Why Do Swimmers Wear Swimming Caps?
People go swimming for different reasons therefore the reasons why they wear swimming caps are different too. Many folk like to go for a swim because it is a fantastic way to keep fit. Many go for the pure enjoyment of it, they just love to swim. A lot of people join clubs because of the social aspect to it. Serious swimmers get in the pool to train and compete in competitions. There are plenty of other explanations as to why swimmers like to swim.
To Keep Pool Chemicals From Damaging The Hair
For many folk that go for a swim, a cap is a vital piece of swimwear. For those that swim in the pool, there are chemicals such as chlorinating agents that are there to disinfect the water and keep it safe for swimming. The problem with these chemicals is that they can be damaging for the hair. Continued immersion in the pool can cause it to become dehydrated, brittle and discolored.
Our scalps naturally produce sebum, a mixture of fats, waxes and oils. These substances make their way into the hair shaft and protect it from absorbing too many outside elements or drying out too much. It also gives it shine and body. Pool chemicals will strip the shaft of these essential oils leaving it devoid of any protection, therefore harming it and making it look unattractive.
The answer is to create a protective barrier to the tresses from the chemicals. There a many products on the market that can applied to the locks to prevent damage but the majority of swimming pools don’t like swimmers to apply them because they can leave contaminants in the water. The other thing is with these products is that they are not exactly cheap and for swimmers that go swimming on a regular basis, the costs can really mount up.
The other alternative is to find a swim cap that will do a similar job. They won’t leave any residue in the pool, they are little trouble to use because they are very quick and easy to put on and take off, they are really inexpensive when you consider how many times that you can reuse them, and they come in all types of colors and styles.
To Keep UV Rays From Harming Your Hair
UV rays from the sunshine can cause a great deal of damage to your tresses. As a child I lived on the beach and mine was very blond. It was also dry and frayed, not that I cared.
Once again, there are products that can provide UV protection and also provide a barrier against the salt water if swimming in the sea. These products don’t come cheap either.
Donning a swimming cap will give a 100% barrier from the UV rays. They can get very warm in the summer though. They are an inexpensive alternative to hair products.
If out in the sun for extended periods, the UV rays can break down the protein within the shaft. As a rule, people that have a thick mane won’t experience as much harm as those with thin hair. This is because it is the external part of the hair shaft that gets the brunt of the UV rays. The cell construction within the shaft becomes weakened and that causes inflexibility leading to split ends and bleaching.
Dark tresses also provides more of a UV barrier to the inner part of the shaft so the damage isn’t so bad for the hair in general. However, because the outer part of the shaft gets more UV rays, the bleaching effect can be more pronounced.
Increased Speed For Competitive Swimmers
Although it doesn’t seem like it, hair generates a certain amount of hydrodynamic drag (water resistance). In comparison to aerodynamic drag (air resistance), the friction that water creates against hair is over 100 times and this resistance can slow down the swimmer by a considerable amount.
Competitive swimmers use a swim cap to make themselves more streamlined and efficient in the water. It is to do with the surface area of the tresses. If all the hair was laid out it would create a significant surface area. The smaller the surface area, the less drag there will be. A cap reduces the surface area of the head many times, leading to a surprising increase in lap times.
Even tenths of a second in a finishing time can be the difference between a place and no place. Other than shaving the head, a swimming cap is the best way to trim the smallest fraction of a second of swimming times.
At Some Pools It Is A Requirement
Many owners of swimming pools insist that a cap be worn to be able to use the pool. Over a period of time, the loose strands from hundreds of swimmers can start to accumulate in the filters and can be quite a hassle to keep clean.
Also, there have been very sad instances of people swallowing their own locks whilst swimming and actually drowning. The owners want to keep risk of being sued down to a minimum.
To Avoid Getting Hair in the Face
Following on from the above, tresses getting in the face can not only be dangerous for people with long hair, it can be very annoying and stop your enjoyment of your swim. It can get in the mouth, eyes and up the nose.
Having to keep on spitting out your locks and removing it from the nose is not conducive to swimmers that are trying to complete many laps. A swim cap is a must in these cases.
To Retain Heat In The Head In Colder Areas
When swimming in cold or open water, the body temperature will start to reduce. Much heat is lost out of the top of the head so there are swimming caps that are designed for such conditions. Many swimmers that swim in colder areas say that they get cold because of evaporation of the water from their heads, the cooling effect of cold air on wet skin. A cap will reduce evaporation. Any insulation on the head is welcomed.