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Home » Kajal (Surma / Kohl ) for babies : Beliefs, Side effects & Myths

Kajal (Surma / Kohl ) for babies : Beliefs, Side effects & Myths


What are the beliefs of people who apply kajal to baby’s eyes?

Kajal also known as Surma and Kohl is used by a lot of Indians to make the eyes of their babies look bigger, brighter and more beautiful. It is also beleived to protect their eyes from the sun’s harmful rays and to ward off evil eyes (buri nazar). 

The surma/ kajal/ kohl has been a part of Indian culture for generations. This age-old tradition is still observed in modern India, with families everywhere insisted on putting kohl onto their newborn babies regardless how they feel about them!


Is it safe to apply kajal or surma in baby’s eyes?

No, Kajal is not safe for babies. The reason is that kajal contain lead, carbon and other chemicals that can be harmful to a baby’s delicate eyes no matter if the kajal is homemade or store bought. Also, kajal can cause infections and block tear ducts if enter inside eyes. In addition to believing that surma is good for the vision of the baby,  doctors believe it can actually cause more harm than good. Moreover, research has said that kajal is not safe for babies.

Some of the side effects of kajal & surma include :

  1. Eye irritation
  2. Redness
  3. Blockage of tear ducts
  4. Swelling
  5. Vision problems
  6. Kajal can also cause more serious problems such as blindness. 

Therefore, it is important to consult your baby’s doctor before applying or using anything for your baby.


Here busting few myths related to applying kajal/ surma/ kohl in babies’ eyes

Myth 1 : Kajal will make your baby’s eyes bigger & brighter.

The idea that kajal will make your baby’s eyes bigger is a myth because in reality kajal makes the eyes look bigger until it is wiped, but this does not mean that your little one’s eyes will grow in size.


Myth 2 : Kajal protects their eyes from the sun’s harmful rays

It is not true.


Myth 3 : Kajal ward off evil eyes (buri nazar).

If you believe in evil eyes and still wish to apply kajal (surma) to your baby, you can either apply it behind one of the ears, sole or the hairline of the forehead.

However, make sure to wipe the kajal properly with a damp cloth before bathing the baby, so that it does not get washed off during the bath and enters the baby’s eyes or nose.


Myth 4 : Homemade kajal is good and safe for babies.

A lot of parents vouch for the safety of badam kajal or homemade kajal for the newborns but there is no scientific study which can validate the same. It is important to understand that even if a kajal is made at home, it still contains carbon.



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