Melanin is a protein. Like other proteins, the amount and type you get is coded in your genes. Irises containing a large amount of melanin appear black or brown. Less melanin produces green, gray, or light brown eyes. If your eyes contain very small amounts of melanin, they will appear blue or light gray. People with albinism have no melanin in their irises and their eyes may appear pink because the blood vessels in the back of their eyes reflect light. Melanin production generally increases during the first year of a baby’s life, leading to a deepening of eye color. The color is often stable by about 6 months of age, but it may take as long as two years to develop. However, several factors can affect eye color, including the use of certain medications and environmental factors. Some people experience changes in eye color over the course of their lives. People can have eyes of two colors. Even the genetics of eye color inheritance isn’t as cut-and-dried as was once thought, as blue-eyed parents have been known (rarely) to have a brown-eyed child! Also, not all babies are born with blue eyes. A baby may start out with gray eyes, even if they ultimately become blue. Babies of African, Asian, and Hispanic descent are more likely to be born with brown eyes. This is because darker-skinned individuals tend to have more melanin in their eyes than Caucasians. Even so, a baby’s eye color may deepen over time. Also, blue eyes are still possible for babies of dark-skinned parents. This is more common in preterm babies because melanin deposition takes time.