Hazel eyes, one of the most mysterious eye colors that individuals can have. It is rare and 5% of the world’s population has hazel eyes. 

Here in this blog article, we are going to talk about various reasons behind this eye color. 

Brown is the most common eye color. Majority of people have brown eyes. Various studies suggest that between 55 and 79% of people in the world have brown eyes. Similarly people can have blue and green eyes as well. But in fact, people with hazel eyes have several colors

What are Hazel Eyes? 

Basically, hazel eyes are multi-colored whose sequence begins with a ring of color around the pupil (mostly brown); as we move away from pupil, color will shift to green and sometimes with an additional ring of amber in between. 

While observing the eyes of an individual having such mysterious eyes, you can see color that is different and unique than others. Are you curious or excited to know the reason behind it??? 

Well, Iris is the colored part of the eye. The iris contains pigment (Melanin) that determines the color of the eye. Melanin is also responsible for our skin color too. Melanin plays a vital role and it is a complex polymer made from amino acid called tyrosine. 

What causes Hazel Eyes?

There is no such blue, green or other pigments in our eyes to give color. Actually, the amount of melanin present in the iris and how light is scattered in the iris plays an important role. The eye color of parents does not determine the eye color of children at all. The more melanin you have, you are likely to get brown eyes. 

Babies are often born with blue eyes because there can be less amount of melanin during birth (Whites, Non Hispanic). But with time, babies’ eyes turn brown, if the maximum amount of melanin develops. Similarly, African-American, Hispanic and Asian are born with dark eyes that stay brown throughout life. 

Amount of melanin and light scattering play a role in this phenomenon. If you get hazel eyes, it is because of Rayleigh Scattering. Furthermore; various studies suggest that usage of drugs, alcohol, lighting conditions, and clothes that you wear also contributes to this. 

An individual eye which contains the maximum amount of melanin appears brown because such eyes absorb more light entering the eyes, so less light is scattered and reflected back from the iris. 

Similarly, in eyes that contain the  lower amount of melanin, less light is absorbed and more light is scattered. Those rays of light which have short wavelength (green and blue light), scatter much more easily as compared to light rays with longer wavelength (i.e. red light). Hence eyes having less light absorbing melanin appear hazel or green and eyes with low concentration of melanin appears blue. 

Furthermore, the distribution of melanin in iris varies in different portions, so such eyes appear light brown near the pupil and more green in periphery of iris. Various studies suggest that nearly 75% of all hazel eyes  appear to have brown rings around the pupil. 

How Common are Hazel Eyes?

There are various eye colors so far. Brown, Green, blue, hazel, amber, gray are different eye colors. It’s quite a difficult job to estimate how rare are different eye colors. It is because there is not a lot of evidence or data available as well as labelling various eye colors is not always an exact science. 

Still, hazel eyes are one of the rarest one. It accounts to 5% of the total population in the world. Mostly in the US and Europe. 

Similarly, Brown eye color is one  the most common which accounts in between 55 and 79% of the total population. 8 to 10% of the total population in the world has blue eyes. 

Furthermore, 2% of the world population consists of green eyes. 5% of the world population has amber color eyes and this color is more commonly seen in dogs, fish and birds. Very less amount, that less than 1% of the world population have gray eyes. 

How can you know if you have hazel eyes?

The best way to determine if you have hazel eyes is to observe your eyes in natural lightening condition (Sunlight). Make sure there is no artificial lighting condition. 

Just hold a mirror close to your face so as to see clearly. Hazel eyes appear to be a mixture of green, brown and gold colors, often with bursts of one color near the pupil, while the outer part of iris is of different color. 

If your eyes appear primarily blue or a solid hue of any other color then they are not hazel. Furthermore, if they are solid copper or yellow gold color and a little green then they are amber eyes. Learn more about eye colors here.

Can you change eye color to hazel? 

Yes, people often change their eye color if they want to. 

Temporarily, you can change your eye color using the Contact lens. People often wear colored contacts to enhance the intensity or change the color of eyes. It is the easiest and most common way to change the eyes color. Colored contact lenses are available in many colors.

But make sure you get a contact lens prescription from a certified eye care specialist after proper eye examination. Follow contact lens care and maintenance so as to cut off various risks. 

There is also a surgical procedure that permanently changes eye color, but it is controversial. Doctors warn that this can lead to various severe eye damages. This procedure is popular among celebrities who use artificial iris. 

Celebrities with hazel eyes

There are various celebrities who have hazel eyes. Some of them are given below. 

  • Jared Padalecki 
  • Tyra Banks 
  • Kevin Jonas 
  • Jason Statham 
  • David Beckham 
  • Kelly Clarkson 
  • Brooke Shields 
  • Angelina Jolie 
  • Dianna Agron 
  • Rachel McAdams 
  • Sophia Bush 
  • Emma Roberts 
  • Alexa PenaVega 
  • Ashley Greene 
  • Phoebe Tonkin 
  • Shailene Woodley 
  • Heidi Klum 
  • Sasha Grey 
  • Jack Nicholson 
  • Rihanna 
  • Shad Moss 


  1. I am so grateful for your blog post. Really looking forward to read more. Really Great. Crissie Isak Soane

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