They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Yet, there are some features none of us can resist. When it comes to the mix of black hair and blue eyes, most people seem to agree nothing beats it. So, how come this particular combination is objectively and universally pretty?
Read on to find out who can brag about having such uncommon features. And stay tuned because you’ll also learn what makes this mix so unique and desirable.
The Genetic Truth About Black Hair and Blue Eyes
Genetics — you can either curse it or thank heavens it exists. When it comes to your inherited personality traits, you probably think they’re easy to change. “After a third-in-a-row failed exam, I’ll no longer procrastinate” or “I’ve had it — I won’t be this gullible ever again.” Well, at least you can pretend.
What seems more worrying are our physical features and build. There’s no changing your hair color without constantly dying your hair and no having a perfect cleavage without breast implants. But although cosmetic and surgical procedures are slowly becoming accepted in most parts of the world, nothing beats natural beauty.
So, how come some people are born lucky enough to look almost perfect? The golden ratio and clear skin aside, how are some of us gifted with unique feature mixes like black hair and blue eyes? Before you find out, take a look at how each of these colors gets inherited.
How Do You Inherit Blue Eyes?
Have you heard about the father of modern genetics, Gregor Mendel? That’s the guy who experimented with pea hybrids to learn about how certain traits get inherited.
And if you remember your high school biology classes, you might be able to recall all the genetics problems. “If your mom’s father has blue eyes, what’s the likelihood of you inheriting the same trait?”
In case you don’t remember any of it, here it goes. Thanks to the breakthroughs in genetics, we now know eye color gets passed down from one generation to the next.
So, if someone in your family has blue eyes, there’s a chance of you inheriting this gene. But it may come as a surprise that it’s not the eye color that gets transferred through your DNA.
Instead, what you inherit is the level of melanin in your eyes written in the chromosomes. Among other things, this pigment determines your eye color. So, there’s no blue or green color in your eyes, per se. There’s only brown — the color of melanin.
Dark-eyed people have this pigment both on the back and front layer of the iris. Because melanin absorbs light, it makes their eyes appear brown. On the other hand, individuals with fair eyes have no melanin on the front side of the iris. As a result, the iris scatters other rays and reflects blue light, making the eyes look blue.
How Do You Inherit Black Hair?
Just like the color of your eyes, your hair color depends on your genetic makeup. More precisely, the genes responsible for the natural shade of your hair get passed down from your parents (among others) onto you.
These genes carry the information on the same type of pigment that determines your eye color — melanin. In this case, however, there are two kinds of melanin at play.
The first one is pheomelanin, and it’s responsible for making your hair look orange or red. But right now, you’re more interested in the other type of melanin, known as eumelanin. An abundance of this pigment gives your hair a brown or black color. In other words, the higher the concentration of eumelanin, the darker your hair will be:
• black hair: eumelanin in large quantities
• brown hair: eumelanin in moderate quantities
• blond hair: little to no eumelanin
• red hair: pheomelanin in large quantities, with only a little eumelanin
How Rare Is the Black Hair and Blue Eyes Mix?
Now you probably have a better idea of how your genetics determines the color of your hair and eyes. More precisely, you’ve seen which pigments are responsible for blue eyes and which cause your hair to be black.
But what about the black hair and blue eyes combination — how common is this mix of features? Before we get into this, you should learn how rare each of these colors is by itself.
What do you think makes blue eyes so beloved? Chances are, you’ve got the same answer as we do — their rarity makes them unique. Blue may not be the least frequent eye color (like green or gray), but it’s still rare. It might surprise you that only 8-10% of people are the lucky owners of blue eyes.
When it comes to black hair, the situation is somewhat different. As it turns out, most people have high amounts of eumelanin in their hair. That’s why about 75-85% of the global population has naturally black (or very dark brown) hair.
Oddly enough, these people’s hair turns gray with age, not because of the lack of eumelanin, but because their organism stops producing other melanins.
So, how often does it happen that these two percentages mix and produce a black hair and blue eyes combo? Just as you’ve suspected — not that often. This mix might not be the rarest hair and eye color combination, as that place belongs to red hair and blue eyes (both recessive genes).
However, you won’t be able to see natural black hair and blue eyes very frequently.
Again, the reason why this mix is infrequent is melanin. More precisely, the chromosomes determining both colors are related. They usually come in pairs, like black hair/brown eyes or blond hair/blue eyes.
Which Ethnicity Has Black Hair and Blue Eyes?
Given how rare this hair and eye color mix is, it doesn’t get transferred from one generation to the next among a particular group of people. If it did, black hair and blue eyes might not be so infrequent. Also, no nationality seems to have more individuals with such uncommon features than any other ethnicity.
Still, there might be a higher chance of more such people living in countries known for black-haired individuals and those with more blue-eyed people. People with black hair mostly live in Africa, Asia, Eastern and Southern Europe, and America. On the other hand, blue eyes are typical for Europe, or Scandinavia in particular.
The Truth About Blue-Eyed Babies
Speaking of blue eyes, you might have noticed that too many babies have them until they get a bit older. Oddly enough, only 1 in 5 Caucasians born with blue eyes stay blue-eyed. As before, melanin is to blame.
You already know that this pigment is responsible for darkening your eyes. When they’re born, babies have no melanin in irises, which is why their eyes seem blue. As they get older, the level of melanin increases, making their eyes darker. Of course, it depends on the individual child, as some babies get to keep this uncommon eye color.
So, it seems logical that the black hair and blue eyes mix is more frequent in babies. The truth is, many parents get dissatisfied when their child’s blue eye color suddenly changes. But imagine the level of disappointment when their children could have been the proud owners of the unique black and blue feature combination.
Celebrities with Black Hair and Blue Eyes
Image source: Pinterest
Given the rarity of this mix, there aren’t that many celebrities with naturally black hair and blue eyes. However, most celebs aspire to belong to such a unique group. For that reason, they don’t hesitate to turn to alternative solutions to achieve this combo.
They use hair dyes or wigs to change their hair color, and they often get caught wearing blue eye contact lenses.
Some of the most popular celebs with this rare mix are:
• Adriana Lima
• Katy Perry
• Robin Thicke
Actors and Actresses with Black Hair and Blue Eyes
Image source: Pinterest
Speaking of celebrities, they can pull off many different styles and looks. More often than not, they don’t even need their recognizable or rare features to draw attention to themselves. Chances are, you’ve seen how this year’s Met Gala went — we didn’t even see some hair and eye colors.
The truth is, some celebs can afford such looks: socialites, TV presenters, and even some singers. But when it comes to actors, they like to stand out with their appearances.
You already know that most of them get cast thanks to their unique physical features. Sure, actors and actresses can easily change their hair and eye color for the role.
Still, some of them like to think such uncommon features are what makes them more memorable. You probably won’t be able to think of too many actresses with dark bangs and blue eyes like Zooey Deschanel.
The list of actors with black hair and blue eyes is, in fact, rather limited. It comes down to the following owners of this attractive mix, among others:
• Cobie Smulders
• Courtney Cox
• Jesse Williams
• Megan Fox
• Angelina Jolie
• Chris Evans
• Zac Efron
• Evangeline Lilly
• Ian Somerhalder
• Leonardo DiCaprio
• Emilia Clarke
• Chace Crawford