There's some decidedly unglamorous prep that goes into looking glamorous. Case in point? Shower caps. Though, to be honest, they're not quite as comical in terms of design as they used to be. Sure, even the best shower caps aren't exactly going to pass as chic hair accessories, but they will keep your hair completely protected while you rinse off.
As anyone who's ever used a flimsy, plastic, hotel shower cap knows, investing in a quality shower cap can make a world of difference. To actually keep your hair protected, look for a strong, sturdy shower cap with an elastic band that won't allow your hair to slip out — even better if it's lined with a thicker material, like cotton or PEVA (a type of waterproof vinyl that's commonly used to construct shower curtains).
To properly care for your shower cap — some can become smelly over time — make sure to wash it every once in a while. Some shower caps are machine-washable, while others can be cleaned using warm water and dish soap (most brands provide care instructions, so just be sure to double-check). Also, if you tend to keep your shower cap stored in a humid place, like inside a bathroom cabinet or drawer, make sure to let it fully dry before putting it back to avoid the growth of mildew and bacteria (though you can find shower caps that are mold- and mildew-resistant — you'll find one great example below).
For so many reasons, shower caps are great for your hair and its overall health. Not only do they protect your hair's styling overnight (so you will have to apply less heat to your hair to touch up your style the next morning), but they also can be worn in the shower if you're trying to wash your hair less. Since experts recommend washing your hair two to three times a week, and many people shower more regularly than that, they can protect your hair from over-washing.
How often should you replace your shower cap?
Most hair experts recommend replacing your shower cap every few months, and keeping up with regularly washing it in order to eliminate any bacteria that might grow in an enclosed cap regularly exposed to water.
How can you keep your shower cap from smelling?
Regularly washing your shower cap is the best way to keep it from smelling. All of the shower caps above can easily be washed, and should be washed around once a week in order to minimize any bacteria that might grow and cause your shower cap to smell.