Medically reregarded by Cynthia Taylor Chavoustie, MPAS, PA-C — Written by Kristeen Cherney and Stephanie Watson — Updated on June 24, 2020

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Red hair and also green eyes is a mix that’s considered rare. The opportunities you or your kid will certainly have actually it are based on whether your prompt family members members had actually red hair or green eyes, though it can skip generations.

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Having red hair or green eyes (or both) all comes dvery own to your genes. Your genetic makeup is based on a combination of markers your parental fees have passed to you.

While having actually red hair and also green eyes isn’t prevalent, it’s likewise not impossible, particularly if there’s a background of the combination on both sides of your family.

Red hair and also green eyes together is a particularly rare event. Both traits are the result of recessive genes, just as blue eyes or O blood kind is.

Being recessive or leading has actually nothing to perform through whether or not a trait is widespread. Still, the combination of red hair and also green eyes often tends to be unwidespread in today’s populace.

While the odds of having red hair and green eyes relies on a range of determinants, it’s interesting to look at the genes behind this combination. Each person’s DNA has 20,000 genes. Just a couple of of these genes dictate hair color and also eye shade.


The hair, skin, and eye colors you’re born through are all regulated by your genes. Your parents passed these genes dvery own to you, simply as their parents passed dvery own their genetic makeas much as them.

When it involves hair and eye color, some genes are more dominant than others. Yet dominant doesn’t necessarily expect more common.

What determines your hair, eye, and also skin color is a pigment called melanin. Genes carry out the instructions for producing melanin. Your genes recognize how much of this pigment you have actually, and therefore, what shade hair and also eyes you have actually.

The MCR1 gene dictates whether you have actually red hair, and also it’s recessive. That suggests you’d need to inherit duplicates from both parents to have this color combicountry.

Genes likewise have variants, known as alleles. At least 3 various genes control eye shade, and there have the right to be more than 2 alleles for each gene.

For instance, the MCR1 gene comes in 2 variants: non-red and red. The non-red variation is dominant. Gey, which is among the genes that determines eye color, comes in 2 forms: Green and blue. Blue is the dominant allele.

But that doesn’t tell the totality story.

Also critical to how prevalent a color combination is within a offered populace is which alleles are circulating. For instance, alleles of the gene OCA2 determine whether someone has actually brown or not-brown eyes.

In populations where more civilization have actually the not-brown OCA2 allele — favor in Scandinaby means of — the allele for light eyes is more widespread, even though it’s recessive. Light-eyed human being pass their genes to their kids, who pass them to their children, and that eye color perpetuates.

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Red hair and also green eye genes are sindicate not as prevalent in populations as various other hair and also eye colors.

One examine discovered that the red hair-green eyes genetic combicountry is just one of the raremainder, at -0.14 correlation. Having red hair and blue eyes is also rarer.