Medically reviewed by Cynthia Taylor Chavoustie, MPAS, PA-C — composed by Kristeen Cherney and also Stephanie Watson — to update on June 24, 2020

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Red hair and also green eye is a mix that’s taken into consideration rare. The opportunities you or your child will have actually it are based upon whether her immediate household members had red hair or environment-friendly eyes, despite it have the right to skip generations.

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Having red hair or green eyes (or both) every comes under to your genes. Your hereditary makeup is based upon a mix of markers her parents have passed come you.

While having red hair and also green eye isn’t common, it’s additionally not impossible, specifically if yes sir a history of the combination on both sides of her family.

Red hair and also green eyes together is a particularly rare occurrence. Both traits are the result of recessive genes, simply as blue eye or O blood type is.

Being recessive or dominant has naught to carry out with whether or no a trait is common. Still, the mix of red hair and green eyes tends to be uncommon in today’s population.

While the odds of having actually red hair and also green eyes relies on a variety of factors, it’s exciting to look at the genetics behind this combination. Each person’s DNA contains 20,000 genes. Simply a couple of of these gene dictate hair color and also eye color.


The hair, skin, and also eye colors you born with space all managed by your genes. Her parents passed these genes under to you, just as their parents passed under their genetic makeup come them.

When it pertains to hair and also eye color, part genes are an ext dominant than others. Yet dominant doesn’t have to mean more common.

What determines your hair, eye, and skin shade is a pigment dubbed melanin. Genes carry out the instructions for creating melanin. Your genes determine exactly how much the this pigment friend have, and therefore, what shade hair and also eyes you have.

The MCR1 gene dictates whether you have actually red hair, and it’s recessive. That method you’d must inherit copies from both parental to have this shade combination.

Genes additionally have variants, well-known as alleles. At the very least three different genes control eye color, and there have the right to be an ext than 2 alleles because that each gene.

For example, the MCR1 gene comes in 2 variants: non-red and red. The non-red version is dominant. Gey, which is just one of the gene that determines eye color, comes in 2 forms: Green and also blue. Blue is the dominant allele.

But the doesn’t tell the entirety story.

Also critical to how typical a color combination is within a given populace is which alleles are circulating. For example, alleles the the gene OCA2 identify whether someone has brown or not-brown eyes.

In populations where much more people have the not-brown OCA2 allele — like in Scandinavia — the allele because that light eyes is more common, even though it’s recessive. Light-eyed people pass their gene to their children, who pass lock to your children, and also that eye color perpetuates.

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Red hair and green eye gene are just not as common in populaces as other hair and eye colors.

One study found that the red hair-green eyes genetic combination is among the rarest, in ~ -0.14 correlation. Having actually red hair and blue eyes is also rarer.