How do you control a swim cap, and maybe your child, when putting one on your little swimmer? These valuable tips will help you master the art, along with some great advice on how to care for them too – the swim caps, we mean, not your kids!

Some of these tips relate only to silicone or latex caps, but if you’ve got an early learner wearing a lycra one, read on because it won’t be long before you want to change to a silicone (or latex) swim cap. Why?

Because as soon as your little fish starts to move through the water, that looser fitting lycra cap will begin to slip off – taking with it any goggles your child might be wearing. (This blog explains why silicone caps are the most popular with parents and are Aquabliss’ first choice.)

Some "dry" runs first

Well, not exactly “dry” as it’s best with wet hair (and we will explain why later).

Complete some dress rehearsals at home before your poolside debut. Make a game of these rehearsals; add some time trials. Practising will also help stretch the cap a little bit too.

No sharp objects

No jagged or sharp fingernails. Use your fingertips, not your fingernails. Beware of jewellery that might damage the swim cap, such as rings or bracelets. Earrings, too, if your child wears their cap over their ears.

Wet hair first

Water smooths dry hair by lubricating it, providing a smoother surface for the cap to slip over.

There’ll be less friction and resistance between the cap and the hair – and hopefully less friction and resistance between you and your child!

Tucking in stray hairs will also be easier to grab and tame because the water will hold the hair strands together.

For long hair

Tie up in a tight bun or ponytail and position the gathered hair, so it doesn’t interfere with goggle straps. That position might be higher or lower than usual, and practising at home will help you work out the best position.

Most goggles have a split strap so you can position one strap on either side of the bun or ponytail.

Avoid using elastic bands, especially with a silicone or latex cap. The materials can rub together, creating tension, which can be a bit uncomfortable.

We know it sounds obvious, but don’t use sharp pins to secure long hair.

We’ve seen caps damaged because some parents have been on automatic pilot when carrying out poolside hair maintenance or have forgotten to take out sharp pins from that morning’s styling session.

The look and fit

Latex and silicone caps, when new, will have a crease. This crease goes from the middle centre of your child’s forehead, over the top of their head, to the middle of the top of their neck. Think about where a shark fin would sit on your child’s head.

The crease does not go from side to side/ear to ear.

Looser-fitting lycra/nylon caps can have different panel constructions, sometimes aligned with different patterns or colours, which should guide you regarding the front and back.

Here’s one of our students modelling an Aquabliss branded lycra cap – cute, uh!

Position the front of the cap on/more towards the middle of your child’s forehead, not on the hairline. This will help prevent stray hairs from escaping at the hairline boundary and help the cap stay on when swimming and diving in the pool. Tuck away any stray hairs.

For latex and silicone caps, it’s best to smooth out any creases. Wipe out any coneheads! Press the cap down, and mould it onto the head to get rid of any air pockets that might allow the cap to move.

What about ears? Under, over, halfway? This is a personal preference and can depend on the size/style of the cap. But make sure your child can hear the teacher clearly!

How to put a swim cap on your child

The methods below work best because you do the more challenging part of stretching the cap over the head.

Before you start, gently stretch the swim cap to help loosen it.
And have an agreed countdown prepared. You will want to complete the manoeuvre in one swift go, and if your child isn’t ready, you might knock them off their feet!
Most parents find it easier to put on their child’s swim cap from forehead to back, but it’s not one rule for everyone.

Child facing toward you

Watch the video to see how easy it is and quick too! Well done Jess!

Play Video

Child facing away from you

Don’t forget to check and adjust the cap making sure the cap fits snugly, is comfortable, and is not too tight. And tuck away any stray hairs using fingertips, NOT fingernails.

And if you want to have some fun… try the challenge in this next clip (and keep an eye out on our social media pages for the bloopers!)

Play Video

Removing the cap

Easy! Place your finger under the front seam, stretch the cap away from the scalp and lift.

Because latex caps are very tight fitting, there might be slight tugging at your child’s hair. If this is an issue, consider a silicone cap.

Cap care

Maximise the pool life of your swim cap with proper care.

Keep away from sharp objects
Take care when putting away your swim cap, especially if there’s anything sharp in your bag.
Be careful of sharp or jagged nails when handling a swim cap, and beware of jewellery that could damage the cap, such as rings, bracelets, and your child’s earrings.

Don’t use hair pins to secure long hair; remember to take out any already in your child’s hair.

Rinse in freshwater

Do this as soon as possible to remove pool chemicals or salt water which, if left on the cap, will erode the material.

Dry and store in a cool, dry location

Don’t leave a silicone or latex cap in the sun or a hot car as the cap can become misshapen, the material can deteriorate, and even melt!

Some people dust silicone and latex caps, inside and out, with talcum powder, baby powder or corn starch to absorb residual moisture in which damaging bacteria can grow. This also helps keep the cap soft and prevents wrinkling and sticking. And can prevent the cap from pulling on hair when taking it on and off.

But don’t use too much; otherwise, your child will look like they’ve got a bad case of dandruff!

Next Steps

Don’t have a swim cap?
We sell them, and that’s also handy if you forget to bring one.
All our swim schools stock silicone Aquabliss branded swim caps because these ones are the most popular with parents. The silicone is high-grade and has extra stretch, and some schools also sell lycra and latex caps.

Not sure which type of cap is the best for your child? Our ultimate swim cap guide will help you choose which one is best for your swimmer.

Not currently swimming with us?

You’ll find more information about our programs on our website or contact us.