Kajal o Khol

Kajal or Khol: make-up with ancient origins!

What is Kajal or Khol?

Kajal or Khol, widely used in make-up today, has more ancient origins than you might think. Even ancient Egyptians, during the Bronze Age (XXXVI century B.C.) used it both as a cosmetic and for medical purposes. In particular, it was indicated as a protection against eye infections or to prevent the sun’s rays from dazzling the eyesight, by spreading it around the eye contour.

In addition to the Egyptians, there are also traces from Indian people that confirm the presence of Kajal in North Africa. It was so widespread that artifacts were also found in the tombs of pharaohs’ wives! Indeed, it seems that it symbolized eternal life for them.

Kajal is a powder composed of galena, malachite, antimony and animal fat. If it is in the form of a powder it is called Kohl, but if it is a paste it is called Kajal. The colour varies according to the composition: from very dark black to a lighter gray.  Originally it was always used in powder form and applied through a stick inside the eye.

While in the past it was prepared at home, today it is normal to find it in stores and workshops. The kit for sale usually includes the product and the glass stick that serves as an applicator.

How is it used?

In Morocco, it was and it is still now used mainly by women, but also men use it for special occasions. In India, it is also widely used by both women and men, and from here also come the tradition of doing makeup on children. Newborn babies are protected from “evil looks” through Kajal.

Today it is used in the form of a soft pencil, sometimes replaced by modern eyeliner, which is more precise and easier to apply.

Are you curious to find out more about Morocco? Visit our page