View Full Version : Newbie: 0, Swimcap: 5

January 16th, 2005, 12:58 AM
Turns out you can't search forum for the term "swimming cap", so I don't know if this has been answered somewhere already.

I'm a complete swimming newbie. I am teaching myself, because I'm one of those rebels who don't do well with lessons.

Never mind that my technique is non-existent, or that I usually get water up my nose twice every lap. My battle lies with my swimming cap.

I'm having trouble with my swimming cap. My hair is longer and annoying in the pool and when it is wet. So I bought a nice Speedo Latex swimming cap.

For the life of me, I cannot get this darn cap onto my head in such a manner as to contain my hair to some degree. I can only manage to pull it on my head with my hair hanging out and clinging to my neck.

Is there some trick to putting on a swimming cap if you have lots of hair? I tried pony tails and buns, but the process of trying to get the cap on usually destroys it.

January 16th, 2005, 01:42 AM
Try getting your hair wet first in the shower, the cap should go on easier then. Also when my hair was longer I would braid it in a ponytail down my back, pull the cap over my head and tuck the braid in at the nape of my neck. You also might want to try a silicone cap, they are about ten bucks but last forever and you can stretch them more. Remember if Kaitlin Sandeno can swim with all her hair you can do it too!
Another trick I use when the cap is being particularly stubborn (don't laugh this works) is to pull the front of the cap over my eyebrows to start, then frown and furrow your brow as you stretch the cap to the back of your head - your eyebrows will hold the front of the cap on your forehead while you get the back around your cranium. Then you can push the front of the cap toward your hairline so you don't look too geeky with a cap halfway down your face. But it won't pull your hair so much if your hair is wet to start with . . . Ann

January 16th, 2005, 02:25 AM
I agree...getting your hair wet helps a lot. Try getting it wet and then pulling it into a really tight ponytail. One thing I learned when I started swimming was, after you put your hair into a ponytail, turn the cap inside-out, and then fill it with water. Then ,the bottom usually drips, center the drip over your head and drop the cap and pull the edges down as you do. This usually get it most of the way on and then you can just tuck up any remaining hair. And like mentioned above about the eyebrows, if that doesn't work...try biting it. Sometimes I have to hold the edge in my mouth and stretch the cap over the rest of my head. Then if you breath through your nose, it puffs up and you can get it to stretch easier. Good Luck!!


January 16th, 2005, 10:04 AM
If all else fails, you can go with a cloth/lycra cap. Great for tucking in hair without a huge show, not so good if you are looking to wrap yourself up so tight for less water resistance ergo better speed...

January 16th, 2005, 12:02 PM
I pile my hair on top of my head - starting with a high ponytail - then clip it to the top of my head with a flat barrette. Then I use my hands to stretch out the cap over the hair, and as previous post replied, put it low on your forehead and "snap" the rest down to the nape of your neck. I put it on in the shower - wet hair and cap help a lot.

January 16th, 2005, 12:37 PM
This thread makes me laugh because if it wasn't for my friend I swim with I would never get a cap on. I have to hold the front to my forehead while she actually puts it on my head. I'm sure it is an amusing sight. If she isn't there I just wear the only cap I can get on by myself. It's a TYR latex cap I got off of Aardvarkswim. It seems to be thinner and stretch alot more then my Speedo caps. I don't know if this is the only TYR cap that is like this or if they just make them bigger than other manufacturers.

Fred Johnson
January 16th, 2005, 01:37 PM
Not being a woman with long hair, I approach this thread with caution. But at the risk of sticking my nose into a gender sensitive subject, have you tried filling the cap with pool water and "lowering" your head into the upside down full-of-water cap? That's how we used to put caps on when I swam as an age group swimmer. Just a thought.

January 16th, 2005, 03:42 PM
I remember posting a thread about caps about a year ago. I will tell you how I get on my cap. I have long hair (to my waist) that is long and thick. I get my hair wet first, A MUST. Then I split my hair in the middle and grab my cap. I put my hands in the cap and hold it open while I put the cap first on my forhead and then pull the cap back and over my head. So, at this point the cap is on and my hair is hanging down. Then I take one side and roll it in a twisting motion so that the hair is long but tightly curled. Then I stuff the hair into the side of the cap, kinda like Princess Leia from Star Trek. I repeat with the other side. When all the hair is in, I can then shift it around a bit so the hair is more at the back instead of the sides. This way works for me and I would recommend it. Although I will say that I go through a cap a week. They are always breaking.

January 16th, 2005, 05:10 PM
....thank God for short hair.... I never realized how much there is to getting a swim cap on your head with long hair.:D

January 16th, 2005, 07:52 PM
Everthing you will ever want to know about swim caps
Some long hair swimmers like the swim band also You make it by cutting a regular cap in half. It keeps hair up and gives a better seal under a other cap.

Swim Cap Guide Click on the girl with the whit swim band to see the swim band page


Also see this thread from The Long Hair Loom. Its a long hair care site See the post from Leia about Grace and the swim band long hair and putting a swim cap on.


Or search the Long Hair Loom page on its search engine for swim cap or swim band..

January 16th, 2005, 10:51 PM
I can't wait to go back to the pool to try out my swimming cap. I'm going to even the score on this dratted little piece of latex. No more mid-pool hair strangulation for me. Thanks for all your tips!

Nancy Graham
January 16th, 2005, 11:07 PM
Who knew there could possibly be so much information about anything anyone could ever possibly think to ask about swim cqps!!!

This thread cracks me up...

jim clemmons
January 16th, 2005, 11:25 PM
This might not work over a huge "pile" of hair but it's quick and easy for me.

Turn your cap inside out. Dunk it into the pool to fill it full of water (somewhat like an open water balloon). Hold it over your head and lower it on (or some can even "drop" it on their head). The cap will wrap itself over the obstacle (your head :) ).

It'll take a few tries at first but you'll get the hang of it if your particular pile of hair is not too humongus.

January 16th, 2005, 11:33 PM
I have long hair, although it is very thin. I like using the silicone caps. I always put my hair into a high pony tail and get my hair wet before I put the cap on. When putting it on I start with my forehead and then stretch it back. After getting it on I tuck all my hair in. Putting your hair in a ponytail should help a lot. I have more problems when I forget my ponytail. It is a lot harder to get alll my hair up into the cap.

January 17th, 2005, 12:46 PM
i've found that the longer my hair gets, the better silicone caps tend to work. i always used latex caps during age group and collegiate swimming, but my hair was much much shorter than it is now. so i've switched to silicone for workouts (still use latex for meets). the only drawback to the silicone is that goggle straps tend to slip and slide on them and you end up with water in your goggles (at least this happens to me!)

everyone's suggestions above are really helpful- so hopefully you'll win one of these days!

January 18th, 2005, 04:53 PM
To all of the ladies(or gentlemen) with long locks:

If and when you get tired of struggling with your long hair, donate it to a great cause. Locks of Love is an organization that makes wigs for children who have lost their hair.

Check out their website at www.LocksofLove.org

I donated my hair(14 inches) 2 years ago and will probably be ready to donate again soon.

I like the lycra caps best.

Swimmy : )

January 18th, 2005, 05:55 PM
Swimmy - Locks of Love is great!

I find the easiest way to get my cap on is to get my hair wet first and then throw some conditioner in it, this also protects your hair from the lovely good smelling pool chemicals. The cap slides right on then. My teammates and I started doing this in high school I think that it got invented as a way of avoiding having to really shower after early morning practices. Why coaches think that a team of high school girls can get ready and get to class in 20 minutes is beyond me.

January 19th, 2005, 10:06 AM
I actually have the opposite problem! I had long hair, used to wet it put it in a tight bun, put the swim cap over it (starting with the back so it would "hold" to the bun and not slip out, and my swim cap (silicone) would stay put perfectly.

Now I just cut my hair short about mid neck two weeks ago. Can't really tie it up as it gets loose, the swim cap now has to come way too far down on my forehead (making me have a nice vertical stripe once I remove it at the end of my swim, ugh) and during my swim the ends keep sticking out of the cap on the back and I have to tuck it back in. Can't wait to have long hair again!

Edward The Head
January 21st, 2005, 11:04 AM
I don't get it. I've got long hair, especially for a guy, and longer then most of the other swimmers on my team yeat I have no problems putting on a cap.

I take a hair tie, put it in a tail and wrap around once. Then pull the tail through again and tie it up off the back of my head, somewhere between the top and halfway down. Then I put the front on first and just pull it up and over. I always do it dry and never have a problem with it. Ok I do sometimes have a problem if it's an openwater swim and they give out the cheaper caps, but the ones I normally get always work.

My hair is around 6 inches past my shoulders, so it's not really long, but it is longer then most people's. I've always seen the women try and tuck their hair under the cap and never understood why.

January 23rd, 2005, 01:56 PM
Just my two cents:

I use only silicone caps and my hair is past my shoulders.

I make a LOW ponytail out of my WET hair and then take the cap - one hand inside and one hand outside - and gently glide it over the front/top of my head until I can tuck the backside under my ponytail in the back.

It took me a month to find something that worked for me. Now I use this method every time I swim.

I tried a latex cap once and it just wasn't for me. It felt like I was trying to stretch a balloon over my head.

I guess that's whey there are so many different caps - b/c there are so many different swimmers!

Good luck!

January 23rd, 2005, 08:43 PM
UPDATE: I beat the tar out of my swimming cap.

It went on my head, and stayed there. Swimming is much more enjoyable with it on, and now I don't have to spend 10 minutes untangling my goggle straps from my hair.

But I have a new question about my swimming cap now. Is it supposed to go down over my ears? Mine does, but it feels annoying, so I try to tuck it behind my ears. Otherwise it feels like I am wearing earmuffs made out of water and latex. Swimming caps aren't supposed to waterproof your ears, are they?

January 23rd, 2005, 10:39 PM
I think it is all in prefrence. I can't stand having my cap over my ears. I just fold my cap up a little and tuck it behind my ears. Some people don't mind the cap over their ears. I think they where made to go over your ears but I don't think you have to. Just know you wouldn't be the only one not to.

January 25th, 2005, 03:32 PM
i definitely wear mine down over my ears. my ears kind of stick out a little to start with and having the cap behind them only makes it look worse. although, sometimes i wear my left ear uncovered and the right covered- i've got my cartilidge pierced and the cap sitting over it for an entire practice can sometimes be uncomfortable.

glad to hear you finally beat your cap!

January 26th, 2005, 03:30 PM
lol... this post is cracking me up..

I had serious issues when I first started trying to put a swim cap on... I went to a Masters swim workout in St. Pete FL.. (though i no longer live there), and spent about 5 minutes ripping my hair into shreds on the pool deck trying to get my cap on. I had hair sticking up all over the place, and it looked as though every person in the HUGE lap pool was an old pro-swimmer which made me feel terribly conspicuous. (sp?)

Finally a girl who had noticed me putting it on helped me and then the coach came over as well to give me some suggestions...

Wetting the hair is a necessity for sure. i also add a little conditioner as previously stated..

As for going over the ears, I also had the same question. My head is smaller than the usual head, so the caps tend to come down over my ears, but i also find it uncomfortable, so I scrunch it up, or fold it and either tuck it behind my ears or have it just cover the tops of them..

good luck with the cap issue!