What's the difference between a barber and a hairstylist cutting men's hair

May 23, 2024

Men have spent decades trying to figure out who should cut their hair! Do you go to a hair salon, where you get the full service shampoo, cut and style, or do you go to a barber shop where you get the smooth fades and straight edge shaves? Have no fear, we are here to help you decide who should cut your hair!


The main difference between a barber and a hairstylist is that barbers are trained to use a cut throat razor. Barbers spend a lot of time focusing not just on haircuts, but on shaving as well. A barber will know how to deal with your facial hair, whether you need a beard trim, or the closest shave of your life!

A barbershop and barber's primary focus is traditional men's haircuts. Most barbers tend to be trained to cut mostly with clippers and scissor over comb. They are taught, in detail, how to do short back and sides and other classic men's haircuts. In barber school they learn in detail how to cut with clippers. They learn skills like using clippers and guards, or clipper over comb. It will be hard to find a hair stylist that has these skills. However, they do not focus on scissor cuts. Sectioning hair, especially longer hair, is only touched upon in barber school.

A master barber goes to barber school with the main focus being to learn to cut traditional men's haircuts and hot lather face shaves. They do not learn other salon services, like color, chemical treatments, long hair etc etc. Barbers specialize in good, quick, short hair cuts.

So why choose a barbershop? First, let us mention it again- straight edge shave! This is one hell of a service they offer. A proper straight edge shave is a real treat. A good barber understands the importance of a shave, it is in art form! It may seem daunting at first, after all it is a very SHARP razor, but it is truly awesome. You will walk out of the shop looking fresh and clean. 

Traditional barbershops are also known for being mostly walk-in shops. If you're the type of guy who enjoys the social interaction of sitting down at the shop, talking to the guys and relaxing, a barbershop is for you! 

Hair salons

As a male you may be intimidated by the idea of a hair salon. Getting your haircut surrounded by female clients, cutting and coloring their own hair, may not be your ideal situation, however there are also perks to going to a hair salon.

Cosmetologist's spend a large amount of time focusing on cutting hair, longer hair to be more specific. They spend many hours perfecting their scissor cutting and detail work. Cosmetology school focuses more on haircuts and other salon services, like coloring. If you appreciate the art of the straight razor shave, a hair salon may not be your go to as they are not typically trained to use a cut throat. These are the core differences of barbershops and salons.

If you're a guy looking for a men's haircut and maybe to cover some grays, you may want to consider a hair salon. Hair salons can be more versatile and offer many different services. You may find a stylist can offer you color services, chemical services, waxing and more. Hair stylists generally are more inclined to give a fashion forward cut or something more on trend. They also may have more product knowledge and offer better advice on styling hair.

Male Grooming..

is becoming more and more popular in this modern age. This is where the more upscale barbershops and salons have begun to come into play. The men's salon or men's grooming salon is the latest industry trend. These are places that not only offer traditional haircuts, or shaves, but include all the extra services you may find at a salon. 

You may find at many upscale barbershops you are getting the best of both worlds ! Classically trained barbers, and trained hair stylists/ cosmetologists. This means you can get all the perks of a salon, while being surrounded by other male clients. Most of these barber shops will even offer you a drink, or a beer on arrival. What guy will say no to that!

Some of these shops may even go as far as offering facials with their shaves. Well, imagine the great feeling of a straight edge shave, with an extra relaxing facial. Upscale men's barbershops and salons are now taking the awesome feeling of a straight edge shave, and upgrading it even more! Imagine, a good half hour to yourself, with steamy hot towels, warm shave cream, mask and face massage. This alone may be the best reason to choose a higher end barbershop.

So which should you choose?

Good question! Obviously this all boils down to what you vibe with! Do you prefer to get your hair cut quickly and efficiently, with a cut throat line up at the end? Well then get to your local barbers, they can help!

Or do you prefer the latest trendy hairstyle, with a shampoo, style and maybe even some color? Then head to the salon for a trendier salon cut.

If you're looking for a good mix of all, and don't mind spending a little extra money, we highly recommend having a search for an upscale barbershop, or Men's salon.

No matter what you choose, as long as you find a highly trained professional, whether it be a stylist or barber, you're guaranteed to walk away with a great cut ! 

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