Do Swim Caps Make Your Hair Smell: Tips for Get Rid of It

Swimming is good, but nothing ruins our post-swim relaxation like the smell of the swim cap. It’s not a pleasant smell and often lingers in our hair long after removing the cap.

Ugh! If you’re a regular swimmer, you’ve also experienced this problem. But never fear! There are ways to get rid of that nasty swim cap smell. Keep reading to learn more.

What Makes Your Swim Cap Leave That Smell?

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Have you ever noticed that your swim cap smells worse after a workout than when you first put it on?

That’s because sweat and body oils mix with the chlorine in the water to create a potent odor-causing combination.

Add to that the fact that most swim caps are made of latex or rubber, which are notorious for retaining smells, and it’s no wonder your post-swim hair smells like a pool!

4 Tips to Remove The Smell on Your Hair

There are a few things you can do to remove the swim cap smell from your hair:

Rinse your hair with clean water as soon as possible after your swim.

This will help remove some of the chlorine and other contaminants from your hair before they have a chance to cause odor.

Use a clarifying shampoo or apple cider vinegar.

Clarifying shampoos can help remove any lingering chlorine, sweat or body oil residue from your hair.

Apple cider vinegar can also be used as a natural conditioner and can help neutralize odors.

Combine water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz it on your hair after swimming. Be sure to rinse well afterwards so your hair doesn’t end up smelling like vinegar!

Apply a leave-in conditioner or natural oil to your hair after swimming.

This will help replenish lost moisture and create a barrier against future damage. It will also help keep your hair smelling fresh and clean for longer.

Just be sure not to use too much, as this can weigh down your hair and make it look greasy. A little goes a long way!

Use a dry shampoo in between washes to absorb excess oil and odors.

This is especially helpful if you have color-treated or chemically treated hair, as these types of products can strip away natural oils that help protect your hair.

How to Avoid The Smell of Swimming Caps?

The best way to avoid the swim cap smell is to prevent it from happening in the first place!

Rinse your swim cap with clean water before each use.

This will help remove any dirt, oil, or other contaminants that could cause odor.

Apply Vaseline or petroleum jelly to your skin before putting on your swim cap.

This will create a barrier between your skin and the swim cap, helping to prevent the transfer of sweat and body oils.

Choose a silicone swim cap over one made of latex or rubber.

Silicone is less likely than other materials to retain odors, so it’s less likely to make your post-swim hair smell bad.

Don’t wear your swim cap for more than an hour at a time.

If you’re going to be swimming for longer periods of time, take a break every hour or so to remove your swim cap and give your scalp a chance to breathe.


There’s no need to suffer through swimming with smelly hair! By following these tips, you can avoid the problem altogether or at least minimize it to enjoy post-swim relaxation without worry.

Do you have any other tips for getting rid of the swim cap smell? Please share them with us!