What’s the Difference Between Barber and Cosmetology School Education?

Feb 10 2020

A shared ability between a barber and someone who attends beauty school to become a cosmetologist is that they can both cut hair. The main difference is in the length of the hair they can cut, and the skills they are trained in.

If you are thinking about going to school for one of these professions, you might want to know what the differences are. Hair Professionals Career College is a beauty school, and we can give you insight to what it’s like to be a beauty student.

A Difference in Education

Someone who goes to beauty school can pick a schedule that can range from one to two years, depending on the program. Barber school can take as little as six months, but the techniques you can learn in each program will be very different. A barber program may not cover as many concepts as a longer cosmetology program.

While someone in a cosmetology program can learn about chemistry and hair coloring, someone in a barber program might learn the art of shaving. The tools and textbooks are often different, because someone who goes to beauty school can learn a variety of services, such as skincare and manicures.
getting a haircut in a salon

Both Pick Up the Scissors

If you want to cut and blend layers in longer hair, you might want to look into cosmetology school. A barber isn’t trained on how to cut longer hairstyles, as barbers focus on perfecting short hairstyles. They have a wide variety of trimmers and shaving tools to create stylish short haircuts. This doesn’t mean that a hairstylist can’t cut short hair, though! They can still do pixie hairstyles, fades, and short hair.
a barber cutting a mans hair

Cosmetologists Care for Long, Luscious Locks

Hair extensions are something that is unique, because only a licensed cosmetologist can be trained in hair extensions. Adding extra length or thickness to hair has become a popular request. There are many techniques to choose from such as weaving, tape-ins, beaded, and clip in extensions.
Girl with long blonde hair leaning on a dock on a lake

Hair Stylists Can Brush, Blow-dry, and Style

Cosmetologists can have fun styling long, beautiful hair. They can use hot styling tools to curl, wave, or straighten hair. Creating extravagant updos or braids for special events is something they can look forward to. Common products they can use include leave in conditioner, texturizing spray, and hair serums.

A barber styles hair a little differently. They don’t have a lot of hair to create extravagant hairdos. They can use products like gel, creams, oils, and hair spray. Some of the tools a barber uses to style hair include electric trimmers, a straight razor, blow dryers, nose trimmers, and scissors.
woman curling hair in a salon

Beauty School Students Can Color and Tone

Someone who goes to beauty school gets trained on coloring hair. A barber learns the basics of hair coloring, and might put their focus on coloring beards, but a cosmetologist’s education is more extensive. They can learn balayages, highlighting, and weaves. Not only that, but cosmetologists need to know what toners they can use to achieve certain looks. Coloring can take a lot of time and skill. Although once you get the hang of it, it can be fun creating something that the client envisioned.
barbers coloring hair

Barbers Focus on Face Shaving

Face shaving is something only a barber can be qualified to do. A barber typically uses a warm hot towel, lathers on the shaving cream, shaves the desired area, then follows up with an aftershave product. The techniques used for shaving can be fun and difficult to learn. Sometimes the client might not want you to shave their face entirely. A barber can also trim and shape mustaches and beards.
man getting neck shaved at a barber shop

Are You Interested in Becoming a Cosmetologist?

Does doing hair extensions, nails, and fun hair colors sound exciting to you? Now that you know what the difference between a barber and a cosmetologist is, you can make your choice! Hair Professionals Career College can help you achieve your dreams of becoming a cosmetologist! If you want to learn more before making your decision, check out why cosmetology can be a good career choice.

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