By definition, a shower cap is "a plastic cap worn in the shower to keep the hair dry," (Collins Dictionary). But what if we told you that beauty companies are redefining the traditional, flimsy, poufy, aquatic accessory?
Well, that's just what they've done. Ever-so-clever entrepreneurs have reinvented the bonnet generally reserved for the privacy of your bathroom, and transformed it into a chic accessory that can be worn anytime, anyplace. "The impetus for me to design my range was that my husband couldn't keep a straight face when seeing me wear the old-school ones," says Simone Taylor, founder of Louvelle, an Australia-based line of luxury shower wear. We bet you can relate. Chances are, you wouldn't be caught dead in that unflattering bonnet and it's just as much of an eyesore hanging from the towel hook on the back of your bathroom door. "I wanted to make a shower cap as chic as everything else in a woman's wardrobe."
And Taylor wasn't alone. Jacquelyn De Jesu, founder of Shhhowercap, admits that improving the aesthetic of the household staple was her motivation as well, but after diving into the research about the shower cap (and we mean research—girl knows a helluva lot about the shower cap!), her priorities shifted to improving its quality too. "Great design is when form and function are balanced," says De Jesu. "Originally, I wanted to create something that people could wear without feeling embarrassed but later discovered that women hate the traditional shower cap. They hate the noise that it makes, the smell of it, its lack of water protection—not only is it unattractive, the shower cap often doesn't even do the one thing that it's supposed to do, which is to keep your hair dry!" So, the problem-solver in her moved De Jesu to correct every hitch that she could for her range of caps in prints and colors inspired by the women in her life. Including Beyoncé, naturally (Yoncé; $43, shhhowercap.com).
We know what you're thinking. Before forking up over $40, you want to know if these new shower caps really work. Take our word for it: they do! And with all of the uses that you can get out of them (both Shhhowercap and Louvelle caps can be worn pool or beach-side while you're on those holiday vacays, outdoors in the rain or snow, in a sauna or steam room for a deep conditioning sesh, or as a fun accessory on a bad hair day), they're well worth the investment.
"Women need to protect their blowouts from steam in the shower, but we don't need to look like cream puffs doing it," says Taylor. "Louvelle shower caps are made with silky, quick-dry fabric and a soft, lightweight, water-resistant lining. They're a firmer fit than traditional caps to keep frizz-causing humidity out. However, the natural stretch in the fabric allows them to fit over the head easily without cutting into the skin and leaving a mark." We like Louvelle Amelie Shower Cap in Mint Abstract ($40, louvellewear.com).
"Our Nanotex fabric is fused with an inner coating so that it's 100% waterproof yet breathable, allowing humidity to escape, unlike terry cloth caps, which tend to absorb moisture causing frizz."
Each brand also does its part to make their caps wearable for all hair textures and complexions. Shhhowercap bonnets are roomy and feature an elastic band in the back, perfect for women with thicker hair textures or those looking to keep the volume in their blowouts. Meanwhile, the colors and patterns used in Louvelle's old Hollywood Glamour and '70s-inspired turbans are designed to complement all skin tones.
In the wise words of De Jesu: "Don't settle for anything less than what you deserve." Not even when it comes to your shower cap!