Bald swimmers wear caps too! The purpose of wearing a swim cap is often to reduce the largest amount of drag possible in the water. In the sport of swimming, seconds count and many competitive athletes choose to shave their bodies along with donning a tight-fitting swim cap to improve upon their times. While bald swimmers are often not required to wear a swim cap, they can choose to do so anyway as a show of team unity and spirit. And even bald swimmers can benefit from wearing a swim cap.
Do Bald Swimmers Wear Caps?
Bald swimmers often wear caps. The latex cap won’t reduce drag the same way it will for fellow team members with a head full of hair. Yet bald swimmers may find that a cap helps protect their scalp from the chemicals in the water.
At some pools, all swimmers are required to wear caps regardless of whether or not they have any hair or not. Bald swimmers may laugh at this request, as it doesn’t generally make sense from a hygiene perspective. Pools set these rules in place to avoid loose hairs from becoming stuck in the filtration system and bald swimmers may have to shrug and follow the rules.
What Is The Purpose Of A Swim Cap?
Hair can increase drag while in the water. In competitive swim settings, any type of drag can slow down record race times. If you’re looking to swim as fast as possible, a swim cap allows the body to be more aerodynamic and streamlined underwater while eliminating any extra drag that would otherwise be caused by hair.
Swimmers commonly shave their bodies before getting into the pool for a big race. This follows the same concept as the swim cap, to reduce as much drag as possible. Studies have shown that swimmers who compete after a shave proved to swim faster than they did beforehand. In fact, the benefit of reducing body drag through shaving was nearly that of a season-long collegiate training program!
Swim caps can also decrease the amount of chlorine damage that occurs to the hair. Other benefits include increased visibility, reduced hair in the pool’s filtration system, and a smooth surface for a pair of goggles to secure to.
Historically, swim caps were used to protect hairstyles and to complete the swim outfit. They were considered a fashion element and no swimsuit was complete without one, especially for women. As swimming became more competitive and the competition more fierce, swimmers adopted the caps to shave off valuable seconds on their lap times.
Benefits Of Wearing A Cap As A Bald Swimmer
While bald swimmers may not be required to wear a swim cap, they commonly follow the same protocol as their peers with full heads of hair. Caps can be a way to show team spirit and unity, as well as provide warmth on the scalp while in the cooler water. Pool temperatures can be regulated but when swimming in an open body of water, swimmers can become cold quickly.
Swim Caps Increase Visibility
During a race, lanes are often broken up by floating lane lines. Caps can help other swimmers see their competition in their peripheral vision. However, in a triathlon situation where swimmers are out in a larger body of water — swim caps can be incredibly useful for spotting swimmers and noticing if they’re in distress.
A Swim Cap Can Identify You
In open-water swimming, there may be many swimmers spread out in a lake or ocean area. Swim caps can help distinguish who’s who for the onlookers at the shore. In this type of swimming, athletes can become exhausted and are at risk of being swept away by a strong undercurrent. For safety reasons, emergency personnel needs to be able to spot someone who is struggling and provide assistance.
Scalp Skin Protection
Though bald swimmers don’t have hair that could become damaged from the chlorine in the water, swim caps can help to protect the skin on the scalp from the chemical. While generally based on the preference of the swimmer, caps are often donned during swimming as they can offer an array of benefits sans hair.
Do Bald Swimmers Wear Caps?
Though bald swimmers don’t have to wear a swim cap to reduce drag, they generally choose to do so anyway. This can be a way to show which team they belong to. And the cap can also provide a bit of extra warmth while in the water.
Reducing body drag is a key component within competitive swimming. Some swimmers may go as far as shaving their body hair on their legs, arms, and torsos. This helps them cut through the water more efficiently and they may even notice that their times go down significantly.
Chlorine can dry out the skin on the scalp. Adding a swim cap can help to ease the effects of the chemical. There are still quite a few benefits that bald swimmers can reap from donning a swim cap. This is why you will often see competitive swimmers wear them regardless of the number of hair follicles on their heads.