Headline News Sport

Afro swimming-cap approved after Olympic ban

Top-tier tournaments will now allow the use of a swimming cap for afro hair.

The special hair covering made for thick, curly hair, dreads, weaves and braids was banned at last year’s Olympics.

BBC reports that the manufacturer of ‘Soul Cap’ described the approval from governing body Fina as “a huge step in the right direction”.

“We’re excited to see the future of a sport that’s becoming more inclusive,” it said.

Fina executive director Brent Nowicki said the announcement “follows a period of review and discussion on cap design between Fina and Soul Cap over the past year”, in a statement.

“Promoting diversity and inclusivity is at the heart of Fina’s work, and it is very important that all aquatic athletes have access to the appropriate swimwear.”

Afro hair is naturally drier than other hair because it has fewer cell layers. The sodium hypochlorite – or bleach – found in swimming pools can dry it out more, leading to damage.

Because afro hair has fewer cell layers than regular hair, it is inherently drier. Swimming pool bleach, also known as sodium hypochlorite, can further dry it out and cause damage.

Writing by Muzha Kucha