The Long Lane of Swim Caps

I remember as a kid going to summer camp and wearing my swim cap out in the hot sun. I had quite the challenge fitting my black frizzy hair into this type contraption. Nevertheless, it was required and for good reason. Set aside the not-so-sweet smeall of rubber, latex, or silicone, the swimming cap has a “full” history of its own.

According to, swimming caps came to the “surface” during the 20th century. What started out as rubberized fabric, these protective coverings were later made of latex. The earliest versions of the swim cap had a milinary look to them and included a chin strap. During the heat of the war era, the use of rubber in these caps was limited. If a woman was able to get a rubber camp to protect her costly “wavey” tresses, she was fortunate.

As hairstyles in men got longer, pool rules for men changed as well. Men would be required to done a swim cap as well. In order to keep filters free from getting clogged with loose hairs, swim caps were required. The swim cap also has some other practical benefits as well. It keeps the head warm, water out of the ears, and free of the affects of chlorinated water. As a kid, I always wanted that summer chlorinated look! No matter how hard I tried, my jet black tresses were never at risk.

Swim caps are not only practical, but can be quite the fashion statement. Traditional athletic styles are available in solid colors and are mostly worn by professional swimmers. On the “flip” side of things, grandmas doing water aerobics and kids at instructional swim are big fans of floral patterns. Retro styles from the 1960s have even made quite the “splash” these days and are also very popular.

Do you have a fashionable or practical swimming cap?


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