Do You Go “Hmmm..” about Hammams? Find Out What They Are

In understanding more about what precisely a Moroccan hammam is, you're likely to find it a Turkish bath, a Roman bath, a Moroccan steam room, or a sauna. A Moroccan hammam is generally a large bathhouse with multiple areas for cleansing one's body and soul. However, did you know the term refers primarily to bathing in general?

Hammam History

Public baths originated in ancient Rome more than 2000 years ago. They allowed citizens to visit local bathhouses, purify themselves, and maintain good hygiene. The idea caught on with the rest of the world, and even today, public baths can be found in many countries. Moroccans were among the first to embrace the public bathhouse culture, and today it remains a preeminent institution in Morocco. 

Since religion plays a vital role in Moroccan culture, the first public baths were found near Muslim mosques, and it was common for people to visit a hammam before they prayed.

As an ancient ritual, visiting a hammam started long before the journey to cleanliness. Before traveling to the hammam, you had to go to the souk (street market) to get your bathing products. The people running hammams will provide all of your bathing products in modern days.

The hammam has become so popular among the community that people of all social classes will meet here if they have time. A hammam is a place where people can be themselves, whether they're wearing clothes. Although men and women are separated when they bathe, there's an understood trust, which allows for considerable honesty between bathers.

Today's decision-making traditions associated with visiting a hammam take place in private with trusted friends and family members. People nowadays rarely make any significant decisions in a hammam; instead, they stay for modesty and pleasure.

Hammam Hall Layout

Every Moroccan hammam contains the following six rooms:

  •  A dry, hot room to start your journey and get used to the heat.
  •  A hot steamy room to sweat away all body’s impurities.
  •  A bathing room, where you can get a traditional hammam treatment.
  •  A resting room to have some mint tea until you've recovered enough to return home.
  •  An optional massage room to help relieve you of any remaining stress or worry.

Hammam Habits

This local habit is now a must-do in just about any community: the weekly hammam or sauna session. Although some local communities still use hammams, most of them have been subsumed by vibrant tourist economies that market them to tourists as part of the two countries' intertwined cultural history. 

Even more recently, hotels catering to Westerners have created their own hammam experience for customers without the "hassle" of venturing into local cities. Expect to stay between two to three hours on average.

The experience of a traditional hammam is one of cleansing the body and mind and taking in some added luxury that you might not experience every day. It's a communal activity, so friends will often go to the hammam together.

  • The process begins by applying a thin layer of black soap all over your body and leaving it on for about ten minutes. The attendant scrubs the dead skin off with a glove made from soft leather. 
  • After this, you take a quick rinse before applying a natural purifying clay mask that softens the skin.
  • The session ends with applying pure argan oil to rehydrate the skin and make it look more radiant.

Conclusion: The Hammam’s Once-Guarded Beauty Secret

The it factor for a perfect hammam session lies within the use of argan oil. Argan oil is a rare, precious nectar from Morocco used as a beauty secret for centuries. This elixir has become a symbol of relaxation and beauty for many in the past few years. The best hammam experience is never complete without capping it off with argan oil.

That’s why you need to order this hammam favorite from Miah Beauty Supplies! We sell various products for skincare, body care, and other hygiene accessories! Visit our online store now!