Silicone vs latex swim cap

What is Best for Your Hair: Silicone or Latex Swim Cap?

What is the best silicone vs latex swim cap?

When we looked at the best caps for swimming, we looked at silicone, latex, bubble, neoprene, and polyester swim caps.

Today, we delve further into the topic to try to see what you should buy between latex and silicone swimming caps.

Swimming caps can keep your hair dry, that is, if they are waterproof. They can also protect your blonde hair from chlorine.

However, not all swimming caps are waterproof, so this protection is not guaranteed if you don’t look for the best cap.

Also read: Can you swim in the ocean with a yeast infection?

And now, the battle comes down to silicone vs neoprene swimming caps or silicone vs latex swimming caps.

Keep reading!

Difference between latex and silicone swim caps

silicone vs latex swim cap

Swimming caps are not the same. They might look similar in form and function, but the materials are very different.

So, what is the difference between latex and silicone swim caps?

1. Material differences: silicone vs latex caps

Even from the names themselves, you can tell that one is made of silicone while the other is made of latex. These materials have different strengths and breaking points.


This artificial rubber is malleable, so it can stretch well without breaking. Silicone is largely hypoallergenic. People who have sensitive skin can wear these caps without any trouble.

Silicone caps can accommodate your long hair very well and you need this to reduce drag when you are swimming.


Most people know latex from the hospital gloves. It is elastic so it stretches well to accommodate your hair. Latex can be natural, and it can be artificial.

Today, Latex is used to make many things such as chewing gum, gloves, swimming caps, shoes, catheters and many more.

When you are buying your latex items, please make sure they are made of natural latex. Most people develop artificial latex allergies.

2. Resistance to stretching

If you have a large head or long hair, you need to worry about the stretching resistance of your swimming cap.

The more resistant a material is to stretching, the harder it will be for you to put your cap on.

In this case, silicone wins hands-down! It is thicker so it has minimal stretching resistance. You will find it easy to tuck your crown of hair under the cap.

Also check this article: Does water go inside you when you swim

Latex has higher resistance to stretching. It can be a bother of trouble trying to tuck long hair inside it. If you stretch it too far, it will snap!

3. Thickness and durability

This is an important consideration before you buy your swimming attire. Now, latex swim caps can sustain damage from punctures easily because they are so light.

On the other hand, silicone caps are thicker, so they tend to last longer. One of the popular questions on the web is: is silicone thicker than latex? And it is!

Of course, even silicone caps, swimming gloves or other wearables are susceptible to damage by puncture. However, silicone is more resistant than latex.

4. Where you will use the swim cap

latex vs silicone swimming caps

When you are buying swimming gear, you want to know where and when you can use it. Latex is lighter so it is not very good for swimming in cold water.

Silicone on the other hand is strong and thicker. It is just perfect for swimming in the open water. Therefore when choosing what you can wear for use in triathlons, consider the warmth level you can enjoy.

Also, note that swimming in the summer sun with a silicone cap can be a really sweaty affair. Latex gloves, swim caps would be more appropriate for summer swimming.

5. Comfort and experience: latex or silicone swim caps

Comfort is how you feel when you wear the swimming cap on your head. What feels more like part of your skin rather than an addition?

Here, I would say that the two materials pull a draw. Latex feels stickier or grippy. However, this stickiness is deliberate since it acts as a bond between the skin and the swimming cap.

Once you get used to it, it feels okay, but the feeling of the cap tugging at your hair quite never goes away.

Check this useful bit of info: How to stop toddler from drinking pool water

Silicone material feels too tight. It seems it was not made for comfort but to keep hair in one place.

On the other hand though, you will feel no tugging at your hair even when you swim at speed. If tight things on your head affect you, you might want to avoid the silicone cap.

Another important factor of comfort is breathability. Swimming is energy-intensive and you are going to break a sweat.

If this happens, the latex cap will make you feel uncomfortable. Silicone allows some sort of air movement, enhancing comfort.

6. The cost

If you check on, you will see that silicone caps are costlier! In fact, Latex swimming gear costs much lower.

If you are on a low budget, consider going for latex. On the flip side though, it won’t last as long as silicone items, which cost up to three times the price of latex.

Silicone swimming caps can last several years! Now, considering that you will pay much less than $20, it is better to invest in silicone headwear for swimming. It will eventually give you more value for the money.

7. Maintenance

If there are tears in your silicone or latex swimming cap, toss it away and get a new one. There is no need to bother with repairs.

Regarding regular maintenance, just keep your swimming cap clean. Whether you have been swimming in saltwater or chlorine pool, rinse the cap when you are done swimming for the day.

Dry your cap in the air thoroughly before storage.

8. UV Resistance: silicone swim cap vs latex

UV rays are going to damage the color of the swimming cap if the material used does not offer resistance.

Luckily, both silicone and latex wearables for swimming or for other activities offer UV resistance. This protects your skin and hair. Exposure to UV rays damages hair. It can make it frizzy and it will lose its color.

Are silicone swim caps waterproof?

Are silicone swim caps waterproof

If you look for waterproof swimming caps on different online marketplaces, you will see that silicone caps top the list.

Indeed, they bring you a special combination of waterproofness and breathability, something that you don’t find in latex swimming caps.

Please note that water will find its way in even through the smallest opening. Therefore, even if silicone is waterproof, water will still find its way into your hair through the edges. The only difference is that the hair will not get swampy-wet.

If you can keep your swimming cap super tight on the edges, you might prevent water from getting in. To do this, you might need to wear two silicone swimming caps. However, you might experience discomfort because the pressure on your skin might be too much.

Are latex swim caps waterproof?

Are silicone swim caps waterproof

Latex swim caps are not breathable, but they are waterproof. However, as we said in the section for silicone swim caps being waterproof, even latex ones will not keep your hair 100% dry.

If you wear your latex cap with a tight seal, you might perhaps be able to keep more water out than when you wear silicone caps.

Something that people who wear latex swimming socks find is just how hard it is to keep water out completely. As long as there is even the smallest opening, water will find its way in.

You could wear two latex swimcaps. However, remember that they can feel grippy, so you might want to avoid the discomfort.

Overall, just wear your latex swim cap or silicone knowing well the water might still find its way to the hair, especially along the edges.

Are latex swim caps good?

Mostly, people ask this question after finding out how cheap these caps can be. The answer is… these caps are great!

They fit very well on different types of heads because they are super stretchy. They also require minimal care and maintenance.

However, these caps also have their fair share of downsides. For instance, before you order one, make sure you are not allergic to latex.

How do you know if you have a latex allergy? Usually, after wearing a latex item, you will know you have a latex allergy if a rash appears on your skin 24 to 48 hours later.

Does swimming cap cause hair loss?

Does swimming cap cause hair loss

What a question, but we would say a faint yes and no. Faint yes, because some things, such as exposure to UV rays, chlorine, and other pool chemicals, might make hair loss even worse.

A good swimming cap, be it latex or silicone, is going to protect your hair from the damage caused by UV rays.

Exposure to the elements can also cause hair to be frizzy, and weak and it can even start losing its protein, making the strands susceptible to breakage.

Having said that, do not wear a swimming cap to prevent hair loss because it is not made for that. Rather, wear it to keep the swimming pool clean, prevent exposure to chemicals and so on.

If you wear a super tight latex swimming cap, it is going to feel real grippy and you don’t want that. If it pulls hair, well, it might actually exacerbate hair loss.

Which is better latex or silicone swim cap?

From the write up, you can see that it is hard to point at one type of swimming cap and say – that’s better!

They are made of different materials, and they all have distinct characteristics. Therefore, we can only judge each on its own merits.

For instance, latex caps are cheaper, but silicone caps are more durable. Thus, it eventually evens out between the two caps.

For people with sensitive skin though, silicone might be a better choice. There is a silicone allergy alright, but it is rare in human beings.

Whatever you buy will give you the right service.

Final thoughts: Silicone vs latex swim cap

That is it for the comparison between latex vs silicone swim caps.

If you can help it, do not swim without a cap covering your hair. Swimming with hair exposed makes the swimming pool dirty.

With age, some of the hair keeps breaking away. It eventually finds its way to the swimming pool filter.

Also, these caps offer UV protection, without which you could start losing your hair color. For your protection, the pool’s protection, and to look really fly, wear a swim cap on your head.

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