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Is there a difference if a barber or a hairstylist that cuts men hair?

April 10, 2024

A barber's skill is definitely like no other when it comes to the way they are trained to cut men's hair or shorter hairstyles, but can a salon stylist do just the same sort of hairstyles?

These days you will find that both a barber and a salon stylists may take different approaches to a certain type of haircut but sometimes end up with very similar results. There is no denying though that there are some services or haircuts that a barber can do and a hairstylist will not be able to do.

A salon stylist may not have all the same tools and knowledge behind them for certain haircuts that a barber has no issue doing. So let's dive deeper and really try to understand the difference between the two types of hairstylist's.

What tool's will a Barber generally have in their tool kit

When you go to a barber you may not notice but the tools a barber will have over a salon stylist are slightly different.

For example a barber can sometimes have up to 3-4 different types of clippers which could be your standard clippers, balding clippers, mini clippers and any other fancy clippers that they chose to use for their hair cut.

Standard barber scissors are lengths between 6 Inches to 7.5 inches or longer. A barber may have a range of sizes and also a barber thinning and texturizing shears. 

Barbers will also have a special barber razor they use for skin shaving. This razor can be used on the face, the back of the neck, around and on top of the head. A barber will always carry fresh blades to use in between clients for health and safety reasons. They will have shaving foams, brushes and all the utensils to be able to give their customers the best shaves.

A barber chair will also look very different to a hair salon chair as face shaves are better done on a chair that can recline backwards, so the barber and customer are comfortable while performing shaves.

Barbers will not generally wash their clients' hair at the basin as most barbers don't have basin's or it's time consuming and they don't really need to. This is when it's always a good idea to wash your hair close to a barber appointment so that way your hair is nice and clean for them.

Some barbers have wax to wax your nose hairs or overgrown areas around the neck and hairline for a smoother finish. 

You will also see a hairdryer, small round brushes or standard brushes, cutting combs, neck brushes, barber capes, hot towels to name a few. To finish off a haircut and styling your haircut, the barber may have a range of men's styling products they use and a men's cologne.


What tool's will a salon hairstylist have for cutting men's hair

A salon hairstylist will have much less tools and tricks up their sleeve than a barber will have. Generally the overall experience will be very different for a customer.

Most salon stylists will prefer to wash their clients hair before or after cutting.

They may carry up to two pairs of clippers which are your standard clippers and rarely the mini clippers. They may have barber scissors or they will use any other scissors they use for all types of hair cutting.

They could have a shaving blade but will only mainly shave the lines at the back of the neck if they are confident in doing so. They won't perform face shaves or any other type of shaves as they need to correct shaving creams, chairs and training to do this.

Hair salons are limited on the haircut and hairstyle they can do for a men's short haircut but if you have a longer style or messy style haircut then this is something the salon would be better suited for.

What services can a Barber do that a Hairstylist can't

Going to a barber over a hair salon is in many ways such a different experience.

Firstly as mentioned a barber can perform all sorts of face and line shaves as they have all the correct tools, equipment and training to do so. You will often see a traditional barber have the chairs that recline backwards making it easier to do their shaves. They may also include a hot towel service on the skin that softens and prepares the skin for shaving.

When you go to a barber you know that any hairstyle they are able to do for you without hesitation. For example, they can do any type of military style cut or skin shaves that require the skills and correct tools to pull off.

So if you have a shorter hairstyle then going to a barber is always your best option.

How different is the training between Barbers and Hairstylists

In terms of going to college or getting an apprenticeship as a barber the training you will undertake doing a Barbering Diploma would be far more advanced than learning barbering from a T level in hair, beauty and aesthetics.

When you learn barbering from working in a barber shop and taking a barber course, the level of training and technique will be the best you can learn if you want to be taken seriously as a barber.

Other hairstyling courses will teach you how to cut men's hair and the basics which is good if you want to learn both male and female hairdressing.

Can a woman visit a barber shop for a haircut

Barber shops do not discriminate, so of course a woman can visit a barber shop. Barber shops are not only for men, they are for specialized haircuts. If there is a shorter style haircut that you know will look better if a barber cuts that for you, then a barber shop is for you!

To finish off this discussion we think we can mostly agree between how a barber and a hairstylist will cut your hair. This all does depend on the hairstyle you are requesting after all. If you are wanting a crisp clean shaved line or a shorter style haircut then a barber will always do a better job. 

With saying all of this, styling longer hair or scissors hairstyles can be done just as well or even better by a hair salon hair stylist. So whether you're a man or woman with a shorter hairstyle then a barber will be able to knock your socks off with the skills they provide to your haircutting service.

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