Wearing a swim cap is an absolute must for avid swimmers everywhere. Whether you’re into competing or just a more casual practicer of the sport, putting on a swim cap will keep the hair away from your face, protect it from chlorinated water, and help it stay away from your ears. Because caps are usually made from sticky materials, like latex or silicone, they can easily adhere to dry hair, making it a bit of a tricky task.


how to put on swim cap in 3 steps


Here you can find 8 useful tips how to get a swimming hat on, so you can finally learn how to master the process and become an even better swimmer.

1. Dry Hair Is A No Go

As you already know, the materials that make up swim caps slide more easily around wet surfaces. These materials are usually either latex or silicone, so it’s easily understandable how trying to put a cap on without some previous lubing up is a bad idea. If you’re wondering how to put on a swim cap with dry hair, the best way is simply to not try - you’ll end up ripping a lot of hair strands out, in a very painful and, quite frankly, unnecessary way. Instead, wet your mane a little bit beforehand, so you can ease into the process.


You don’t have to go full-on shower head, but make sure it’s damp enough for the material of the cap to slide without fuss. You’ll see that swimming hat putting on will become a much easier process, and the cap will move smoothly down your head. Bonus points if you add a little conditioner to the mix, making your hair even more sleek, and the sliding movement way better. By getting your hair wet and putting on a little bit of conditioner, you’ll have more time and a lot less discomfort on your hands!

2. Put It Up In A Bun

Since hair is the main component that goes underneath your swim cap, it’s also the one more prone to bring up some issues when the times comes for you to put it on. For people who have longer hair, usually women, it’s a very good idea to tie it somehow before trying to slide the swimming cap down their heads. Randomly trying to shove every piece of hair inside the cap is a bit of an overall mess, and just plain inefficient. It doesn’t matter if it’s braided, twisted, or simply put up in a bun - as long it’s tied neatly, and there are no wild strands trying to make a sneaky escape, it should be fine.

The only thing you should pay close attention to, in case your hair is long enough to require some sort of restraining, is to not use bobby pins or any sharp accessories. These can easily cause your cap to rip, so be careful!

3. Stretch It Good, Stretch It Wide

Once the preparations are made, it’s time to actually know how to get a swimming cap on. The first thing you want is to make sure you stretch it as wide as you can, but not so much it gets on the verge of ripping.


Use the back of your hands, and gently pull both sides away, as far as possible, within reasonable limits. if you’re looking to get a better sense of what you’re doing, you can always stand in front of a mirror, and make sure that you undergo this stretching process the right way.


Plus, when you’re pulling, do it with the cap and hands already placed on top of your head, instead of doing it at eye or chest level. This way, you’ll get to compare the size of the cap as you stretch, and if it’s wide enough to comfortably fit through your head, without leaving any hair strands behind.

4. Slide Through

Now that you’ve stretched your cap to a good extent, you’re ready to slide it down your head. Thanks to all the previous preparations, especially having wet and conditioned your hair, this should be fairly simple. When it comes to getting the cap through their head, some people find it helpful to bend over, so you can easily find out whether or not this works for you.

Either way, whatever position you choose, what you need to do is move the swimming cap in the direction of your head, and make sure the inside front touches your head. Then, in one quick, swift motion, take it back so it will encapsulate your entire head, bringing it all the way down. Get your hands out from the back, and pay close attention to your nails (having long fingernails is not a good idea - it can make the process harder). This is where things are more likely to go wrong, and you might have the need to get the cap out and do it all over again. Don’t worry, though - it’s best to have it put neatly shut and properly placed than to get in the water and feel discomfort while you’re swimming.

swimmer wearing a swim cap

5. Adjust Carefully

Once the swimming cap is one, it’s time to make the proper adjustments. No matter how carefully you were with all the steps, your swimming cap will hardly be perfectly put on with the first try. This is mostly because there are always some sneaky hair strands that tend to get out of the way, either because you didn’t tie them tightly enough, or they are simply too short to stay restrained.

Either way, it’s not a big problem, just make sure any stray hair you find, be it in the front of your head or on the nape of your neck, is pushed inside the swimming cap and secured. When you tuck these loose strands in, do your best to ensure the cap is sealed shut, as tightly as possible. This will prevent any water from getting inside while you’re out there swimming and having fun.

6. Get A Little Help On The Side

As with most things in life, the process of swimming hat putting on becomes a hundred times easier if you ask for someone to give you a little extra help. Having a friend, family or team member around can really save you some precious time, and just make the overall process simpler. For instance, you can have someone either stretch the swimming cap over your head and slide it through your head while you secure your hair, nicely and tightly, or do the opposite. This would mean having someone hold your hair down while you only have to worry about stretching and sliding the cap all the way down.


Either way, this will mean having to spend a lot less time fixing and adjusting your loose hair strands, and there’s a much higher chance you’ll be good to go on the first try! This is a particularly good tip for parents, since children tend to just run around restlessly so they can get in the water. What usually happens is, they try to put on the swimming cap themselves and it ends up looking not so good - and probably painful for them!

7. Know What Temperature Your Water Will Be

As a swimmer, you should be very conscientious about what temperature the water will be that you will be swimming in when wearing a swim cap. One of the best things you can do is invest in a durable swim cap, such as a silicon-based swim cap. For peace of mind and for long term durability, you will want to ensure that your swim cap will be able to handle a wide range of temperatures.


If a cap is made of too thick of a material, this can cause the body to overheat relatively quickly. Thicker materials leave no room for distribution of heat and can become rather unpleasant when swimming or standing in water for long periods of time. Silicon is designed with the overall purpose of handling extremely high temperatures. This powerful material can withstand temperatures more efficiently than other types of materials while providing you with the protection and coverage you need.female swimmer wearing swim hat

8. Know How To Care For Your Swimming Cap

How to put on a swimming cap doesn’t require much science - it’s more about learning some tips, keep practicing and, over time, it will become an easier process overall. However, you should keep in mind the health of your cap as well as how to best put it on. Chances are, best kept swimming caps will do a better job than those that aren't cared for properly, and the process of sliding them onto your head is usually when the most damage is made.

When you’re putting on your swimming cap, make sure you’re not damaging it. Be careful, especially with your nails, and when you’re stretching it. If you happen to be wearing any rings or earrings, or if the person helping you put on the cap happens to be instead, remove them or ask them to take them off, so the sharp objects won’t rip at the fabric. The health of cap is important, so don’t disregard it!


As you can see, learning how to get a swimming cap on can become quite simple if you follow these useful tips. Swimming should be an enjoyable time, and you shouldn’t have to worry about painful hair pulling or loose strands standing in your way! From now on, your swimmer life is sure to be much easier.