Comprehensive Guide on the Moroccan Hammam

What is a Moroccan Hammam?

Hammam translates to mean spa in English and is a full-body cleansing ritual. The Hammam is an ancient beauty ritual, born out of an authentic ancestral tradition of human caring, sharing, and generosity. Equally calming and meditative as indulgent and luxurious. The aim is that self-care and caring for others are inextricably connected. The Moroccan hammam is full of timeless secrets and embodies the essence of our Moroccan culture of care. Moroccan men and women regularly bathe in a Moroccan hammam from a daily to a weekly basis. They recognize the importance of taking time to care for each other and for ourselves, nurturing a bond between ourselves: Body, Mind, and Spirit.

The hammam dates back to the 1400s and originates in Arabic cultures where the bathhouses which were originally used as places of prayer, grew in popularity as a peaceful and stress-free place.

Where It Occurs

Moroccan hammams are found in both small towns and major cities. Small towns are home to traditional hammams that are used regularly and by locals. The professional hammam is a step up from the traditional hammam. Lastly, the luxurious hammams are located in populous cities.

Moroccan hammams are divided into two buildings–one for the women and one for the men. The buildings consist of three to four long tiled rooms.

What the Experience is Like

Traditional hammams are where locals go to bathe themselves. Professional hammams fall between traditional and luxurious hammams. Luxurious hammams give their visitors the full-on pampering experience. They provide assistance and supplemental services and items to give you a more spa-like experience. Such supplements involve massages, oils, and mud baths.

The ritual is divided into 3 major steps. Prior to beginning, all visitors change into their bathing suits and are given water buckets to use in the steaming rooms. They also bring with them toiletries and Moroccan black soap to wash their body within the shower.

Step 1:

Visitors go through three rooms with different heat levels– each subsequent room becoming warmer. As the visitors move through the rooms their bodies gradually heat up with the increase in temperature and the steam from the heat opens up the pores of their skin in preparation for the following cleansing steps. People choose which room they prefer to bathe themselves and begin to lather themselves in the Moroccan black soap and allow it to sit on their skin for 10-15 minutes. Afterward, they rinse themselves using the buckets that they fill with water from the hot and cold faucets.

Step 2:

Once the body is clean and dry the next step is exfoliation using an exfoliating mitt to smooth the skin by scrubbing away the dead skin cells. This step can be quite surprising to newbies as they can't believe how much dead skin was scraped off and are impressed with how sheen their skin looks. A rinse is needed afterward to remove all the dead skin pills.

If you choose to have someone exfoliate you be prepared to have nearly every body part thoroughly exfoliated.

Step 3:

You may be thinking at this point what about the hair? Don't worry the hair is definitely not neglected. Now that your body is squeaky clean it is time to move on to cleansing the hair. Some choose to use a simple shampoo or even use black soap. Next, a mixture of rhassoul or ghassoul clay and rose water is applied all over the body, especially to the hair, and is left to dry to detox the skin and hair as it draws out all impurities.

Step 4:

After rinsing off the clay mask thoroughly, argan oil is massaged on the body and hair to remoisturize after all the multiple cleansing steps.

Again depending on the type of hammam you chose, you either massage yourself or are massaged by another. If massaged by another it can be the most relaxing and de-stressing part of the whole hammam experience.

After the massage, unlike most massages where you leave right away, you are allowed to relax. At the very end, you are given a mint tea to refresh.

How to Prepare

Expect to only bring bathing clothes, a towel, and flip-flops. It's not recommended to bring valuables such as cell phones and jewelry to avoid the possibility of theft.

If it's your first time it can be uncomfortable to show a lot of skin and see that of others but everyone is in the same boat. Everybody will be preoccupied with cleansing and enjoying themselves which you should be too!

Be sure to drink tons of water prior to going since you'll be sweating a lot in the steam rooms.

Why Do It

The Moroccan hammam offers so many benefits for the mind, body, and soul. Overall it promotes healthy skin and hair and relaxes the mind and body to a state of tranquility. It has become a must-do on many tourist's bucket lists when they come to visit Morocco but can easily be done in the comfort of your own bathroom too. 

Healthy Skin

The double cleansing of the skin ensures that your skin is getting a deep cleanse. Not only that the Moroccan products used– eucalyptus black soap, rose water, rhassoul clay, and argan oil– are packed with essential micronutrients and antioxidants that fight against wrinkles, acne, hyperpigmentation, and dryness. Exfoliation helps shed off old skin to reveal new skin that is more even-toned. The oils leave your skin so supple and soft that it resembles that of a baby's. Regular use of these products rejuvenates the skin keeping it looking young and vibrant.

Relaxation

A spa day is no doubt associated with a relaxing and therapeutic experience. The whole process of the Moroccan hammam experience can be very relaxing as the tension in your muscles loosens up from cleansing and massaging it with care. Your mind is cleared of anxious and stressful thoughts from the day as you put all your worries aside and focus on self-care. Many visitors have said they felt as if they were going to fall into a deep sleep at the end.

If, however, you can't share this ritual with others, it's nonetheless important to de-stress on your own, and care for yourself. Breathe. Find your center; find your calm. Take the time to appreciate all that you love of life. A rushed routine does not become a proper ritual: Go Slowly as you tend to your beauty and spirit. Connect with an eternal beautiful calm, as countless have done before you, century after century. Discover the ancient wisdom of Hammam.

How To Perform It at Home

No need to travel all the way to Morocco to enjoy this wellness ritual. Our hammam leather box is the perfect kit that contains all the essential products needed to have the best hammam spa. Follow the steps below to effectively destress. Take your time, go slow as you tend to your beauty, and connect with an eternal beautiful calm.

  • Light a natural scented candle and place it on a safe surface.

 

  • Bathe or shower in warm water to prepare your body and mind; skin and spirit.

 

  • As you bathe, invigorate your senses with the fragrant zip of traditional black soap.

 

  • Gently scrub your skin in a circular motion with the exfoliating mitt to unclog your pores. Be careful to not be too quick or vigorous. Exfoliate slowly and let the rhythm and repetition focus your mind.

 

  • Rinse well with cold or warm water, letting the water sheet over you. A cup or bowl is best to let a quantity of soothing water stream across your skin in smooth sheets.

 

 

  • Systematically massage our natural organic pure Moroccan argan oil into the skin of all parts of your body. Argan oil is rich in Vitamin E– a soothing nutrient. It's also appropriate for the entire body and is one of the key secrets to perfect Moroccan Mediterranean skin!

 

  • Apply just a small amount of our most precious potion, our pure prickly pear seed elixir, to the delicate skin under your eyes and to your lips. Massage very gently until your skin has absorbed its full bounty. Pure natural Moroccan prickly pear seed oil has the most vitamin-E of any oil on the market, so it is the perfect product to care for your face.

 Sources:

https://www.jumeirah.com/en/article/campaigns/stay-home-with-jumeirah/the-history-of-the-hammam-and-middle-eastern-bathing-culture https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/08/316915/the-traditional-moroccan-hammam-history-steps-and-benefits

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