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Do you swim with your hair in a swim cap? Do you sometimes find you get a headache after having the cap on for a long time? There are several things you can do to make using a swim cap the best option and most comfortable for you. If you have long hair and wear a swim cap, don't put it in a ponytail or elastic before putting on your swim cap. Instead, try this method:
• Get the cap wet first, inside and out.
• With your hair down, pull the cap over your head from front to back.
• Place the inside edge of the cap in the middle of your forehead.
• Stretch the cap over the crown and back of your head.
• Make sure the back inside edge rests just above your hairline at the base of your neck.
• Using one hand, twist or grab your hair altogether and push it up inside the back of the cap.
• Use the other hand to lift the cap out slightly and allow your hair to be pushed inside the cap.
• After all of your hair is inside, readjust it and push it around with your fingers on the outside.
This will allow a better resting place for your goggle straps without a ponytail or hair elastic in the way, and will not create a pressure point that will get more painful and give you a headache the longer you have the swim cap on.
Swim caps can be useful for both men and women, with both short and long hair. Do you think you have short enough hair that it doesn't matter? Well, it does. Swim caps can be latex, silicone, or nylon. Goggle straps are rubber. The rubber sticks to and does not move around causing irritating sore spots when worn over swim caps. Think about the rubber straps sticking to or pulling on your hair for hours. Not very fun, right?
When you are diving into the water, swim caps provide a better surface for the goggle straps to adhere to, reducing the chance that they will move or fall off when you dive. Many swimmers even like to pull the front edge of their swim cap over the top edge of their goggles for the dive just to make sure no water gets in and those goggles stay in place.
Choosing a type of swim cap can sometimes be confusing. Which type of cap should I choose, and which is the best for what I want to use it for?
If you are a recreational swimmer or like to do water aerobics, the nylon caps are the most comfortable when worn for the longest period of time. They are also however, the least strong and allow for the most amount of water to get under the cap and wet the hair, creating more drag.
If your local pool or lake requires swim caps to be worn by all swimmers, nylon caps are the best choice for children and adults that do not plan on swimming strenuous laps. When swimming laps, training, or competing, latex or silicone swim caps are a far better option.
Latex swim caps are much less expensive, yet break or rip more easily. Latex caps will stay in place a little bit better than silicone swim caps because they stretch more and will hold your skin or more effectively than silicone swim caps. Because of this, they may also be more uncomfortable for many swimmers.
Silicone swim caps are thicker and softer; they will not pull on your hair. They will create a bit more drag and slide back off of your forehead without frequent adjustment. This is not a problem when training, only in racing. The best caps for training are silicone swim caps; the best swim caps for racing are latex swim caps.
If you are swimming in order to prepare for a race, any hair on your body creates drag. Wearing a swim cap can lessen drag and improve your time.
Some swimmers choose to train without a swim cap if it is comfortable, and then race with a cap to allow for less drag and a better time.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|