Hammams, rhassouls and serails are all kinds of steam room used for traditional cleansing and purifying rituals. A hammam ritual is an Arabian body treatment involving steam and cleansing black soap.
The Spa in Dolphin Square in London specialises in authentic Moroccan rituals, so we asked them to tell us more about the history and benefits of this treatment.
What is the history behind a hammam ritual?
The hammam ritual, also known as the Turkish hamam or Turkish bath, is the Middle Eastern variant of a steam bath. This venerated Moroccan tradition, which has endured for centuries into the present day. Even now, thousands of Moroccans attend their local hammams weekly to cleanse themselves and enjoy a little bit of socialising and gossip on the side.
What are the basic principles of a hammam ritual?
In the hammam, your body is cleansed from head to toe. The ritual takes place in a humid steam chamber, where a Tellak, a hammam attendant, will douse you with water before applying the black soap to your skin and exfoliating it with a kessa glove.
Briefly talk us through a hammam ritual at The Spa in Dolphin Square
Our award-winning hammam ritual closely follows the ancient cleansing principles of the moroccan hammam tradition. We use 100% natural Savon Noir (black soap) from La Sultane de Saba, a traditional cleansing soap made from crushed olives and nourishing olive oil. The soap is infused with eucalyptus, which provides antibacterial and antiseptic properties and ensures an even deeper cleanse. The main point of difference is that our hammam is a more private space, which can be enjoyed on your own or shared with friends. After the ritual, you will be served a glass of traditional Moroccan mint tea to help restore the balance of fluids.
What is a hammam ritual good for?
Savon Noir is a natural exfoliant and it provides antibacterial and antiseptic properties, ensuring deep pore cleansing. As we age, the process of skin renewal slows down, with the old shed skin obstructing the new. Deep exfoliation serves to remove the dead skin.
Who would a hammam ritual be most suitable for? Who is it not suitable for?
A hammam ritual is good for absolutely everybody and is known as a wellness treatment in Morocco and across the world! Although, as with all other heat treatments, it cannot be taken during pregnancy.