Common Recessive Traits

Blue eyes are a common recessive trait.
Blue eyes are a common recessive trait. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Recessive traits are inherited genetic traits that you only see when both parents possess the gene. If one parent has the recessive trait and the other has the opposing dominate trait, you’ll see the dominate trait in their children. Of course, if both parents have the dominate trait, you’ll also see that trait in their children. Some recessive traits or characteristics occur more commonly than others. Some recessive traits occur more often than the corresponding dominant traits, if the dominant gene is rare in a population.

Hair Color

Common recessive traits with regard to hair color include all light colors, such as blond hair and red hair. Dominant traits include dark colors, such as black and brown.

Hair Texture

Straight hair is a common recessive trait, while naturally curly hair is a dominant trait. Straight hair occurs more frequently than curly hair.


Baldness is a recessive trait but so is a normal hairline. A widow’s peak, on the other hand, is a dominant characteristic.

Eye Color

Recessive traits in eye color include blue eyes, green eyes, gray eyes and hazel eyes. Brown eye color is a dominant trait.


Common recessive traits include nearsightedness, color blindness and night blindness. Farsightedness is a dominant trait. Normal vision as opposed to farsightedness is a common recessive trait, while normal vision as opposed to nearsightedness, color blindness and night blindness are common dominant traits. Color blindness occurs much more frequently in men than in women.

Facial Features

Common recessive traits include the lack of freckles and lack of dimples. The presence of freckles and dimples are both dominant traits. Common recessive traits with regard to facial features also include attached earlobes and thin lips.

Fingers and Toes

Common recessive traits include having the normal number of fingers and toes, fingers and toes of normal length and normal joints. Dominant traits include extra fingers or toes, abnormally short fingers or toes, missing joints and double jointed fingers or toes. These recessive traits occur much more frequently than these dominant traits, of course.

Blood Type

Type O blood, the most common blood type in humans, is a recessive trait. Types A blood, B blood and AB blood are all dominant traits and occur less often.

Poison Ivy

A sensitivity or susceptibility to poison ivy is a common recessive trait. An immunity to poison ivy, on the other hand, is a dominant trait that occurs much less often.

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