Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Dread Swim Cap?! - DREAD EMPIRE

Dread Empire swim cap. So a number of companies make swim caps specially designed to accommodate dreadlocks. This one by Dread Empire seems to be one of the most popular choices and this one specifically was mailed to me by their UK distributer dreadlab.co.uk . I’ve seen these before but I’ve never had chance to check one out.

The design is kind of what you’d expect - it’s a rubber cap, it’s got a seam running down the side and a Dread Empire logo on the front. It’s stretchy and it’s grippy.

The main use for this would be for swimming but I’m sure it could be useful for any situation where you’d like to keep your dreads dry, so overhead showering etc. Now I’ve not taken this thing swimming… and that’s because I don’t really swim - I can swim!… but I don’t really “go” swimming, mainly in part to dreadlocks not really being the most practical things to swim with… maybe this swim cap will change that?

I’ve found that getting it onto your head is not the simplest of tasks. The material is stretchy, but it’s a pretty tight fit and the rubber pulls against your hair and can pull uncomfortably if you’re not careful due to the friction. Because of this it’s not really practical for me to put it on like I would a dreadlock tam - maybe it would be easier for people with shorter dreads? Instead I get my dreadlocks into a bun and bring the cap over the whole lot. What I actually find easier and would recommend would be wearing something soft and silky between the cap and your dreads - this stops the rubber from pulling on your hairs. What I’ve got for that is this multifunction headband from Super Dread. With the headband I find it’s a lot easier to get the swim cap on and off.

The cap really is quite accommodating… I have quit a lot of… hair, and it all seems to fit inside reasonably easily - the cap is much tighter around my forehead than it is around the dreadlocks themselves - I mean it’s super tight around my forehead - I haven’t taken it swimming so I couldn’t say whether it’s able to keep all the water out if you’re diving under, but it’s about as tight of a seal as you’re going to get.

I guess now we need to introduce some water?

Ok so as expected the cap is totally water-tight. I’ve tested it out in the shower and the dreads stay bone dry and the seal is so tight that nothing leaks in.

So, pros and cons:
Obviously it does it’s job, it keeps the dreadlocks dry, and while it may be a little tight around my forehead, it’s otherwise not uncomfortable, for me at least, even with all the hair that I’ve got to cover. It provides a much stronger seal than just a regular shower cap so should do a much better job compared against a non-specialised cap. I find swimming with dreads to be rather impractical - the dreads weigh you down, drag behind you, slop around. While I haven’t had a chance to swim with this cap I can feel that it would make swimming a lot easier, whether it’s totally water tight underwater or not, simply the ability to control the dreads will make it easier to swim.

On the downside it is tricky to get it on and off, that may be dependant on how much hair you’ve got to cover. The material can pull against your hair when you’re putting it on or taking it off which can be uncomfortable - however as I said earlier, I find the best way of dealing with this is to wear a soft covering between the cap and the dreads like this headband from Super Dread. Another potential downside… it looks a little… well, it’s going to draw some looks, not sure there’s going to be much getting around that!

So Dread Empire swim cap from dreadlab.co.uk - it’s got it’s drawbacks and might be a bit overkill for just using in the shower, but if you need to keep your dreads under control while swimming, I think it’s definitely worth checking out.

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