By Ola Khseirouf
If you think you are clean, then do a Moroccan hammam and think again!
The Moroccan Hammam has always been on my spa bucket list. I’ve heard so much about its benefits for the skin and body and its relaxing qualities. But I kept delaying the idea of actually having one for many reasons such as lack of time, desire to do a massage instead, not wanting to wet my hair after a nice blow dry (yes that could be a legitimate reason) and most importantly not feeling entirely comfortable about another woman bathing like I am 5 years old again!
So instead of doing it myself, I got my sister a gift voucher from Tips and Toes for Christmas (because when in doubt get a spa voucher). I specifically asked her to use the voucher for the Moroccan hammam to see if it actually delivers what it says on the card (and because who said you can’t use your sister as a guinea pig?). Now I knew my sister would like the treatment being a huge fan of some “me time” but I didn’t expect her to continue raving about it for an entire week, which was all I needed to finally put myself in that tiny steamy room.
Upon arriving at Tips and Toes Signature spa in Al Barsha, I was ushered by the lovely ladies there to the Moroccan bath room where Fatiha, my therapist, met me with an infectious smile that didn’t leave her face throughout the treatment. After slipping into my bathing suit, she left me for about 10 minutes in a cloud of white steam that smelled like a meadow of lavender and mint. The purpose of this step is to soften the skin and prepare it for the treatment, while at the same time allowing your mind and body to relax and wander off to your favourite happy place!
Then, Fatiha walked in again to start the next step, which was massaging my body with gel-like soap, ordered specifically from France for this treatment. The soap is made from eucalyptus and vix and has a divine smell that has a magically soothing effect on your respiratory system and entire body. Fatiha left the soap to soak in for a few minutes which she spent telling me about the hammam rituals in Morocco and how it is still part of the traditional beauty routine for any bride-to-be. After that, she started scrubbing me with a special kind of loofa with long and precise moves. And you won’t believe the things that will come out of you! If you think you are clean, then wait till Fatiha and her loofa do their magic and think again! After this gentle but very effective scrub you will say goodbye to every single dead skin cell on your body and hello to beautiful shiny new skin! Turns out that having smooth-as-silk baby skin in your thirties and beyond is not a myth! After the scrub Fatiha washed my hair and combed before twisting it in a neat bun. I looked at my skin after drying myself up and I was honestly blown away with how shiny and soft it was without even hint of body lotion or oil! If only regular, at-home showers gave us that kind of skin, right?
As I sat in my bathrobe sipping on jasmine tea and listening to the soothing sound of the water fountain, I asked myself: what took me so long to discover the amazingness of the Moroccan bath?! But you know what they say: arriving late to that small steamy room is better than not arriving at all!
Ola Khseirouf is an Arabic/English content creator who has been living in UAE since 2005. Ola has worked as Senior Editor and Editor in Chief in several online magazines before starting her own content solutions agency, Alef Yaa. Her biggest passion is travelling and she enjoys writing about fitness, fashion & all things lifestyle, in her spare time she works on her dream of becoming a health and fitness guru!