January 26, 2023

Cosmetology vs Barber Stylist

cosmetologist and barber stylist

Do you have a passion for hair and want to pursue a career in the hair industry? If you have a love for cutting and styling hair, consider becoming a barber stylist or a cosmetologist! It’s a great time to consider a career in the beauty industry. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for those in the hair industry is expected to grow 11% by the year 2031.

Before you make your decision on which career path is right for you, It’s important to know the difference between the two. We’re going over what separates cosmetologists and barber stylists apart!

What Is Cosmetology?

Cosmetology is the art and science of the hair, skin, and nails. Cosmetologists are trained in a variety of beauty treatments and can usually be found working in a salon or spa. They can perform treatments like hair cutting, hair removal, massages, makeup application, and more.

What is a Barber Stylist?

Barber stylists are trained more specifically in hair, with a focus on men’s and women’s hair. But what’s the difference between a barber and a barber stylist? A barber stylist learns skills beyond a barber would and learns more advanced hair services.

What Are The Main Differences?

Scope Of Services

While cosmetologists and barber stylists both work with hair, they offer a different scope of services. Cosmetologists are trained in a wider range of beauty treatments that involve hair, skin, nails, and makeup. Barbers are primarily focused on hair cutting and styling.

Training And Education

Both cosmetologists and barbers must complete a training program and pass their licensing exams, but the curriculum and requirements may slightly differ:

About Our Cosmetology Program

Our cosmetology program is a total of 1600 hours and can be completed in as little as 45 weeks. Over the course of the program, students can expect to learn:

  • Haircutting
  • Permanent waving
  • Hair styling
  • Hair coloring
  • Massage
  • History of hair, skin, muscles, nails, and nerves
  • Bacteriology
  • Disease prevention
  • Business training
  • And more!

About Our Barber Stylist Program

Our barber stylist program is a 1500 hour program, where students can learn the latest beauty techniques for both men and women. In this program, students can expect to learn:

  • Shaving
  • Facial massage and treatments
  • Texture service
  • Women’s and mens haircutting and styling
  • Hairdressing and color / lightening
  • Mens hair replacement
  • Diseases of skin, hair, glands, and scalp
  • Tools and equipment
  • Hygiene
  • Bacteriology and infection control
  • Business of barbering
  • Treatment of the hair and scalp
  • Idaho state law
  • And more

Career Paths

While cosmetologists and barber stylists both work in the beauty industry, there are differences in careers. Cosmetologists can work as a:

  • Hair stylist
  • Platform artist
  • Educational consultant
  • Salon manager or owner
  • Product representative
  • And more

Barber stylists can work as a:

  • Barber stylist
  • Barber school educator
  • Freelancer
  • Barbering product developer
  • And more!

What Are Some Similarities?

Rewarding Career

Cosmetologists and barber stylists have the opportunity to impact their clients’ self confidence. Being able to help someone feel and look their best is an amazing feeling and makes the job fulfilling.

Work With People

Both cosmetologists and barber stylists require social skills and must be willing to talk with people. They see different clients throughout the day and talking with them is a huge portion of the job!

In these careers, you’ll get to meet people from all walks of life. There’s a good chance that cosmetologists and barber stylists make lifelong friends with their clients and coworkers.


People don’t just trust anyone for their beauty needs. They want someone with a creative eye that can give them the look they’re wanting. Both cosmetologists and barber stylists have the opportunity to try something new with their clients and express their creativity!

Ready To Get Started?

Whether you decide to go into cosmetology or barber styling, we’re positive you’ll make the most out of your decision. The choice between the two will mostly depend on your interests and career goals.

If you’re interested in joining the beauty industry, don’t hesitate to contact us! We have a team ready to help you with any questions you may have regarding your education. We can’t wait to meet you and help you pursue your dreams!

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