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barbering or cosmetology what's the difference

Barbering or Cosmetology – What is the Difference?

In a world filled with all kinds of people, it’s not surprising that it’s also filled with all kinds of hair! And the folks who manage all that hair, typically fall into one of two categories, a barber or a cosmetologist. But in the wonderful, wide world of beauty, what is the real difference between these two heroes of hairstyling? If you thought it was simply a gender specific thing, think again! Because these two careers have both men and women showing off their skills. So, if you’re considering a career that puts you behind the chair, positively doing all things hair – we’re here to help you pick the right path for you, by breaking down some of the differences between barbering and cosmetology.

Cut to the chase

Before we talk about the differences between barbering and cosmetology, let’s talk about the thing both have in common, cutting hair. Whether you’re training to be a barber or a cosmetologist, you’ll be getting trained to cut hair. But one difference in this shared skill between the two, is the length of the hair being cut.

Things a cosmetologist does that a barber doesn’t

Cutting and styling longer hair is definitely more of a cosmetology thing. But cosmetologists also do a lot of other things that barbers don’t. Things like:

  • Hair Coloring / Highlighting
  • Chemical Straightening / Perms
  • Extensions / Weaves
  • Nails
  • Makeup Artistry / Skincare

The work of a barber

Barbers also have their own unique set of services and skills that you wouldn’t typically see a cosmetologist performing. They’re masters of the beard. They’re focused on proper shaving techniques and learning to use the tools of the barber trade like clippers and straight razors. And just like cosmetology training, barbers also learn all about proper sanitation methods. You may find barbers providing their services to guys than gals, including fading up an edgy cut for a woman who might just be looking to rock an edgy cut! There are no hard and fast rules in today’s beauty industry.

Different training and licensing

Every state has its own barbering board and its own rules for licensing cosmetologists and barbers. But you can expect each program to require a certain number of classroom and hands on hours of training. Most cosmetology programs take longer to complete than barber programs because of all the additional skills cosmetologists need to learn. Some beauty professionals will pursue dual-licensing and get trained in both professions, so that they can offer even more services to their clients. After all, more skills can lead to more opportunities!

Whichever profession inspires you to take the leap and start your training in the beauty industry, you’ll be in good company with all the talented artists out there making the rest of us look and feel great! If you’re ready to get started, check out the Barbering and Hairdressing & Cosmetology Programs at Continental School of Beauty. With a team of dedicated instructors with real-world experience, Continental is training the next generation of beauty professionals. Contact us now to learn more and get on the path to your future!

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