Hazel Eyes: Learn Why People with Greenish Eye Color are Rare!

hazel eyes rare
Hazel Eyes in People are Rare


Hazel eyes are fascinating to gaze into. When you look at someone who has hazel eyes, you see colors that are completely different than other eye colors, such as crystal blue or emerald green.

That’s because hazel eyes are unique, with only a smattering of people around the globe having them. When you consider that 55% of the world’s population has brown eyes, you quickly see that having hazel colored eyes is rare indeed.

If you happen to be one of the fortunate few with this green, blue, brown mix, consider yourself to be in a very special club!




Trying to define hazel eyes can be difficult. That’s because shades of green can be light, dark or depending upon the lighting, a mixture of both. This article offers everything you ever wanted to know about hazel eyes.

We’ll take a look at how you got your eye color, examine how eye color can be changed and take a look at a few famous celebrities who were born with hazel eyes.

We’ll also take a peek at common myths associated with hazel eyes. Other information will be imparted as well, including a video on eye color and a hazel eye poll.

Are you ready? Let’s jump right in!

Hazel Eye Color Male
Male with Hazel Eye Color
Woman with hazel eyes
Hazel Eyes Female


You may be curious about the science behind hazel colored eyes. In a nutshell, your eye color is a function of heredity and genetics. The two primary factors that influence eye color are: 1) pigmentation of the iris and 2) how light scatters around the iris.

Your eye pigmentation can run a virtual rainbow, from the darkest color of green to the lightest color of blue. A substance called melanin largely influences what color your eyes will ultimately be. Melanin is a complex polymer made from an amino acid called tyrosine.

If you have haze eyes, it is because of a phenomenon Rayleigh scattering. In non-science speak, Rayleigh scattering is nothing more than a presentation of how light scatters over an object after riding its spectrum wavelength.

A lot of folks think that eye color is a function of the iris but in truth, it’s not. The unique eye color you have, such as hazel, is the direct result of how light breaks up across melanin’s base. This is not something you can manipulate and is determined by genetics.

Science of Hazel Eyes in People

Melanin content in eye color of people with hazel, brown, blue, violet and grey and black eyes
Eye ColorMelanin Amount: Front Layer of IrisMelanin Amount: Back Layer of IrisDominant Pigmentation
HazelMedium: Less than green. More than brownNormalEumelanin and Pheomelanin
GreenCloser to blue; less than brownNormalPheomelanin
GreyLess than green and hazelNormalEumelanin mix
Violet/PurpleSmall to noneSmall to littleUnknown
BlackHeavyHeavyBlack Eumelanin
blue eyes light scatter
Credit: Wikicommons


The current research in the field of genetics suggests that eye color is largely determined by 16 genes that are passed on to you through heredity.

This new theory does away with what scientists used to think – which basically stated that your hazel eyes (or any other eye color) happened because of a dominant gene.


Hazel colored eyes, including shades of brown/green and green/blue, have been part of the genetic sequencing of certain races for thousands of years – maybe even millions.

If you are Spanish, Middle Eastern, Brazilian or North African decent, there is a higher likelihood of hazel eyes running in your family tree. This does not preclude other races from having hazel eyes however; any population group can have hazel eyes.

hazel eyes jesee metclafe
Jesse Metcalfe has hazel color eyes


Many people are curious if eye color can be changed. The answer is yes and no. The “Yes” part relates to how your eye color will naturally change as a result of how light scatters across the iris. The “No” part has to do with the clinical presentation of eye color.

You either have hazel eyes or you don’t. You can’t “inject” something into the iris to make them permanently darker, lighter, greener or bluer.


Over the course of your lifetime, your eye color may change as a result of age and health. And you should know the color of your eye can permanently change because of the medical condition known as ocular glaucoma. If you have hazel colored eyes, make sure you visit with your eye doctor regularly because you can lose that color as a result of glaucoma degradation.




People with hazel eyes are susceptible to the harmful effects of our sun. The primary reason is connected to the substance we discussed earlier, melanin. People with hazel eyes can develop certain types of ocular cancers, like intra-ocular melanoma.

It is suggested that people with hazel colored eyes and other eye colors for that matter wear sunglasses that offer strong UV protection.

hazel eyes, green eyes, olive eyes, brown blue eyes
Hazel eyes often combine different eye colors



No two pair of hazel eyes is exactly the same. Some people have lighter features of green while others have darker features of brown.

Ocular scientists think hazel eye color is a combination of greens, browns and blues but if truth be told, they aren’t exactly sure. We do know however, that hazel is considered rare.

hazel eyes channing tatum
Hazel Eyes Channing Tatum


The intensity of the color people see when they look into your hazel eyes is influenced by a number of factors. Depending upon sunlight, your health and atmospheric conditions, some people may experience your hazel colored eyes as bright green, seaweed amber, dazzling emerald or even grey.

Here are some of the primary factors influencing hazel eye color intensity:

  • Time of day: Light from the celestial orb we call the sun has a major impact on eye color hew and intensity as expressed through the solar spectrum.
  • Lighting conditions: If you are indoors, the lightbulbs you use to create artificial light can impact how your eyes appear to others. Some shades of hazel become amplified indoors while others do not.
  • Clothing: Depending upon the type of clothing you are wearing, the intensity of your eye color can become stronger and weaker. Colors like gold, blue and various greens can give your hazel eyes a deeper appearance.
  • Makeup for hazel eyes: One of the most powerful ways your hazel eyes can “pop” when others look at them relates to the type of makeup you are wearing. Generally speaking, chocolate or brown eye shadow is recommended for hazel green eyes.
  • Allergies: If you suffer from seasonal allergies, your eye color can experience changes in general intensity. You may take on a reddish hew around the white of the eyeball. Allergies also can cause your eyes to look baggy and puffy.
  • Drugs/Alcohol: Believe it or not, if you use certain types of medications, illicit drugs or drink alcohol, it can impact how others experience your eye color. Some prescription medications are known to cause changes. Be sure to check with your doctor if you notice any variations in ocular appearance.
  • Your emotions: This one may seem silly but if you are sad, crying, happy, joyous or in any way overwhelmed with emotions, the intensity of those hazel eyes you see can change. Don’t worry, it’s only temporary.


This video offers tips to women with hazel colored eyes who are looking for advice on how to enhance their eye color. Very informative – straight and to the point. A must see if you want to accentuate your hazel peeps! 

Many women have shared with me that Gorgeous Cosmetics has one of the best products on the market for enhancing hazel and olive colored eyes. You may be able to get in stores or check Amazon for pricing. 

hazel eyes olive color male
Hazel eyes of young man


If you notice that your eye color has changed for no apparent reason or if the appearance of your pupil remains dilated for an extended period of time, call your optometrist right away.

hazel eyes tyler hoechlin
Hazel Eyes of Tyler Hoechlin


There are a good number of celebrities who have hazel eyes. It is not possible to list them all here because this post would never end. Below you will find a listing of several well-known celebrities.

Keep in mind that the intensity of hazel that we see may be different for each star as a result of the material we explored above:

hazel blue eyes of marco dapper
Marco Dapper has hazel, olive eye color
  • David Beckham
  • Jesse Metcalfe
  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Ben Affleck
  • Penélope Cruz
  • Channing Tatum
  • Jessica Alba
  • Halle Berry
  • Britney Spears
  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Jon Hamm
  • Harrison Ford
  • Jude Law
  • Marco Dapper
Hazel Eyes Myths
Hazel Eyes Myths


The rareness of hazel eyes causes some people to associate certain myths to this shade of green. What follows are some of the more common misnomers connected to those who were born with hazel brown, green and blue.

  • Hazel eyed people are more attractive
  • Hazel eyed people are smarter
  • Hazel eyed women are more sexy
  • Hazel eyed men are more intimate
  • Hazel eyed children are smarter
  • Hazel eyed individuals make for better lovers
  • Hazel eyed people are more spiritual
  • Hazel eyed people tend to be a water sign


Below you will find a poll that is exclusive to people born with hazel as their eye color. There will no doubt be survey bias because people with this eye color often attribute certain characteristics to their persona which may or may not be true. Avoid tying your eye color to aspects of your self-worth. Happiness comes from being in a state of mind and not your eyes.


Many people who have hazel eyes have a keen interest in their zodiac sign. This is particularly true of people who are Cancers and Scorpios. The truth is, your astrological sign really has nothing to do with your eyes – yet many people seem to assign magical qualities just the same.

There are folks who have suggested that if you have hazel eyes, you have special powers that come from a different dimension. Here, we are talking about psychic abilities or the power to sense the emotions of others. To date, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.


There is much we still do not know about eye color, including hazel colored eyes. What we do know is that many people want to change their eye color to hazel or green. In fact, some people have undergone questionable medical procedures in order for this to happen.

It’s probably better to get a pair of colored contacted than travel to another country for something risky. Hopefully, you found the material on this post useful and informative.

Oh, if you have hazel eyes, see the products below from Amazon that are designed to specifically go with your unique color!

About John D. Moore 89 Articles
Dr. John Moore is a counselor and educator. He writes about topics that usually connect in some way to physical, emotional and spiritual health. Moore helps men and women focus on challenges that may be blocking them from reaching their full potential.
  • Renee Andrews

    I have hazel eyes (a darker brown small ring around my pupil, a light brown that looks like branches that fade into a deep gray) but people always say that when I stare at them, they get uncomfortable because of the way my eyes look

    • Yuuki Kuran

      That sounds really cool!

      • Renee Andrews


    • angelina phillips

      Same people say I’m creepy because my eye colour changes (I have hazel eyes)

  • phoenix

    I have hazel eyes. They are mostly green with yellow cloudy poofs all around them. I hate them. They look yellow or green depending on the light and my family loves it because im the only one in our known lineage with this mutation. But I cant for the life of me find any good makeup tutorials and I dont even like my eyes much.

    • Rachel

      Aww. That’s terrible. The eyes are the windows to the soul. Your eye color is definitely not a mutation or a curse. I am sure they are beautiful and engaging.

    • Learning64

      I go with purple or brown/purple shades and they look awesome. Don’t do blue. Always go for a natural looking contrast to the main color of your eyes.

  • Alexandria

    I have hazle eyes! – they’re a dark gray/blue rim on the outside then followed by a forest green after that and have a gold/brown near the pupils. Their very unique…even my twins eyes are different! I am a girl and he is a boy though!

  • Theescapefromreality

    What colour is my eyes? Some say my eyes are hazel, some say green and some say both? Help 🤔

    • Arthur Kirkland

      They are hazel as they have another colour with the green

    • Lia Chalmers

      Your eyes are not hazel, but rather you have a genetic mutation called Central Heterochromia – commonly confused with hazel eyes. Your eyes lack a blue limbal ring, that those with hazel eyes almost always have.

      • Cristian Grothaus Peyrot
        • Lia Chalmers

          I’d say you have hazel eyes. 🙂 Although it’s hard to see from the photo, it looks like you have a very faint band of green around the brown in the middle. Followed by a ring of blue, then brown, then blue again. So hazel. Very intriguing hazel eyes, might I add.

          • Lia Chalmers

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/29fc4170e2cca4e749a64adcc0afdb7136eecc55b5925a7ac546ecfc9b303d5a.png Just to give an example of an iris with Central Heterochromia, here is a picture of my eye.

          • Cristian Grothaus Peyrot

            Well, thanks for your reply, that’s the best photo that I have, anyway How my eyes looks depends totally on the amount of light, at night normally they look more brown and in the daylight I’ve been told that they were green, turquoise or even gray somehow.

          • Lia Chalmers

            You’re welcome. That is a characteristic trait of hazel eyes – appearing to change colour. That’s due to their medium levels of melanin, so depending on the lighting, what you’re wearing etc… they can appear to be different colours.

          • Learning64

            Very pretty.

        • Learning64

          Whoa, beautiful eyes!

    • Learning64

      Very pretty.

  • Malcolm Brown

    It’s not Melatonin, it’s Melanin.

    Good article though.

  • shrugger

    Mine have gradually changed color as I’ve aged. Blue was more dominant till my mid 20’s. But the yellow center is now dominant in my 40’s.

  • Rachel

    I’m with you on that one, Renee. And when my now husband and I were just starting to get to know each other, I seriously thought he did not know what color my eyes are. I asked him one day and he said, ‘that’s a trick question. They change all the time!’ Oddly enough, sometimes my eyes will be two different colors and that’s really weird. Like one will be totally blue and the other more green. Normally, the base color is a mix of light and dark green, with a goldish center and a grey-blue ring round the outside. My eye doctor actually said that hazel is not a true color, but rather a blend of other colors, and only people with hazel eyes will have the dark ring in contrast with the color. I have to say though, my eyes are my best and favorite feature. 🙂

  • Kate Dowdeswell

    Eeeerm I’m really sorry but I am literally unable to stop myself correcting shit. In the article above, they have mistakenly written melatonin instead of melanin. As far as I’m aware melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone which helps people relax before going to sleep in the evening. People suffering from ADHD have a lacking amount of this hormone and can be prescribed melatonin tablets to help them sleep. Melanin is the substance that affects eye and skin colourations.

  • Fire Shadow

    A lot of people have been saying that my eyes are green/brown, but some people say they will sometimes change. Are they hazel?

  • Arthur Kirkland

    I have hazel eyes, i have brown around my pupil and yellow/green on the outer and i have a dark ring surrounding it. my father has brown eyes with a blue ring around them, my mother has the same eyes as i do but unlike mine that look greener in the light theirs looks brown and in dim light mine look brown and theirs looks hazel and my siblings have brown eyes (my eldest sister wears contacts)

    • angelina phillips

      My mum has blue eyes and my dad has brown eyes. I was born with blue eyes but they have now turned hazel

  • kiLLer Z
  • Sarus Drake

    I have golden hazel eyes and people have always been drawn to them. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been complimented on them. Though it gets a little strange when total strangers tell you how your eyes are so dark gold and so beautiful when your 9. To be honest, I thought about getting colored contacts and going with brown for a while. But I’ve chosen to embrace my eyes and love the color.

  • Sarus Drake

    I have golden hazel eyes and people have always been drawn to them. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been complimented on them. Though it gets a little strange when total strangers tell you how your eyes are so dark gold and so beautiful when your 9. To be honest, I thought about getting colored contacts and going with brown for a while. But I’ve chosen to embrace my eyes and love the color. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/317aec00f36b4e7914ee003a98b63bb0aaca6c706a6ff508354df6b61ae9bedd.jpg

    • Learning64

      I used to get called “witch” and “cateyes” in high school. I consider both a compliment 😉 You are beautiful.

  • Stavroula Dra

    Very interesting post!I’m a little comfused about my eyes color,are they hazel?(I wear contact lenses for myopia in this pic) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/256ca59ed9515cedc128be267d2a3e8ca1885b414ba26179b5fa545853ba82b9.jpg

    • Learning64

      Those are hazel. And stunning!

      • Stavroula Dra

        Thank you!!! 🙂

  • CalrissianFSteele


    Here are mine. Although they can change to a more golden brown on occasion.

  • angelina phillips

    My eyes tend be lighter and greener when there is lots of light they also tend to be gold at times or change colour. They are also darker when there is less light. Do I have hazel eyes?

  • angelina phillips
  • angelina phillips

    Are my eyes hazel

  • Adam Pinsky
    • theloop

      tell me more.

  • Nicole

    Would you consider my eyes hazel or green? I feel like sometimes they have a brownish tint to them. (Please ignore the flakes of mascara on my face, I’m in the process of taking makeup off) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/768fb40e5f78c3b68839fe724e0f68933e3e4c2192c22d6afa1394fa58e04cd1.jpg

  • Amber Williams

    Do I have hazel eye also I have odd colou https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8be90c22b62f40a8361ae2d6e79d546be9d7f05441c907168d8c064a013a90f5.jpg red eyes idk if I’m green or what been confused for so long

    • Amber Williams

      My whole family thinks my eyes are brown 😂

  • Andrea