The history books are full of stories that revolve around bathhouses, especially during the Roman Empire. But in fact, the history of bathhouses extends farther than just the Romans’ habits. Morocco had its own version of the bathhouse.
A Moroccan hammam was a clever gathering that encouraged good hygiene and social bonding. In today’s modern world, the closest experience to a bathhouse is a basic spa. Don’t be limited by these selections, however. You can actually find these bathhouses in certain neighborhoods or create one yourself in the comfort of your home.
Read further to learn more about hammam experiences, such as:
- Learning about hammam origins
- Engaging in the numerous benefits
- Breaking down the experience into steps
- Detailing the use of Rhassoul clay in hammam baths
- Formulating your own bathhouse at home
It’s time to immerse yourself in the knowledge surrounding the hammam experience and its impact on your hair, skin and nails.
The Origins Of Hammam
A hammam is simply a bath as described in the Turkish language. It’s evolved over the centuries, however, so a hammam isn’t just a bathtub experience in your house. In fact, the hammam experience began many years ago as both a hygienic and social encounter.
Are you ready to learn more about this spa-like adventure? Take a trip back to Roman times to understand its original purpose in society.
Giving Thanks To The Romans
The concept of a Moroccan hammam began during the Roman Empire. The Romans created huge buildings where people visited for their baths. It was communal by nature. These traditional bathhouses served several purposes, such as:
- Offering a clean place to bathe
- Creating communication channels for local news
- Encouraging social engagement
The Turks eventually overthrew the Romans, however, which changed the bathhouses forever. Would you have enjoyed the cold water offered by the Roman baths? Mature women today wouldn’t approach these chilly waters.
The Turkish people thought the cold was an awful idea too. From that moment forward, warm and running water became the backbone of the bathhouses that were now decentralized and referred to as hammam.
Moving With The Times
Mature women of today don’t have to deal with the limited resources that were normal during the Ottoman Empire. In fact, the hammam wasn’t seen as a perk designed for women. The men benefited from the warm water and cleansing processes.
Over time, women were finally allowed into the hammam experience. They received their own space, especially if they were of fertile age. People of the time believed that the warm water helped with fertility, which was a major issue several hundred years ago as infant-mortality rates increased over time
As the centuries passed, the hammam experience slowly became a place where both females and males could enjoy the baths. Taking care of the body was seen as a priority in the face of potential sickness or plagues.
With this history lesson, a hammam sounds incredibly tempting right now. Step back for a moment, however, because there’s more information that will excite you about this experience. There are countless benefits to a hammam when it’s performed in the proper manner.
Benefiting From Elaborate Cleansing
To be honest, there are so many benefits to hammam that it’s difficult to find any drawbacks. This whole-body experience balances out your mind and physical state. It’s no wonder that ancient people flocked to these traditional bathhouses.
Take a moment to really immerse yourself in the reality of these benefits. A traditional hammam can make a real difference in your life, especially as you grow into your senior years. Feel and look spectacular with these core benefits.
1. Detoxifying the Skin and Body
The main benefit stemming from a hammam is detoxifying the skin. These actions occur during your experience, such as:
- Opening up the pores
- Allowing sweat to steadily move from the skin
- Encouraging dead, skin cells to fall from the body
You may pride yourself on leading a healthy lifestyle, but your body will still have toxins within it. Air pollution, fast food and other factors bring toxins into the body. A hammam allows you to free the body from the toxins so that a healthy start is possible.
2. Improving the Immune System
Those toxins put pressure on your immune system. Removing them allows the immune system to operate without the added strain. Did you know that your immune system depends on a healthy, cardiovascular system too? Enhanced, blood flow is also a perk of a hammam.
As the body goes through each hammam step, the circulatory system remains stimulated. Blood flows at a healthy rate, which brings oxygen to your tissues. The oxygen helps the immune system with everyday tasks. You’re left with a healthy mind and body at their core levels.
3. Fighting off Skin Ailments
Through all of the detoxification processes, the skin reaches a balance. You don’t have dry or oily skin at the moment. It’s perfectly balanced, which leads to these perks, including:
- Reduced inflammation
- Better elasticity
- Glowing tone
- Fewer skin flakes
Do you know what else happens to your skin during and after a hammam? The skin tends to look younger than before. Anti-aging properties that fight fine lines and wrinkles are side effects to improved skin conditions.
4. Reducing Stress Levels
Are you constantly under stress? As a mature woman, you may still have a lot of responsibilities to take care of each day. A hammam will reduce those stress levels. It offers this stress-free benefit because of these factors, such as:
- Relaxing the muscles
- Taking you away from everyday tasks
You’ll even sleep better after a hammam. The entire body feels relaxed and rejuvenated, which allows you to drift off to sleep without any worries.
To truly feel consistent benefits from a hammam, add it into your calendar at least once a month. If you cannot fit an official hammam into your life, consider a DIY bath at home. The benefits are so important to your overall health that incorporating it into your life should be a priority.
Calling your local spa isn’t going to do the trick if you’re looking for a hammam experience. In fact, this bathhouse encounter is extremely different than today’s spas found in hotels or cruise ships. Are you ready to learn more about the details that surround every step of a hammam? Step back in time so that any hammam that you encounter is truly the real thing.
Discovering The Moroccan Hammam Bath Experience
If you want to feel like you’re part of the Moroccan community, participating in a traditional hammam is essential. You’ve probably been to spas or other hammam experiences in the past. What’s so special about Moroccan types?
In fact, a Moroccan hammam is unique because it’s intimate, relaxing and inexpensive. Have you ever paid for a spa at a hotel before? You can spend hundreds of dollars just for the experience! Moroccan hammam experiences are designed for the locals. There are no outrageous prices here
Step Into the Hammam
Start out in a cold room where you remove your clothes except for the underwear. Wearing a towel and flipflops is a good idea at this point. You enter a warm room now. Get used to the warmth because it will get hotter still
Depending on the physical layout, there may be three rooms that are progressively hotter than the previous ones. Within the warm rooms, you’ll encounter a washerwoman who scrubs your skin with a brush called a kess. She’ll scrub you from head to toe with a rinsing from your bucket afterward.
You’re welcome to bathe yourself with regular soap and water at this point. The scrubbing portion of your experience is often coupled with sabon beldi or black olive oil soap and Rhassoul clay. Allow yourself to rest in the hotter rooms as the toxins flow from your skin. Rinse off and exit the hammam whenever you’re ready.
Be respectful of other people at the hammam. You’re a guest in their community. Keep track of your own bucket and fill it as necessary. Borrowing a neighbor’s bucket isn’t polite.
Remember that water isn’t free flowing in most areas of Morocco. It’s held in high regard so only use as much water as is necessary for rinsing and shampooing.
Take your cues from the people within the hammam. Most visitors are partially undressed, but not entirely naked. Cover yourself as the other people do in the hammam. You don’t want to offend anyone.
Be polite to anyone who speaks to you. A hammam is largely a social experience, and tourists are particularly interesting. You never know what you’ll learn from a local as you enjoy the relaxation together.
Don’t Forget Your Supplies
Unless you’re visiting a hotel hammam, bring your own supplies to the experience. These items are necessary for a proper hammam, including:
- Scrubbing mitt or kess
- Extra clothing including underwear
- Rinsing bucket
- Sabon beldi
- Rhassoul clay
In some cases, neighborhood hammams will have some items for sale. The sabon beldi and Rhassoul clay, in particular, may be difficult to find for tourists. Don’t worry about buying these items at the hammam. They’re normally priced so that everyone can afford a luxurious reprieve.
Rhassoul clay was mentioned as one of the supplies for your hammam. What is so special about this particular substance? Learn more about this clay that comes from lava. The Earth offers many benefits for your skin, hair and nails.
Understanding Minerals Used Within The Hammam Bath
Do you recall the times in the past when you actively looked for “mud masks” during spa experiences? Rhassoul clay is the updated version of this older practice. It’s actually densely packed minerals derived from the mountains in Morocco. This clay is included in the traditional hammam for countless reasons.
The Hammam Ritual
Participating in a hammam means that you’re becoming one with your mind and body. Part of accepting yourself is ridding the body of toxins. Rhassoul clay performs this process on a natural level. In fact, the term “Rhassoul” refers to washing away unwanted substances.
The minerals within the clay, including silica and magnesium, draw toxins away from the skin. Couple the clay’s power with the heated rooms, and you have a perfect pathway to a cleansed body.
Clay Benefits Abound
Rhassoul clay has benefits for the skin, hair and nails. When it comes to the hammam experience, however, the skin is the main focus. Consider these perks offered by this unique substance, including:
- Removes excess dirt and oil
- Balances out the skin’s moisture levels
- Clears out pores
A benefit that many women appreciate is dead-skin removal. As the clay remains on the skin, it slowly relieves the upper dermis of spent cells. By helping the body with dead-skin removal, your appearance seems to have a new glow to it.
The clay is also like an astringent. Tough skin softens up with pores shrinking to their normal size. If you have any imbalances in your complexion, this clay is a natural solution to most issues affecting mature women.
Applications During The Hammam Experience
The steps during a hammam are extremely precise because each progression is another move forward to a healthier mind and body. The clay is only applied after you’ve been scrubbed down with the black soap or sabon beldi.
The hammam assistants apply the clay to your body. They swipe it across the skin by using their hands. It’s up to you if you want only certain parts treated or the entire body. The clay must remain on your skin for several minutes before it can be removed.
Rinse the clay from the skin. There might be some scrubbing involved to get all of the residue off of you. Any scrubbing action is beneficial because skin impurities pulled from the pores are quickly removed from the body. They’d be trapped otherwise.
You may not have a flight ready for Morocco at this point. Don’t be disappointed with this fact, however. You can create your own hammam at home. Simply take some of the details from the experience and apply them in your bathroom. A relaxed body and mind are the results of your efforts.
Creating Your Own Hammam Bath At Home
When your trip to Morocco isn’t in the budget for several years to come, create your own hammam at home. It’s not a complex process, and you can repeat it as often as you desire. The first thing that you must prioritize is finding the supplies.
1. Key Supplies
Fill your bathroom with these items, including:
- Black soap or its equivalent
- Kess mitt
- Moroccan lava clay
- Argan oil
You might wonder why argan oil is listed down for your hammam supplies. This clever addition should be part of your at-home ritual. Argan oil is just as natural as the clay or black soap. It comes from a tree nut that also originates in Morocco.
Argan oil offers these benefits to your personal, hammam experience, such as:
- No greasy feeling
- Absorbs almost immediately
- Takes advantage of open pores to create glowing skin
- Fights the signs of aging and blemishes
Argan oil is truly a perfect ending to your hammam. In essence, it allows the skin to continue with its hydrated texture even outside of the bath or shower. Simply use argan oil that comes in its pure state, which looks a lot like golden honey.
2. Steps to Your Hammam
Follow these basic steps to your hammam experience. Keep it simple so that the process is as relaxing as the pampering itself. Don’t skip or mix up any of the steps. They’re listed in the traditional order that makes them effective on all skin types.
- Choose between a bath or shower. To conserve water, it’s best to bathe during your hammam. The standing water also acts as a steaming vessel to open up your pores.
- Lather black soap onto your body. Don’t use it on your face, however. Allow it to stay on your body for up to 10 minutes. This time period allows the nutrients from the black olives to infiltrate your skin.
- Rinse the soap from your body.
- Stand up in your bath, or temporarily turn off the water in the shower. With damp skin, rub your entire body with the kess mitt.
- Look for any particles falling from your skin. Dead skin often comes off in small sections.
- Rinse off the particles when all of the skin has been scrubbed.
- Add the lava clay to your skin. Go a bit further by lathering it into your hair too. Leave the clay on the body for up to 20 minutes.
- Rinse and wipe your skin with the washcloth. This practice removes all of the dead skin from the body.
- Towel dry your body. Rub argan oil onto your skin. It will hydrate the skin for several hours afterward.
With a weekly or monthly hammam, your skin will always look young and fresh. As your supplies dwindle in volume, order replacements as necessary. Stocking ample supplies will only encourage you to immerse yourself in a hammam more often. Every mature woman deserves an escape from the world at times.
Are you ready to slip on a robe and try the hammam experience for yourself? The entire process of hammam is incredibly relaxing. There’s literally no stress on the body afterward.
You’ve just learned a lot about hammam, including these points:
- Being aware of its traditional origins
- Delighting in the perks offered by hammam
- Exploring each step to a proper hammam
- Getting familiar with Rhassoul clay and how it’s used in the bathhouses
- Being a clever DIYer with a hammam at home
Go ahead, and enjoy a hammam today. Research an authentic bathhouse in your neighborhood. Go a step further by creating your own experience at home. The rewards of your efforts will be less stress and a youthful appearance across the hair, skin and nails.