Can Swim Caps Cause Hair Loss?

The medical advantages of swimming routinely are diverse. It’s one of the simplest ways to help the muscle develop, reinforce your heart, and build endurance. It’s also excellent for the joints to relieve stress as well as fortify the lungs. It’s an extraordinary exercise that keeps your body in excellent condition. To crown it all, it’s an exercise without the sensation of activity.

These many benefits have a way of blinding us to the negative effect that can follow consistent swimming. For one, many avid swimmers who frequently use swim caps have discovered that they often experience thinning of the hair after prolonged years of participating in the sport. This regularly throws up the question; can swim caps cause hair loss?

No, but tightly fitting swim caps have been known to pull on the hair when placed on. While this is true for some people, it’s going to take ample time before you can notice the thinning effect of donning swim caps. But as pronounced as your fears may be, the truth is you are more likely to develop hair loss from excessive stress, bad diet, and heredity.

How Can Swim Caps Cause Hair Loss?

The action of pulling from a tight-fitting swim cap can likewise set off a hair thinning known as traction alopecia. You would need to wear swim caps for extensive periods virtually every day for it to have any significant consequences for your hair if it was pulling adequately hard. If pulling just occurs at the point of putting it on and not endlessly while you wear it, then chances are you might not suffer any thinning effect.

To reduce the chances of you developing traction alopecia, wet your hair with water or natural oil before putting on the cap. However, wearing a swim cap also doesn’t completely protect against the effects of chlorine and other chemicals on your hair.

ALSO READ: Best Swim Cap for Bald Head in 2022

Is It Bad for Your Hair to Swim Every Day?

Swimming in either fresh, salt, or chlorine water comes with its inherent dangers. These dangers are heightened by the presence of chemicals that can harm your hair. Consistent exposure to several of these chemicals can lead to loss of natural oils present around your hair. This eventually can cause your hair to become dry, develop expanded porosity, and eventual thinning of the hair if you fail to forestall and treat your hair.

The Effect of Chlorine on Hair

Chlorine is a chemical compound that has seen multiple uses in today’s world. It has been used extensively in medical lines as a disinfectant. And to this end, every swimming pool contains chlorine, which is used to sanitize the pools. While chlorine keeps us safe from potentially harmful bacteria and infections, overexposure to chlorinated water can as well cause damages to not just your hair but your skin in general (check our guide on how you can remove chlorine from your swimsuit). Prolonged exposure of the hair to chlorine may damage your hair, but it won’t necessarily lead to it falling out.

How Can I Protect My Hair From Chlorine In Pools?

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help protect your hair from overexposure to chlorine in pools. Wearing a swimming cap is one such way but keep in mind that tight-fitting caps can further put you in danger of thinning hair. That said, here are some tips to help you out:

These tips can help you prevent the occurrence of hair loss from wearing tight swim caps to exposure to chlorine:

1. Use a Protecting Gel

SoCozy Swim Spray | Leave-In Treatment & Conditioner | For Kids Hair | Protects and Repairs Pool/Sun/Salt Damage | 8 fl oz | No Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Colors or Dyes, White


Before heading out into the pool itself, it’s advisable to completely wet your hair with water. This initial soak will ensure that your hair is already saturated before entering the pool. And would eventually limit how much water your hair absorbs when in the pool. To further improve on the inability of your hair to absorb chlorinated water, you can apply an ample quantity of pre-swim protection gel just before wearing your swim cap. Protection gel such as SoCozy Swim Spray is available on Amazon.

2. Buy the Right Cap

While it might make sense to buy a one-size-fits-all swim cap, the danger in this is you end up getting the wrong protection. Either it’s too loose and allows for the infiltration of water easily, or too tight that it pulls at the scalp excessively which can break hair follicles. Both scenarios are common with latex caps since they are the most popular types of swim caps. Regardless of the material making up a cap, you need to pick a cozy swim cap that fits properly and is not excessively tight.

ALSO READ: Best Swim Cap to Protect Colored Hair in 2022

3. Use a Clarifying Shampoo

TRISWIM Chlorine Removal Swimmers Shampoo Moisturizing Repairing Hair


When in water, chlorine from pool water bonds to the skin as well as the hair. This will often require a careful cleaning process to eliminate buildup post-swim residues. This is where a clarifying shampoo can help you out. Just ensure you are using a shampoo or spray that is specifically made for eliminating chlorine from the hair. The TRISWIM Chlorine Removal swimmers shampoo is an excellent product to try out.

Treatment Tips

If you already suffer from the effects of chlorine on your hair, there are still a few means of restoring your hair back to its true nature steps below can help you:

1. Deep Conditioning Treatment

AVEDA Damage Remedy Restructuring Conditioner 33.8 oz Liter


Diving in salt or chlorine water has the potential to remove the naturally nourishing oils. With this washing away, the result is dry hair devoid of shine and diminished sensibility. To remedy the situation, you can reestablish your hair’s natural supplements by using a deep conditioning treatment. For optimal results, it is advisable to repeat the treatment course at least once a week till hair glow and shine are restored. AVEDA Damage Remedy restructuring conditioner can help you treat your hair back to its natural state.

2. Cut Your Hair

While this might sound extreme, the best way to get rid of serious damage done to your hair is to trim a couple of inches off your hair. In most cases, the endings of your hair regularly experience the most harm, and getting a decent trim can help you create a better, more glossy look to your hair. For better results, you can consider the option of cutting all the hair off to allow for fresh sprouts. This should only be considered if the damage done to your hair is extensive.

Homemade Remedies for Treating Chlorine Effect on Hair

While you might enjoy swimming as a pastime activity, treating your hair of chlorine destruction can be pretty much expensive. Deep conditioning treatment, clarifying shampoo, and saloon fees aren’t always cheap. But if you don’t have the cash to treat your hair via these means, there are homemade remedies you can rely on:

1. Coconut Oil

When it comes to treating the chlorine effect on the hair with homemade remedies, look no further than coconut oil. This natural oil extract is readily available and is cheap when compared with other styling items. It is simple to use and all you have to do is apply an ample quantity of coconut oil, and comb your hair to evenly distribute it over your hair and scalp.

The coconut oil will serve as a moisturizer and reduce the amount of water your hair can soak while also shielding the scalp from potential sun damage. Apply the oil essentially an hour before heading out into the pool or saltwater.

2. Baking Soda

Assuming you have chlorinated hair, adding baking soda to your hair can help restore lost luster. You have to apply this generously all over your head and leave it in place for up to five minutes to stop damage. After soaking, you can rinse off using club soda rinse. While this remedy works, your hair length will determine the amount of baking soda you will eventually use.

3. Cucumber Hair Mask

Cucumber has to be one of the most popular fruits on earth rich in vitamins and diverse in use. Asides from eating, you can use cucumber to treat a host of medical conditions and chlorine-damaged hair is one of them. You can create a hair mask made with cucumber to help you renew and reverse the effect of chlorine on hair.

All you need is blended cucumber, olive oil, and egg white. Mix the ingredients and apply generously to the roots and strands. Wrap in a microfiber towel and leave to soak for up to 30 minutes before washing off. Adding green gram flour, chickpea flour, and fenugreek to the recipe can increase its potency.

Conclusion – Can swim caps cause hair loss?

Swim caps can contribute to hair loss if they are tight-fitting but it takes a while to see the effect of this. When combined with the chlorine effect, which can further dry and thin out your hair, then it becomes worrisome. Thankfully, there are things you can do to reduce this and if you swim regularly (almost every day) then you have nothing to worry about.


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