Moroccan Bath Ritual
The Moroccan Hammam is a traditional bathing ritual that draws its beauty from an ancestral routine. This is a routine almost every Moroccan is still religiously following to this very day.
Even in present-day Morocco, in our modern times and homes with luxury showers and contemporary bathrooms, you still cannot declare yourself clean if you don’t go to the Hammam at least once a week to get rid of the dirt (that means thoroughly exfoliating your skin from head to toe 😉
The Moroccan Hammam is a sauna-like bath, involving a dry heat source called “Barma”. This room is the most heated part of the Hammam. The heat is proven to open up the pores of the skin releasing all toxins.
My first memory and experience of the Hammam was when I was a child, during one of my summer holidays in Morocco. There was a wedding of a member of the family and a group of us were invited to accompany the bride and her family to the hammam. The Hammam on this occasion was privately rented out to prepare the bride for her big day. The bride is covered with a pretty garment from head to toe, then guided and followed by all her female family members and friends to the nearest hammam (which are usually within walking distance). The elders sing the salaat wa salaam and traditional, meaningful songs as they follow behind her ending them with the zaghritta (the Moroccan word for a cultural sound made by the movement of the tongue in the mouth) then the next song would begin until we would all reach the destination. They did this both, to and from the Hammam to further publicize the wedding.
All the Moroccan bath rituals are completed on the bride and everyone enjoys refreshing themselves at the same time and revitalizing their beauty. It’s a very pleasant & special women’s gathering.
And so, you could say the Moroccan Public Bath serves as a well-appreciated weekly social gathering and SPA Rendez-vous as well as for special occasions like these.
However, to complete this Moroccan bath ritual in its traditional form, it involves the use of very specific natural ingredients produced only in Morocco which accomplishes every action with perfection. As you lay or sit in the heat, a lady will gently massage your whole body with Moroccan Black Soap, enveloping you in it with a circular motion.
This special soap is made of a base mixture of olive oil & macerated olives, it has various luxurious versions containing Argan oil and essential oils such as eucalyptus to enhance its cleaning & antibacterial capacity. The combination of this soap alongside the heat has proven to open up the pores and ease the exfoliation of the most profound dead skin.
You will be lost in the sensational coziness of the heat and soap, feeling as though you’re in a cocoon of comfort. No one in their right mind likes to move onto the next process until they are literally dragged from their reverie by a lady brandishing a “Keesa” (a Moroccan exfoliating glove, typically styled like a loofah.)
Your skin is then vigorously rubbed from neck to toe, but don’t panic! The moment you see the amount of dead skin falling off your body resembling little worms, you will experience the famous impression of never having had a bath in your life 😉
When you are rinsed and washed out of these impurities, your skin will then be ready for a heavenly body mask.
The next step of the Moroccan bath is the envelopment of the famous Ghassoul.
Ghassoul is a special clay produced only in Morocco originating from the volcanic mountains of the Moyen Atlas.
This clay is one of a kind in creating baby soft skin and gifting your body with a satin silky smooth touch. It comes in its natural form like in the picture or ground down into a powder for you to mix how you please. There are also ready-mixed versions available.
Then finally, just when you think you can’t take any more skin treatment, you will again be passed onto another lady who will engross you in a heavenly body massage from head to toe using a heated concoction of Argan oil and Rose Water.
Here is a good video by Jesica Cabrera taken from Al Amirah Moroccan Bath & Spa in the Philippines. This short clip shows some snippets of how the Hammam/ Moroccan bath ritual can feel like when taken in a salon/spa environment and what you can expect to entale:
Of course, the salon experience isn’t going to be the same as the Moroccan traditional experience where you share it with sisters and friends. As you sip your Moroccan tea at the end of the Hammam, you will feel a blissful aura of beauty & lightness surrounding you as you glance at your reflection in the mirror to see your rejuvenated reflection!
Anyone reading this is bound to seek a visit to a Moroccan Hammam at some point in their life, and we highly recommend it, however, we suggest you get some assistance and recommendations to the right type of hammam for you. There are numerous versions all offering the same services but catering for the different price ranges and unfortunately, you get what you pay for. Also, it’s useful to mention at this point that if you do not wish to free mix with other women (as this is actually prohibited in Islam if not covering your Awra.) You can request a private room or family room to share with your mother or daughter.
Here is some good news though, if you can’t afford to go to Morocco for the exquisite Hammam experience, you can now recreate a Moroccan Hammam in the comfort and privacy of your own home. All you need are the following ingredients and a very hot & steamy bathroom:
MOROCCAN BLACK SOAP (to apply while enjoying the heat relaxation)
KEESA – MOROCCAN EXFOLIATING GLOVE (for exfoliating the dead skin that has been softened with soap)
DETOXIFYING GHASSOUL CLAY BODY MASK (to apply after the skin exfoliation)
ARGAN OIL (for the final moisturising massage )
ROSE WATER (to mix with the Argan oil or to scent the body with after moisturising)
All the above ingredients are available to order as a set from azizatihealthandbeauty.com for only 29.99
Add a few candles and It’s the perfect chillaxing experience to try on your own or even for a romantic evening with your spouse.
If you found this post about “Moroccan Bath Ritual” useful please do LIKE and SHARE, and if you have some interesting hammam stories please do write them down in the comments section below, I’ve heard a good few in my time! 😉