Are you tired of struggling to bundle all of your hair into a regular swim cap? Is this the third swim cap you have ripped this month? Do you dread chlorine damage to your hair because you can’t fit it all into a regular swim cap?
Luckily for you, there is a better solution– a long hair swim cap.
In this article, I cover some of the best long hair swim caps available, explain their benefits and why you should consider investing in one, walk you step-by-step through choosing the best long hair swim cap for you, and answer some common questions.
So whether you’re a recreational-, open water-, lap- or elite competitive swimmer, you’ll be sure to find a cap you love, and that meets your needs.
In a hurry? Here are the best swim caps for long hair:
- For the best overall option, choose the TYR Long Hair Wrinkle Free Silicone Cap.
- For competition use, choose the Speedo Long Hair Silicone Cap.
- For a budget cap, choose the Sporti Long Hair Swim Cap.
- For something comfortable, choose the Arena Long Hair Smart Swim Cap.
What’s the Difference Between a Long Hair Swim Cap and a Regular Swim Cap?
Long hair swim caps are larger than regular swim caps. They may also have a different shape to accommodate more hair volume, providing additional room to tuck in and cover all of your hair effectively. The material, although the same in type, may also be stretchier and thicker to support more hair and help with durability.
Both caps are similar, with the main difference being that long hair swim caps are designed for swimmers with longer and more voluminous hair. In comparison, regular swim caps are ideal for swimmers with shorter or thinner hair.
Why You Should Wear a Long Hair Swim Cap: The Benefits
Quick Summary of Benefits:
- Provides extra comfort by reducing head pressure compared to regular swim caps.
- Protects your hair from pool chemicals and heavy metals.
- Prevents your long hair from tangling or matting while swimming.
- Reduces water drag and ensures you have better hydrodynamics.
- Keeps hair out of your face for better visibility while swimming.
- Ensures you comply with pool regulations and maintain pool hygiene.
Provides Extra Comfort and Increases Swim Cap Durability
As mentioned, a long hair swim cap provides more room for your hair. This means the cap won’t be as tight around your head as a regular swim cap with all your hair squeezed in.
As a bonus, this will also help increase the durability of your cap since it will significantly reduce its likelihood of tearing due to the decreased pressure and tension of the cap around your head.
Protects Your Hair from Pool Chemicals and Heavy Metals
If you aren’t aware, pool chemicals and heavy metals that are abundant in the water can cause severe damage to your hair, leaving it brittle, grassy, and dry. It may also cause your hair to turn green if you have lighter hair.
A swim cap is the first line of defense to protect your hair from these substances. While it won’t keep all of the water out, it will significantly minimize the amount of chemicals and metals your hair is exposed to throughout your swim session.
The benefit of a swim cap for long hair, in this case, is that you can effectively tuck in all of your hair and ensure there are no exposed ends, increasing the protection provided by your swim cap.
Prevents Your Long Hair from Tangling or Matting While Swimming
Similar to how chlorine water can cause direct damage to your hair, it can also cause your hair to become tangled and matted– especially if you have strands of hair hanging out or don’t wear a swim cap at all!
A swim cap can significantly reduce tangling and matting when you swim by keeping your hair in place and reducing the amount of chemicals your hair is exposed to.
To completely remove tangles and provide extra protection from pool chemicals and metals, wash your hair with a swim shampoo and conditioner after swimming.
Reduces Water Resistance and Ensures Better Hydrodynamics
While you might not be trying to break a world record, you also don’t want unnecessary drag when swimming your laps.
Not only will a voluminous head of long hair make swimming harder, but it will also be annoying to have weighed-down hair constantly tugging at your head while you swim.
Swim caps will help to optimize your hydrodynamics and reduce drag in the water so that you can focus on swimming.
If you are a competitive swimmer, this will be even more important both for training, where you want to be able to train hard, and at competitions to perform your best.
Did you know? Competitive swimmers shave their entire bodies (head excluded) before a big swim meet. Research has shown that this can improve performance by reducing drag and even blood lactate concentrations. You can read more about it in my article on why swimmers shave if you’re interested.
Keeps Hair Out of Your Face So You Can See While Swimming
Could you imagine anything more annoying than constantly having to wipe your face to be able to see where you are swimming?
It might seem simple and obvious, but if you have long hair, a swim cap will keep it neatly out of your way so you can focus on swimming.
Whether it’s by providing extra room to keep those loose strands of hair that you can’t fit into a regular cap at bay or to control an entire head of hair if you’re not used to swimming with a cap.
Ensures You Comply with Pool Regulations and Keeps the Water Hygienic for Others
Whether you are training in your own private or public pool, minimizing hair loss is essential.
Most public pools require you to wear a swim cap, and nobody wants to embarrassingly get yelled at by a lifeguard for not wearing one.
Over time, loose strands of hair can clog up pool filters, which are not only a pain to fix but can also reduce their effectiveness, resulting in an unclean pool environment.
The Best Swim Caps for Long Hair
Swimmers On a Budget
TYR Long Hair Wrinkle Free Silicone Swim Cap– Best Overall
If you’re looking for a long hair swim cap that can accommodate you in all circumstances, is highly comfortable, and provides a great fit, then the TYR Long Hair Wrinkle-Free silicone swim cap is my top pick. Additionally, the cap is available in a junior variation for younger swimmers.
This long hair swim cap boasts an asymmetric, no-snag design for comfort and reduced head pressure. It offers enhanced hydrodynamics via a wrinkle-free design, making it ideal for training or competition.
Crafted from durable, hypoallergenic silicone, it's available in 9 colors and a junior version.
Featuring an asymmetric design with an improved contour cut around the edges, this cap is ideal for swimmers with long hair, providing a no-snag and comfortable fit.
Personally, I’m a fan of the asymmetric design since this provides more room for hair than some other long hair swim caps. Additionally, it also reduces pressure around your head.
The wrinkle-free design of the cap improves hydrodynamics, ensuring you can use it in various circumstances, be it for casual swimming, training, or competition.
Regarding durability, the cap is made from high-quality hypoallergenic tear-resistant silicone. The cap also maintains its color well. Speaking of which, this cap is available in a wide variety of 9 single color options.
With this cap, it can be tight for some in the beginning due to the thick, quality material, but it will stretch out over time as you use it.
Summary of Key Features:
- Asymmetric, no-snag, comfortable design to accommodate long hair and reduce head pressure.
- Wrinkle-free design improves your hydrodynamics while swimming.
- Ideal for casual use, training, or competition.
- Made from high-quality and durable silicone material.
- 9 Single color options to choose from.
- A junior variation of the cap is available for younger swimmers.
Speedo Long Hair Silicone Swim Cap– Best for Competitive Swimmers
Not only is Speedo one of the most well-known and loved swimming brands, but their long hair silicone cap is also one of the most popular on the market.
Optimize your performance with the Speedo Long Hair Silicone Swim Cap.
This cap offers extra space for long hair, a smooth on-and-off experience, and a snug fit for comfort. Made from latex-free silicone, it ensures durability and is ideal for competition use.
Choose from 5 single-color options.
Offering extra space at the back and an effortlessly smooth on-and-off design that won’t pull your hair, this cap is perfect for swimmers with long hair, providing protection from pool elements and ensuring a secure, snug fit and optimal comfort when wearing.
The Speedo cap is made using latex-free silicone, ensuring a durable swim cap. This also makes it ideal for swimmers with latex allergies. As a bonus, it’s available in 5 single-color options.
This cap is an excellent fit for competitive swimmers since it has a slightly tighter fit, ensuring optimal hydrodynamics, a smaller surface area, and enhanced speed in the pool.
With that said, if you have very thick, voluminous hair or a larger-sized head, this cap might not be for you. It might not fit all your hair or could be too tight. Caps tend to stretch out over time and become more comfortable, but just keep that in mind.
Summary of Key Features:
- One of the most popular swim caps for long hair on the market.
- Extra space at the back to accommodate your long hair and protect it from pool elements.
- Comfortable design allows you to easily fit or remove your swim cap without pulling your hair.
- Latex-free silicone ensures durability and is optimal for swimmers with latex allergies.
- Tighter, hydrodynamic fit is ideal for competitive swimmers.
- 5 Single color options to choose from.
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Sporti Long Hair Silicone Swim Cap Variations– Best for Swimmers On a Budget
If you aren’t familiar with them, Sporti is an excellent budget swim brand that provides high-quality swim gear at affordable prices.
And their long hair swim caps are no exception, ensuring reduced drag, a comfortable fit, and an abundance of colors to pick from.
I mention caps in the plural form because there are a few variations to pick from when it comes to the Sporti caps, which is quite nice.
Sporti offers a variety of long hair silicone swim caps, perfect for budget-conscious swimmers.
With three variations and over 20 color options, these caps provide reduced drag and a comfortable fit.
The durable non-tear silicone material ensures long-lasting use, and the anti-slip interior keeps the cap securely in place.
In terms of variations, there is a standard silicone variation. Secondly is a multi-silicone variation, which is essentially the same but comes in blended color patterns. And lastly is the long hair bun variation, which has an asymmetric design and is excellent for swimmers with extra long or more voluminous hair.
Apart from those design differences, the caps are all practically the same.
The Sporti swim caps for long hair are easy to get on and off and have a gentle, snug, and comfortable fit. They are also all made from durable non-tear silicone that will last you a long time.
I especially like the anti-slip interior of the Sporti long hair swim caps. Often, swimmers with long hair may experience their caps slipping off throughout a swim, and this will prevent that from happening.
Another bonus is that between the 3 variations of swim caps, you have over 20 different color options and styles to choose from.
Summary of Key Features:
- 3 Different long hair swim cap variations to choose from, with over 20 different color options and styles.
- Budget prices ensure you save money.
- Easy on-and-off design with a comfortable and snug fit that accommodates long hair.
- Anti-slip interior ensures your cap stays in place throughout your swim
Arena Long Hair Smart Swim Cap– Best Comfort
If you’re looking for something different, the Arena Long Hair Smart Cap is an excellent option. This innovative swim cap is perfect for long hair, comfortable to wear, and easy to get on and off. Keep in mind this cap is mainly designed with females in mind.
Experience ultimate comfort with this innovative swim cap designed for long hair. Made from a lycra/polyamide fabric blend, it offers stretch and easy fitting, while the dual-layer design protects and secures your hair during swimming.
Suitable for both training and casual use.
Unlike other caps I’ve covered so far, this cap features a lycra/polyamide fabric blend instead of a silicone fabric.
This allows the cap to provide more stretch, ensuring you can easily fit all your hair inside without effort. Additionally, it also makes the cap super comfortable and effortless to get on and off.
The cap is made from 2 layers. First is the inner hair band that holds your hair tight and protects it. Secondly is the outer layer, which serves as the main swim cap and keeps the rest of your hair in place.
You can use the Arena Smart swim cap for training or casual swimming.
I will note that your hair will be wetter when using this cap since water can travel through the fabric quicker.
In contrast, silicone caps are more waterproof (your hair will still be damp, though). This means your hair could be exposed to more pool chemicals throughout a workout compared to a silicone cap.
Additionally, since it’s a fabric cap, it would be a good idea to rinse it out with fresh water after swimming to remove chemicals and increase the cap’s durability.
I think it’s an excellent cap for those who value comfort. It might not be as good for hair protection, but you have to decide if the trade-off is worth it.
Summary of Key Features:
- Lycra/polyamide fabric allows for stretch, comfort, and effortless fitting, making it ideal for swimmers with long hair.
- Innovative dual-layer design protects and keeps hair securely in place while swimming.
- Suitable for training or casual swimming.
Arena Sirene Long Hair Silicone Swim Cap
Another top-notch long hair swim cap from Arena is the Sirene Silicone Long Hair cap. Unlike the Smart Swim Cap, this one features a more traditional long hair design, similar to most of the other caps I’ve covered so far.
The Arena Sirene Silicone Long Hair Swim Cap is designed to comfortably accommodate long hair. Its molded, wrinkle-free fit makes it suitable for racing and ensures durability with its PVC-free silicone material.
With various colors and prints available, this cap caters to swimmers of all types, from recreational to competitive.
The Arena Sirene is a comfortable swim cap ideal for long hair. The design features a molded wrinkle-free fit made from a durable, stretchy, and PVC-free silicone material, ensuring that your swim cap will stand the test of time.
The cap is ideal for all types of swimmers, whether you swim recreationally or competitively. The molded design of this cap could make it a good option for racing since it has a similar shape to a dome racing cap.
Lastly, like the other caps, the Arena Sirene is available in various color options with nice patterns and prints to pick from.
Summary of Key Features:
- Comfortable swim cap made to accommodate long hair.
- The molded, wrinkle-free fit makes the cap a good option for racing.
- Durable, PVC-free silicone material ensures a long-lasting swim cap.
- Various colors and prints to pick from.
How to Choose the Best Swim Cap for Long Hair
Now that we’ve covered the best swim caps for long hair let me help you pick the perfect option for you!
Here is a quick overview of the key features of each swim cap:
|Long hair swim cap
|TYR Long Hair Wrinkle Free Silicone Swim Cap
|Speedo Long Hair Silicone Swim Cap
|Sporti Long Hair Silicone Swim Cap (Variations)
|Arena Long Hair Smart Swim Cap
|Arena Sirene Silicone Long Hair Swim Cap
For the fabric of your cap, you mainly have a choice between silicone or lycra fabric. Latex caps are still available on the market, but I don’t recommend them since they have low durability, and some swimmers may have allergic reactions to latex.
Most swimmers, myself included, prefer silicone caps. These caps have a tighter and more snug fit, ensure hydrodynamics, and provide better protection from pool elements since less water is let through. I recommend using a silicone cap over lycra if you are swimming competitions.
Lycra caps, on the other hand, are stretchier and more comfortable. If you have a larger head or particularly voluminous hair, this cap material might be a better option.
Pro tip: Rinse your swim cap with fresh water after swimming to remove pool chemicals. This can increase your cap’s durability since pool chemicals break down various fabrics and materials. You can do this for your other swim gear as well!
In terms of shape, you have a choice between a more traditional shape with extra room for long hair or an asymmetrical shape that allows for easier accommodation of a bun or similar hairstyle at the back of your head.
The shape will mostly be up to your personal preference. That said, the regular shape will be better if you have slightly less or thinner hair, while the asymmetrical shape will be better if you have more or voluminous hair.
Similar to shape is size. While asymmetrical caps provide more space than regular-shaped long hair caps, each cap also has its own size, allowing it to accommodate slightly more or less hair.
I’ve found that the TYR Wrinkle-free cap tends to be one of the larger caps, while the Speedo Silicone Long Hair cap is slightly on the smaller side when it comes to swim caps for long hair.
While color has no direct effect on the performance or usability of your swim cap (unless you swim open water), you still want to ensure that you pick a cap with a color, print, or pattern that you like!
After all, you’ll wear this swim cap regularly from now on, so consider your options.
Pro tip: If you swim in open water, make sure to choose bright colors to increase your visibility in the water and increase your safety when swimming. Colors like bright orange and yellow work well.
Frequently Asked Questions About Long Hair Swim Caps
In this section, I clear up any questions or concerns you might still have.
Do Swim Caps Keep Your Hair Dry?
Swim caps won’t keep your hair completely dry but can prevent it from becoming soaking wet. In most cases, wearing a swim cap will still leave your hair feeling damp after swimming since some water will naturally seek in around the edges of your cap, dampening your hair.
This is still preferable, though, since the less exposure your hair has to water, the better it’s protected from pool elements like chlorine and heavy metals.
Can I Use a Regular Swim Cap With Long Hair?
Yes, you can, but do you really want to?
Regular swim caps may feel extra tight and might not fit all of your hair. This could mean strands of hair becoming damaged due to frequent and direct exposure to pool elements.
This hair could also obstruct your vision, making it difficult to see where you are swimming.
Additionally, you’ll find that regular swim caps might not last as long since the extra tension created by your hair inside the cap can cause it to stretch out and rip faster. (As all caps inevitably do).
What’s the Best Hairstyle to Use for a Long Hair Swim Cap?
It would be best if you experimented with different hairstyles to find what works for you and is comfortable. Also, take note that your hairstyle can affect how your goggles fit on your head.
Some hairstyles to consider include a high or low bun, ponytail, braids, or simply wearing your hair down. With the later 3 hairstyles, you tuck your hair into your swim cap until everything is inside.
From my experience, most swimmers with long hair prefer a variation of the bun hairstyle. They may not wear their hair like that the entire day, but can quickly make a bun before putting on their cap and hopping in the pool.
Pro tip: Get a teammate to help you put on your swim cap if you have long hair. Place your forehead in your swim cap and let them pull the cap over your head to ensure you get all of your hair inside and achieve a snug and hydrodynamic fit.
Should a Long Hair Swim Cap Cover Your Ears?
It’s up to your preference whether you want your cap to cover your ears. However, from my experience, it’s better if your cap covers your ears. This keeps water out of your ears, helps to keep hair drier since there is less room for water to seep in, and feels more comfortable overall.
Wear a Long Hair Swim Cap!
Wearing a swim cap for long hair has various benefits ranging from extra comfort, protecting your hair, optimizing your performance in the water, and helping you to abide by the pool rules.
So if you have long hair and you’re tired of the limitations of regular swim caps, why not give a long hair swim cap a go?
If it doesn’t work for you, you can always go back– although I doubt that will happen.