A swimming cap is one of the important pieces of equipment in swimming. It not only helps you to fix your hair, prevents your hair from being contaminated with chlorine chemicals, but the swimming cap also helps the excess oil on your scalp to not be discharged into the swimming pool, affecting others.
A swimming cap is an indispensable item for swimmers. So do you know how to choose a swimming cap that is good and durable? Don’t worry, we will guide you through the following article!
Swimming caps are designed for competing swimmers to reduce hydrodynamic resistance when swimming. Due to a smooth surface area for water to flow through, swimming caps allow swimmers to move through the water faster and smoother than without a cap. This is essential in competitions. There are even competing swimmers wearing two overlapping swimming caps: one to cover their hair, then another over the strap of their swim goggles to keep them in place and reduce drag.
In addition to the benefits of improved swimming performance, there are other reasons why we should wear a hat when swimming:
Swimming caps are made of many different materials. The most common are silicone, latex, and lycra/spandex, but you may also see swimmers using cap made of rubber, neoprene, and polyurethane.
Silicone is one of the most common materials used in swimming caps. It is extremely durable, can be used for many years when properly cared for. Silicone is definitely the favorite hat material of competing swimmers because it is the best material for reducing drag. Not only is it durable, but it can also be put on and removed without any hair pulling (a plus for both men and women!).
Silicone Hat: suitable for competitive swimmers and those with long hair.
Latex is a much thinner material than silicone and is also less durable. Latex swimming caps are easier to tear, especially if you are not wearing them properly or properly cared for. Because it’s lighter than silicone, latex caps allow more “breathability”. Keeping less heat, these hats can be suitable in hot weather. In general, latex hats are also much cheaper than other swimming caps. So if you’re looking for an inexpensive swimming cap and durability isn’t a concern, latex is the way to go.
Latex cap: suitable for swimmers who love diversity. When exercising in a pool warmer than usual, wearing a thick hat (silicone) on top only makes overheating worse. At that time, latex caps were a perfect alternative. In addition, it is also easy to print logos or markers on latex swimming caps, so they are often used in triathlon competitions.
Rubber is a popular elastic material made from latex. Rubber caps are slightly thicker than the corresponding latex caps, so they are usually not as stretchy. Similar to latex, rubber swim caps are also lightweight and relatively inexpensive. However, if you are allergic to latex, then a rubber cap will not be the ideal choice due to the fact that it is derived from latex. Also made from rubber is the crepe bubble swimming cap. This swim cap is especially suitable for swimming in cold conditions.
Due to its heavy-weight rubber and air-bubble insulation, the bubble crepe caps retain heat to keep swimmers warm and tend to block water better than any other model. Crepe bubble caps are also known for their durability and longevity due to the thickness of the material.
Rubber Cap: suitable for “wild” swimmers who like cold water
Lycra is a trademarked name for a synthetic fiber commonly known as spandex or elastane. Spandex swimming caps are very durable and will usually last a long time if chlorinated after each use. Lycra swimming caps are known to be very soft and will never hook or tug on your hair.
However, since Lycra is a fabric, these caps will allow water to flow through the material while swimming. The cap material is water repellent and not as effective as silicone or latex, but will still reduce drag to a greater extent than not wearing a cap. Because of this, the Lycra swimming cap is not ideal for use in competition. They are mainly used for exercise or sun protection. Wearing a higher resistance cap during exercise will actually help you perform better when wearing a silicone hat during competition. Letting your body get used to the higher level of drag will allow you to achieve better results while playing.
Lycra / Spandex Hats: suitable for recreational swimmers looking for comfort
Neoprene is commonly used for wet suit material. Like the wet suit, the purpose of a neoprene swim cap is to keep a thin layer of water close to the body to act as insulation. This makes neoprene caps a great choice for those who swim in cold water pools, lakes, rivers or oceans.
Even so, you still need to wear a wet suit: contrary to the common myth that 45% of the heat is lost through your head, your head actually only takes up 10% of your body’s surface area. So a hot swim cap will only help if the rest of your body is covered. Since they do not effectively reduce drag, neoprene swim caps are more suitable for swimmers in natural conditions and triathlons rather than swimmers competing in hot pools. In addition, the neoprene cap does not pull hair.
Neoprene cap: suitable for swimmers in natural conditions.
Swimming caps have many benefits, not only for competing swimmers but also for casual swimmers. For competing swimmers, purchasing a great swimming cap is a must to reduce frictional resistance (except swimmers shave!). As for the casual swimmer, a swim cap can help keep hair from getting tangled in swimming, heat (when needed), keep hair away from chlorine exposure, and especially keep hair from falling out in a swimming pool.
Therefore, whether or not to wear a swimming hat is entirely up to you, but with the above legitimate reasons, you should find to buy yourself a suitable swimming hat for the benefit of yourself and other people.