Distinguishing Hairdressers & Barbers

People often need their hair cut as it grows and becomes difficult to manage, and it is important to keep up with current trends and styles. In some places, the person who cuts hair is known as a barber, which can cause confusion between the terms “barber” and “hairdresser.” This article examines the differences between the two professions.

Key Takeaways

  • Barbers traditionally focus on cutting and grooming men’s hair, including shaving and beard trimming, while hairdressers cut, style, and wash hair for both men and women.
  • Hairdressers may also be called hairstylists and can work in a variety of settings, such as salons, movie sets, and fashion events.
  • Many barbers today prefer to be called hairdressers, as the term encompasses a wider range of hair treatments and services.


A hairdresser is someone who receives training to cut, style, and wash other people’s hair. This term can apply to both men and women and is a universal term for those whose occupation involves styling, cutting, and maintaining hair. Hairdressers, also known as hairstylists, can be found working in salons, parlors, movie sets, and fashion events, where they perform various services such as cutting, styling, coloring, washing, and providing other hair treatments.


The term “barber” traditionally refers to professionals trained in cutting men’s hair. In addition to cutting hair, barbers also provide other grooming services for men, such as shaving, beard trimming, and maintaining mustaches. The profession of barbering dates back to ancient times.

Difference between Hairdresser and Barber

  • Barber is an older term than hairdresser.
  • Barbers specialize in cutting men’s hair, while hairdressers work with both men’s and women’s hair.
  • Hairdressers can be either male or female, and the term is interchangeable with hairstylist.
  • A hairdresser may hold a license as a barber or a cosmetologist.
  • Many barbers now prefer the title “hairdresser” to encompass their expanded range of services, including coloring, shampooing, and other hair treatments.
  • Barbers mainly work with men’s hair and provide shaving services, while hairdressers primarily work with women, although they may also cut and style men’s hair.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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