What Is The Difference Between A Barber & A Hairstylist? How To Choose The Best One For Your Hair

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What is the difference between booking an appointment with a hairstylist vs. booking one with a barber? Does it even matter at all when it comes to men’s grooming? Typically, the difference between barbershops vs. salons has been the professionals behind the chair.

When it comes to making the right choice for who would be the best option to cut your hair, there are many factors that come into play. Here at Jaxson Maximus, our salon industry experts have put together this guide to help you determine the core differences between a salon vs. a barber.

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There is still that question: “do I see a barber or hairstylist?” Most guys will tend to gravitate to a barber, however, that might not be the best choice given their hairstyle or texture. Typically, barbers are trained to cut shorter more traditional hairstyles with clippers, while salon stylists are trained to cut longer, fuller men’s styles with scissors.

A barber’s primary focus is cutting men’s hair. Barbers are your classic, no-frills type of hair professionals. Targeting men’s style cuts, barbers expertly blend, fade, and shave. In fact, only barbers can provide a straight-razor shave, not a hairstylist.

Barbers offer services specifically for gentlemen (and some women depending on their desired haircut). In addition to getting a haircut from someone knowledgeable in men’s hair, you can get a beard trim, mustache trim, scalp massage, line up, and much, much more. This includes the legendary hallmark of a great barbershop––a hot lather shave with a straight razor.

Hair Stylists:

A salon stylist receives more training in the art of styling hair. With the industry trend moving toward more upscale barbershops and salons for men, the line between barbers and stylists is becoming blurred.

Traditionally barbers used clippers and had concentrated solely on men’s hair. Usually, male-only barbershops didn’t offer much in the way of color and other additional services you would typically see in a salon. Barbers will typically provide services such as a great shave with a straight razor, but that is usually it.

Stylists, on the other hand, are generally excellent with scissors and longer hair, and not quite as strong in clipper work. Stylists also focus much more on product recommendations, hair color, chemical services, and additional hair treatments.

If you have longer hair or want to add color, you would want to see a hairstylist, not a barber.

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  • Be better suited for you if you’re going longer. Stylists generally have more experience cutting and styling longer hair.
  • You want color treatment for your hair. Most barbers do not do a great deal of color services, so you’ll likely find better results from a stylist.
  • You’re looking for a more fashion-forward, less traditional style. A stylist is normally more aware of current trends and tends to do more education courses around new industry trends.
  • You want a bigger change to your current hairstyle. During the consultation, a stylist will often make suggestions for a style that will better flatter your facial features.
  • You want to do other salon services such as manicures, pedicures, facials, and more. You might never have found your grandfather getting a pedicure, but today you can get a delightful experience without fear of losing your man card!


  • Be better suited if you are looking for a short, traditional style haircut such as a buzzcut, flattop, fade, or military-style cut.
  • You want to keep your hair looking to keep it simple. Barbers will typically cut your hair in a manner that allows it to look good naturally.
  • You want a shave. Many upscale barbershops offer hot lather face shaves, which are a real treat. We strongly recommend getting these once a month.
  • You want to escape for an hour out of the day. Barbershops can be a great source of camaraderie between guys.

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