Traditional swimming caps have never fully covered my big, curly Afro, and taking a dip in a pool or ocean while wearing box braids only makes my head feel extremely heavy and uncomfortable afterward. So I often forgo swimming altogether, and that’s just not fun.
Nomvuyo Treffers knew this struggle all too well. As the mother of two young daughters who enjoyed water sports, she often sat on the sidelines reading a book instead of joining in because she couldn’t find a swimming cap to fit over her long dreadlocks.
In an interview with South Africa’s W24 digital lifestyle magazine, Treffers revealed that she even took the extreme measure of cutting her locs “out of frustration” just so she could swim with her children. But it wasn’t long before she recognized that there was a greater need among fellow South Africans with hair like hers for larger swim caps that actually fit. Thus, Swimma Caps were born.
Made from silicone, Swimma Caps stretch wide enough to cover the hair of men, women, and children sporting natural ’dos, braids, and dreadlocks and still remain snug along the hairline to prevent water from creeping inside. The caps come in an array of colors, including red, yellow, blue, pink, white, and black.
Instagram and Twitter posts tagged “#swimmacaps” show wide-smiled tots and adults wearing these natural-hair-friendly caps while swimming, as well as before-and-after shots that prove they do work.
— Mrs FF (@fancyfunshy) April 22, 2017
Aside from creating a product for people of color that allows them to swim without worrying about their natural hair, Treffers has undoubtedly helped many individuals to overcome fear, ignite self-confidence, and banish the myth that “black people don’t swim.”
As Treffers told True Africa, “There is no such thing as one size fits all. There is a dire need to feel represented.”
Swimma Caps are available for purchase at swimma.co.za.
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