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Difference Between Green Eyes and Hazel Eyes

Green and hazel eyes are unique eye colors and both of them possess varying hues of green since they have red and yellow pigmentation. There are situations when a person’s eyes are difficult to categorize as either green or hazel; some colors change and depending on lighting, may be perceived as either green or hazel. These eye colors are viewed by many as the most appealing due to their rarity. The dominant pigmentation in green eyes is reddish-yellow while that of hazel eyes is a combination of brownish-black and reddish-yellow. The following discussions further delve into such distinctions. 

 

What are Green Eyes?

The amount of melanin (group of natural pigments which makes the eyes appear darker) in green eyes is closer to that of blue eyes but less than that of brown eyes and the dominant pigmentation is pheomelanin which is reddish-yellow. Regarding attractiveness, a survey from more than 60,000 research participants concluded that most of them perceive green as the most bewitching eye color. One of the reasons for its appeal may be its rarity since its chances of being inherited is lower (it is most closely associated with the recessive gene). Around only two percent of the world population has green eyes. The largest concentration of green-eyed people is found in Northern and Central Europe and for some of these countries, this eye color is not at all rare. For instance, almost 90% of men and women in Iceland have either green or blue eyes. Also, almost 30% of the residents in Edinburgh, Scotland have green eyes. Having green eyes may have a downside, it has greater vulnerability to the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays as this eye color contains less melanin as compared to brown eyes. Hence, those with green eyes may have higher risks for eye melanoma. Celebrities with green eyes include Katie Holmes, Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum, Lindsay Lohan, and Adele.

 

What are Hazel Eyes?

The melanin amount in hazel eyes is more than that of green eyes and the dominant pigmentations are eumelanin (brownish black) and pheomelanin (reddish-yellow). This eye color is considered rare as only around five percent of the global population has hazel eyes. This hue is more common among those with North African, Spanish, Brazilian, and Middle Eastern decent. As for aesthetic qualities, more than 60,000 people were asked and they ranked hazel as the third most attractive eye color with green as the first and light blue as the second. Unfortunately, individuals with hazel eyes, as compared to those with brown eyes, are more vulnerable to the damaging effects of the sun due to the lower levels of melanin. Hence, they are encouraged to use sunglasses when appropriate. Celebrities with hazel eyes include Tyra Banks, Kevin Jonas, Ashley Greene, Emma Roberts, and Jared Padalecki.

 

Difference between Green and Hazel Eyes

Melanin Amount

The melanin amount in green eyes is less than that of hazel eyes which is closer to color brown (has more melanin). 

Dominant Pigmentation

The dominant pigmentation in green eyes is called pheomelanin which is giving off a reddish-yellow hue. In comparison, there are two dominant pigmentations in hazel eyes; these are pheomelanin, like that of green eyes, and eumelanin which is brownish black. 

Attractiveness

As compared to hazel, green is generally viewed as more attractive as an eye color. A survey concluded that green eyes was ranked as the most appealing, this was followed by light blue, and the third most attractive was hazel. The list was followed by dark blue, gray, honey, amethyst, and brown.

Rarity

Having green eyes is rarer as compared to having hazel eyes. Around only two percent of the global population has green eyes while around five percent has hazel eyes. This uniqueness may also be a reason why green eyes are mostly viewed as more attractive than hazel eyes.

Celebrities

The famous actors and actresses with green eyes include Scarlet Johansson, Kristen Stewart, Emma Stone, Charlize Theron, Bruce Willis, and Adrien Brody while those with hazel eyes include Jared Padalecki, Tyra Banks, Emma Roberts, Jason Stathman, and Zachary Levi. Regarding singers and musicians, those with green eyes include Adele, Rihanna, and Amanda Seyfried while those with hazel include Joe Jonas, Adam Levine, and John Mayer. 

Health Concerns

According to a survey, those with hazel irises are more likely to have low pain tolerance and are more prone to anxiety. As for those with green irises, they have higher tolerance for pain, are at lower risk to experience anxiety and depression, and have a higher risk of eye melanoma.

Number of Colors

Green eyes are generally characterized by a single solid hue while hazel eyes are a combination of brown, green, and/or gold. This is the reason why people with hazel eyes may seem like they have green eyes sometimes, depending on the lighting. This is also explained by the single dominant pigmentation, pheomelanin, in green eyes and the two dominant pigmentations, pheomelanin and eumelanin, in hazel eyes. 

Green Eyes vs Hazel Eyes: Comparison Chart

 

Summary of Green Eyes vs Hazel Eyes

  • Green and hazel eyes are unique eye colors and both of them possess varying hues of green since they have red and yellow pigmentations.
  • There is a higher level of melanin in hazel eyes than in green eyes.
  • Having green eyes is generally perceived as more attractive than having hazel eyes.
  • Having green eyes is rarer than having hazel eyes.
  • Celebrities with green eyes include Kristen Stewart, Bruce Willis, and Adele while those with hazel eyes include Tyra Banks, Adam Levine, and Emma Roberts.
  • As compared to green, hazel has more hues.

 

gene balinggan

Gene Balinggan is a Registered Psychologist, licensed professional teacher, and a freelance academic and creative writer. She has been teaching social science courses both in the undergrad and graduate levels. Some of the major subjects which she is handling are Theories of Personality, Experimental Psychology, Historical Foundations of Psychology, and Abnormal Psychology.She co-authored a manual in General Psychology and a textbook, “Understanding the Self”. She is also currently the Psychology-Behavioral Science Society adviser in their university. Gene has also been a research adviser and panel member in a number of psychology and special education paper presentations. Her certifications include TESOL (Tampa, Florida), Psychiatric Ward Practicum Certification (Baguio General Hospital), Outcome-Based Education, and Marker of Diploma Courses (Community Training Australia). She finished her BS Psychology at Saint Louis University and her MAT Special Education and MA Psychology at the University of the Cordilleras.

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References :


[0]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/de/photos/gr%C3%BCne-augen-iris-gen-verf%C3%BChrerisch-1161230/

[1]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hazel_Eyes.jpg

[2]Clusters, Edmund. The Difference between Green and Hazel Eyes. Owlcation, 13 June 2018. Viewed 12 June 2019, < https://owlcation.com/stem/The-Difference-Between-Green-and-Hazel-Eyes>

[3]Hellem, Amy. Green Eyes: The Most Attractive Eye Color? All About Vision, 2019. Viewed 12 June 2019, < https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/eye-color-green.htm>

[4]Moore, John D. Hazel Eyes: Learn Why People with Greenish Eye Color are Rare. Guy Counseling, 5 April 2019. Viewed 12 June 2019,

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