Why do we have different hair and eye colors?

hair and eye

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You can lie but your eyes can’t.  Your eyes are the reflection of your inner-self. These show what you cannot hide. “As deep as your eyes”; “Eyes speak your depth and your deep secrets.” “Blue eyes hypnotize..”; “Eyes as blue as a lake”; yes, you must have come across such comments and depictions about the eyes of characters by numerous poets, lyricists, writers, singers, etc. Eyes may reveal your secrets but they hold many of themselves. You surely would have come across such people whose eyes would have fascinated you to just keep looking at them. And many times such pair of eyes would have come in your notice which you feared in your dreams. Why so?

eye colors

Why some eyes seem to be so poetic version and some seems to be dark version? The answer lies in the EYE COLOUR of the person. Just think about someone with blue, Light brown eye colors; attractive. Right? Now take an image of red and dark black eyes. Quite scary? Yes, might be.

It is not actually the whole eye that has different colors on it but a particular and prominent part of eye that defines the colour of eyes. It is IRIS. This is circular formation inside the eye which is outside the pupil. It actually circumscribes the pupil and controls the diameter of the pupil affecting the amount of light entering it. So, eye color basically is the iris color in the eye.

What colors can the eyes of people take up? Well, apart from the typical black color of your eyes, people may have eyes of colors-

Blue, Red, Amber, Hazel, Green, Violet, Grey, Amethyst, Light brown, Dark brown.

Only 8 percent of the world population have hazel eyes and just 2 percent has green eyes. Amber, being a shade lighter than green eyes, is even rarer than green eyes as they have a tint of golden and copper in them.

You might have noticed photos of people when their eyes reflect red color. This is not because their eye color changes while clicking pictures but it is because of lack of pigment melanin in eyes. This causes flashlight to bounce back and give a red-colored reflection.

But, that is just for shallow feed, the main question that intrigues people about colors of eyes is that “What causes that color?; Why some people may have blue, red, green eye color naturally and some cannot?; And can you do anything to change the fate of your eyes?”

To begin with the reasons:

1.“Melanin pigmentation” is the reason behind the different colors of the eyes of people. What’s that? Splitting the terms and going reverse way-

PIGMENT– If we look at Wikipedia’s definition, the pigment is something that changes or gives a particular color to any material. The pigment has high tinting strength than the material it is to color. In living beings it is a matter which is present in cells and gives color to humans, plants naturally.

MELANIN– This is the PIGMENT which gives color to various parts of humans like eyes, hair, and skin. This pigment is produced by melanocytes, a particular kind of cell. It is because of these cells that melanin production is increased in sun exposure.

Iris becomes darker as the melanocytes cells produce more melanin. Lighter of melanin inside iris corresponds to making the colour of your eyes look green, grey and blue. And hence darker colors like red, black, etc. of the iris is because of more melanin.

  1. Bringing up another reason and less known fact about eye color reason is that it may also depend on the demographics of the person. For instance, people born in AFRICA and ASIA have brown eyes. In fact, it is believed that nearly over ten thousand years ago, all people (our ancestors at every place) used to have the same eye color but because of some mutation, the changes happened.
different eye

3. Parental genes: As we got our eye color mutation to be passed on from our ancestors, we have also inherited eye color from our parents too. Such an explanation is given in the picture below:

eye color

Can eye color change over time?

We know that our genetics determine our eye color. Our eye color may undergo change over time as we age but slightly. When we are younger, our eye color is darker than it is in our later years of life because in the early stages of life babies produce more melanin. As people grow their eyes get lighter in color because of their exposure to light or dark living conditions over time.

This was all about the permanent and natural change of eye color. But due to technological advancements, there are options available to people now, to get their eye color changes permanently but artificially. However there are many risks involves in such cosmetic surgeries like eyes inflammation, cornea injury and swelling  and sometimes even complete blindness. Hence, experts warn against such changes.



One of the reasons to envy Jennifer Aniston apart the reason of her beauty is her perfect colored BROND HAIR just as everyone is. Brond is a color that is right blend of brown and blond. How does she have it? In fact, how do some people have dark brown, light brown colors? Well, moving towards the next half of the title i.e. different hair colors. While we already know one of the reasons behind different hair colors which is chemically dying but some of the people naturally have a hair color different from conventional hair colors.

jen ani
  1. Genes being the major culprit for it. Genes of a person determine the kind of hair color he/she will have. Which is why many of the Americans have brown or blond or lighter color of hair color and many Asians and Africans have darker of the hair colors. However, this cannot be clearly deciphered that what will be hair color of the person based on his parent’s hairs’ colors because many times genes complexity may lead to a different result from genetic expectations.
  2. Pigments role: The two types of pigments or melanins that give color to your hairs are “Eumelanins” and “Pheomelanins”.

Eumelanins: This determines the darkness of the hairs of the person. If a person produces less of this pigment then his hairs will be light in color like light-brown or maybe white sometimes. Similarly, more eumelanin means darker hair.

Pheomelanin: This melanin gives the red color to hairs. If a person has red or burgundy colors of hair then that person must be producing more amounts of this pigment.

  1. Aging factor: Your dad had shiny black hairs in his youth but now…..you can see something like the white cotton candy on his head? Well its fault of pigment eumelanin which is secreted by hair follicles. At old age hairs follicles produce less amount of this pigment because of which hair start turning grey and white ultimately.
hair color

Unlike getting your eyes colored permanently, getting your hair dyed is not a big deal at all. To look better and to have a new version of one people like to keep on experimenting with different hair colors, especially stars and celebrities. But such experiments must not be taken too often as to harm one’s own hair health and hair follicles. However, temporary solutions like henna are always there for old people to give a way out for hair color problems.

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