Is a Barber the Same as a Hairdresser?

Before you walk into a hair salon, you need to know if the person behind the chair can take care of your needs. By understanding the subtle differences between a barber and a hairdresser, you can choose the best person to help you look great.

A barber typically focuses on men’s hair. The most common barber duties are giving haircuts, shaving faces and necks, and styling males of any age. Each state places licensing requirements and operating restrictions on barbers and hair stylists. For example, in Texas, only barbers can remove hair using a razor.

In contrast, a hairdresser’s duties range from shampooing and styling to bleaching and giving perms. Hairdressers are often trained cosmetologists, so their shops may also provide nail treatments and skin care services. While hairdressers generally focus on women, most accept male clients as well.

Choosing Between a Barber and a Hairdresser
As you can see, the responsibilities of a barber and hairdresser are very similar. Instead of sticking to traditional male/female roles, use these tips to choose the best styling option:

  • 1) If your request is simple, see a barber. Barbers are generally less expensive than stylists, so you can save money if you only need a buzz cut or a traditional hairdo.
  • 2) If you have high demands or need expert assistance, walk into one of the local beauty salons and see a hairdresser. These professionals frequently work with customers on long hairstyles, formal hairdos, complicated coloring, and dramatic changes.
  • 3) Look for people with haircuts you like and ask about their stylists. They may direct you to hair salons you had not previously considered.
  • 4) Read reviews and ask friends for advice regarding a particular barber shop or beauty salon. Positive word of mouth referrals can keep great barbers and hairdressers in business for years.
Make the decision about whether you want a barber or a hair stylist, and find the salon or barber shop that is closest to you.



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