Cosmetology vs. Barbering: What to Know (and How Do They Compare?)

Are you undecided on the path for your beauty career? Don’t feel bad. It’s completely normal to feel that way.

Many students struggle with the choice between barber school and cosmetology school. It’s an important choice and we understand you want to make sure you choose the best career for you.

Fortunately, we’re here to help. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about barber license training and cosmetology school. We’ll also take a look at how they compare.

Read on and find out which one is right for you!

A Look at Cosmetology School

Let’s start by taking a deeper look at cosmetology. When you graduate from cosmetology school, you’ll be well-trained in a wide variety of beauty techniques.

The services you can offer won’t be limited to just hair. You’ll also be able to provide skin and facial treatments for your clients.

Think of cosmetology as a broader area of study. Students at cosmetology school receive training on styling hair. They also learn the basics of makeup artistry, esthetician techniques, and how to become a nail technician.

Cosmetologists can also provide more in-depth hair services than simply cutting hair. Receiving a cosmetology license allows you to perform chemical services. Some of these include coloring hair, chemical straightening, and perms.

These chemical treatments are useful if you want to focus on styling women’s hair.

A Look at Barber School

In contrast, barbering refers to the treatment of men’s hair. Graduates of barber school are trained on how to style men’s hair and also provide beard grooming services. These can include beard trimming, styling, and shaving.

The main difference between cosmetology and barber license training is that barbering’s focus is strictly on hair. Cosmetology is more general and provides training in the areas besides styling hair that we mentioned above.

Are Both Licenses Necessary?

Many students wonder if it’s necessary to get both a cosmetology and barbering license. The short answer is: it depends.

You need to ask yourself what type of services you want to offer. You’ll also want to ask yourself how many services you want to offer.

Some students, when they graduate, choose to be generalists. They open salons or spas that offer a wide range of services. Many will brand their salons as unisex so they can serve both men and women.

Others choose to provide more “niche” services. These students may choose to open a “men’s only” barbershop or women’s only cosmetology spa. 

If you want to attempt to bring in more customers or get more creative with your services, you may want to consider pursuing a double license.

The Beauty Breakdown

There you have it! The final, tell-all breakdown on what separates barbering and cosmetology. Both disciplines indeed have a lot of overlap. But they are both separate disciplines within the beauty industry.

Whichever road you choose will open you up to a large number of clients and a truly rewarding career. There’s no need to feel like you’re missing out if you lack one license or the other.

For more information, or if you have any questions, contact Elevate Salon Institute, Miami Beach. We’re more than happy to help guide you on your journey and find the beauty career that’s best for you.