Swim caps have been used since the ancient world. The earliest caps were in fact fashioned from cloth or netting meant to simply hold hair out of the water. Then by the early 1800's silk or cloth bonnets were designed to cover the hair completely and help keep it from getting damp. In France the process of waxing taffeta was developed, leaving the fabric nearly waterproof.
But it wasn't until 1883 and the invention of rubber, that the first modern swim caps were created. During WWll the production of swim caps was momentarily halted due to a rubber shortage caused by the war. By the early 1950's, they had made a triumphant return as a fashion statement, thanks largely in part to Olympian and film star Ester Williams. By 1970 only competitive swimmers continued to wear them. Todays caps come in an assortment of materials and colors.
Silicone- Most preferred by swimmers. silicone caps are more durable, last longer and are more hydrodynamic.
Latex-These caps are thinner, don't trap as much heat, and are less expensive.
Long hair caps- These are great especially if you have long, thick, braided or curly hair. I have had some swimmers prefer them just for the roominess. All the big brands sell long hair caps, as well as a few specialty makers. You can practice in any brand but caps must be FINA approved for meets.
Protect Your Swim Cap
Avoid wearing bobby pins.
Do not use your fingernails to adjust cap.
Rinse in water- NOT THE POOL!!
Gently dry both the inside and out with a towel.
Massage tiny, dime size amount of conditioner all over cap.
If you aren't using cap for more than a day gently dry cap and sprinkle with (a small amount) of talc or baby powder. It helps absorb moisture- which can lead to bacterial growth.