9 Things to Know Before Your First Time at a Bathhouse

Bathhouses are havens for deep relaxation, but they might seem a little intimidating if you've never been to one. Silvia Barnett, press/marketing manager for Aire Ancient Baths in New York City, lays out what you need to know before you go.

Tip No. 1: Don't Bathe If You're Sick

Since you'll be sharing space with others, you'll want to stay home if you're feeling buggy. You should probably also avoid the baths if you're pregnant. "It depends on what stage of pregnancy you're in, but the heat isn't recommended, so ask your doctor first."

Tip No. 2: Up Your Water Intake Before You Go

You'll be surrounded by and immersed in water, so you probably won't notice how much you're losing in sweat. Drink plenty of water beforehand, and make sure to stay hydrated while you're in the baths.

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Tip No. 3: Don't Shave Right Before

"We recommend shaving two days before the bath. The heat makes skin sensitive. We also have a saltwater pool that can irritate shaved skin."

Tip No. 4: Bring a Bathing Suit

Either a one-piece or bikini works! (At some bathhouses—usually ones that have separate women's and men's sections—you can go without, but wearing one is always fine.)

Tip No. 5: Don't Worry About Germs

"For hygienic reasons, everyone is required to wear special slippers both in and out of the water, so no one is in contact with the floor. We also have an extreme depuration system."

Tip No. 6: Keep Talking to a Minimum

"The idea is to be in an oasis, to disconnect and to lose sense of time. You don't have to be completely silent, but keep your voice low so people can relax."

Tip No. 7: Leave Your Cell Phone and Watch Behind

Where you're going, you don't need the time (or texts)!

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