A bouffant cap may resemble a plastic bag surrounded by elastic lining, but it is actually a hat used to cover the head so that stray hair doesn’t fall out and water and other things don’t get in. Because the elastic sits snugly at the hairline, they were originally used to shield and maintain elaborate hair-dos during showers and sleep. Today, they are also used in hospitals and during food preparation for hygienic purposes.
With the name inspired by the bouffant and pouf hairstyles of Marie Antoinette and Bridget Bardot, bouffant caps have existed for just as long. At the beginning, they were tailor-made out of soft materials to fit the wearer. Today, they are churned out in netting, plastic, and polypropylene versions, making them a cheap and disposable accessory used in many settings.
Hair care is one of them, where these caps are used to protect one’s mane. Thin and fragile hair can avoid tangles by wrapping them in a silk-lined cap before sleep. Unique hairstyles crafted by bottles of hairspray and numerous pins can see their life extended by wrapping this protective shield around it during dressing and make-up.
Because bouffant caps prevent the fumes and chemicals from coloring and perm treatments from escaping, they can protect clothes and furniture from the aftereffects of a hair treatment. This little piece of fabric can thwart accidental drips that would otherwise blemish other materials and keep toxins from permeating the air.
Plastic versions can also be employed with heat-activated hair masks. The hair mask is put on first, with the cap subsequently going over it. There are then three methods to select from. The first is to wrap one’s head with a warm towel, while the second is to stand under warm water in a shower. The third technique involves using a hair dryer to heat up the hair, with the cap allowing the warm air to seep in. That way, the hair mask remains intact and is not washed away or dried up.
Other professions also employ variations of this useful bouffant cap. The surgical version is a staple for doctors, preventing stray hairs from infecting an otherwise sterile environment. Food preparers don the hair net version for the same hygienic purposes.