Q: If both barbers and stylists cut hair, can I use the words interchangeably?
A: No, because barbers and stylists (cosmetologists) are each recognized as distinct professionals by the state’s licensing board since they each have their own set of training requirements and hours.
Q: What are the main differences in training then?
A: A barber’s training focuses largely on clipper work. In modern training facilities, the tool kit is usually four different clippers, scissors, blending shears, and maybe a feather razor. The licensed use of the straight razor for shaving is also what separates barber from stylist.
Cosmetology/stylist training focuses largely on beauty: hair/nails/facials performed usually on women. Advanced scissor work is often taught, clipper skills not so much.
Q: I feel uneasy about the extensive use of clippers, am I wrong to think that clippers produce one-size-fits-all haircuts that cut a lot of corners?
A: Being a barber I work with four different clippers, each has its own purpose. Some remove bulk efficiently, some give a fine fade or blend, some create fine lines and are best for precision work, some come with multiple detachable metal or ceramic blades. All work together to give nuanced details by going to places where scissors cannot.
Q: When do you use scissors?
A: Since scissors are “hand-powered”, they provide a natural, organic flow and feel to the larger volumes of hair being cut. The clippers, on the other hand, deliver higher precision and control in the tighter areas of the cut. Both have their very specific uses and qualities at different stages of the haircut.
Q: What are you licensed as?
A: Barber and Stylist.
Q: Why am I asked to come in with clean, dry hair?
A: Clean, dry hair gives the haircutter the most honest “reading” of the hair’s “personality” when it is free of interference from any buildup of product or otherwise. Therefore, it will provide the haircutter with a more honest “interface” between the cutting instruments and the hair, resulting in a natural, intentional hairstyle that clients can easily recreate at home.
Q: Why does the shampoo follow the service?
A: It is done after the haircutting service to finalize the cleaning operation when all hair clippings and soil are removed to reveal the haircut as it really is.