Barber vs. Cosmetologist: What’s the Difference?

Did you know there are almost 20,000 barbers in the US? This figure is set to grow, as the health and beauty industry for men and women increases. But do you know what a cosmetologist is?

You may be wondering what the differences are and what is best for a career path. Read on as we settle the barber vs cosmetologist debate. 

What is a Barber?

A barber generally specializes in men’s hair.

As well as cutting, washing and styling the hair on the head, they may also do the shaving, and the trimming of the mustache and beard. They will tend to focus on male clientele. 

What Is a Cosmetologist?

Cosmetology is an extremely broad subject. Generally, it involves the aesthetics of hair, skin, and the face. However, each of these is its own discipline that can be extremely wide and varied in itself. 

For example, cosmetology could include hairdressing skills. On top of this, it may look at skincare, makeup artistry, and nail art as well. It is an all-in approach to looking good and how to do it, that focuses on both male and female clientele. 

Getting a Barbers License

The training required to be a barber can take from 9 to 12 months. You will find courses available in technical schools such as ours, beauty colleges, and community colleges.  The course will involve learning about the styling and treatment of hair, with some aspects of it being in real workplaces. 

To be a barber you must obtain a state license. This is generally done through the completion of one of the courses above. It may also involve aspects of marketing and salon management. 

Getting a Cosmetologist License

The path to a cosmetologist license is not that different from a barber’s license. In fact, both barbers and cosmetologists may be on the same course in part. However, when a barber learns skills about shaving, a cosmetologist will specialize in other areas. 

Just like a barber, you need a state license to practice. This may be awarded through the course and will require a pass on a written and hands-on test. A high school diploma is a minimum requirement to start on most courses.

Should I Go For Dual Licensing?

While the two share similarities, they are inherently different. Dual licensing all depends upon the type of clientele you wish to attract and ultimately, what you want to do. 

Cosmetology is a very wide-ranging area regardless. To add the skills of a barber may be spreading yourself too wide. You may be a jack of all trades but a master of none. 

It will however bring you more customers, as you can offer more services. It may also be better if you are looking to work in a niche area, such as social media content creation and doing work for influencers. 

Barber vs Cosmetologist

Now you know the facts in the barber vs cosmetologist argument, you just need to decide which you want to be. Think about the people you want to serve and which will best suit your career goals.

If you still can not decide, speak with an expert at the Invictus Career College. We can offer advice as well as a wide range of courses. Click here to begin your admission process and start on a new career path today.