What is a Hammam?
A hammam ("hot water" in Arabic) is a humid steam bath originating from roman thermal baths. The hammam as it is known today was developed during the Ottoman empire, from the Maghreb countries to the middle-east (like Syria), with the expansion of Islam. In fact hammams were adapted to religious Islamic precepts which advocate a meticulous hygiene and regular ablutions, especially prior to ritual prayer.
In Morocco, hammams are a social phenomenon and all social classes frequent these public places. A hammam is often composed of three to four rooms, the first at room temperature, the second slightly hotter, and so on. In a hammam, the skin’s pores dilate under the effects of the steam, therefore allowing for an in-depth cleansing.
The word hammam also refers to the building in which these baths are held. The architecture of hammams varies according to geographic areas and the era in which they were built.
Today, although hammams have virtually disappeared in certain countries like Egypt (once reputed for its 365 hammams, the most beautiful of the Orient, only six remain in Cairo) with the development of private bathrooms. The practice remains alive in numerous places and has become a trend in Europe. They even exist in Montréal.
A recipe to recreate a Hammam ritual at home
Soft lighting, gentle and surrounding heat, cocoon intimacy. At home, begin this traditional hammam purification ritual with a hot shower or a relaxing bath. Coat your body with Ghassoul paste (it washes, exfoliates and nourishes). This grain-free exfoliating paste is recognized for its calming, purifying, and softening effects.
Keeping a hushed atmosphere, let it take effect. Take advantage of these sweet moments… Shampoo your hair and put on a Ghassoul face mask. Rinse your hammam kessa glove with hot water, wring-and rub-using large circular, slow motions. Pamper your feet and eliminate calluses with a Bohemian Crysta foot files . Rinse all along the treatment. To finish, apply Miss Argan argan oil on your whole body to soften and nourish your skin. All products available online.