and make sure it's sitting high on your head (instead of just above your neckline).

After securing a bun or ponytail, get your hair slightly wet. It's easier for the material of the cap to slide on when your hair is wet. If it's dry, the cap may painfully tug or pull on strands of hair.

Tip: Sprinkling baby powder in your swim cap can help stop it from pulling on your hair when you take it off (and make it smoother to put on, too).

The Easiest Way to Put on a Swim Cap

Now that your hair is secured and prepped, give the cap a good stretch without damaging the cap or digging your nails into the material. Then, grab the cap and hold it with both hands.

Bend over slightly and place the inside of the front of the cap over your forehead. Then, pull the cap over your head until the back of the cap sits snugly over the bottom of your hairline. It may take a few tries to get it right, but once you do, make sure your hair is completely tucked in and the cap is tightly sealed. The swim cap should sit about halfway down your ears.

Tip: While competitive swimmers may put on their goggles before their swim cap to further reduce drag and keep the goggles secure underneath the cap, goggles can also be worn over your swim cap. Choose whichever way is more comfortable for you.

Words by Claire Tak

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