So I was over on Sisi Yemmie's blog and her weekend post mentioned her visit to BNatural MedSpa for a Moroccan Hammam. It triggered my memory, because I had a hammam treatment a few days before my traditional wedding - as a mini bridal spa-wer (spa + shower) surprise from my friends. While I went through the process, I made a mental note to come and gist you guys about it. So here goes...
When we got to the spa, my friends told me they'd paid for a Hammam for me. They'd both had one before, and they described it as a "thorough body cleansing." So I figured it would be like a body scrub massaged onto my body and voila, right? WRONG! SO VERY WRONG!!! You could not be wronger in your life!
I was told to get naked as soon as I went upstairs. Like fully naked = nude = nekkid = my birthday suit = no panties = 90% of strippers don't even get as naked as this! So, I doffed my clothes, put on a bathrobe and slippers, and the Moroccan lady in a bathing suit, led me to the HUGE steam room. I had to take off the bathrobe and return to my naked state, and subsequently laid down on the huge slab in the middle of the room.
Anyways, after 15 minutes, she came back in and the heat from the steam had died down. She then proceeded to scrub me. As in, scrub. As in, not a body scrub with a foofy sponge. This was a REAL scrub down with a special sponge! She kept saying "Look, see all your dead skin." I was amazed and a little ashamed because you and I think our daily baths clean us well... smh, you don't know how unclean you are, until you have gotten a hammam treatment. It was a little painful because the scrubbing was vigorous, but I got used to the pressure. After she scrubbed ALL OVER my body, I can't remember if I laid down in the steam for another 15 minutes, or was rinsed off immediately. All my dead skin cells were rinsed off my body though - gross.
Then, she went and got a mix of herbs, oils, and honey. She made sure to note that it was authentic, pure honey, with evidence too - yup, she removed the dead bees from the mixture. Actual bees honey!!! I can't remember what was in the mixture, but she mentioned argan oil, which I think I should look into. She massaged the mixture all over my body, and I laid down some more for my body to absorb it in. After another 15 minutes, she came and got me out of the steam room, and VOILA! I was done. She told me not to use lotion for one week, and to stay away from the sun.
I engaged her in a little conversation about the hammam, and she said that from 2 years old, Moroccan males and females go through the treatment at least once a week! She said that's why their skin is so smooth and bright, and they have no need to use lotions or even makeup (except on special occasions).
I was sooo intrigued by that and started wondering what beauty practices are done in Nigeria and all over the world, and why aren't they more mainstream? I thought of henna treatments in Northern Nigeria and fattening rooms in Calabar, and the beauty rituals Esther had to go through in the Bible - do they still exist? Speaking of fattening rooms, I would REALLY love to go to one and indulge! Maybe Cakes and I should go to Calabar for our honeymoon?