While you are in barber school, you will learn that becoming a barber is more than just handling a pair of clippers. You must have the artistic ability to create hairstyles for the men, and sometimes women, that will come into your barbershop for service. While both beauty school and barber school require creativity and an eye for hair design, barber school is focused on the male client, while beauty school focuses more on the services women want. Whether you choose to become a barber or a hair stylist depends on the types of services you want to provide on a regular basis.
Sharp, Professional Shears are Your Most Important Tool
If you can afford nothing else as you get started as a barber, you have to invest in professional scissors that are made to cut hair. These type of scissors are beveled and designed made to cut the hair cleanly. Using blunt scissors out of your kitchen cabinet will result in a bad haircut that is uneven and split at the ends. The scissors are the same as those you would purchase for beauty school.
Straight Razors for a Close Shave
As a barber, you will learn how to give customers a shave. Nothing gives a close shave better than a straight razor. Those that attend beauty school aren't taught this skill, as their clientele is different in a beauty shop. Some hairdressers do own a straight razor, as this can be used to give a haircut. This can be a hard skill to learn, and one that is even more difficult to master. When you use a quality straight razor, you are giving yourself the best opportunity you can to provide a quality shave to a customer.
The Length of Education
Barbers are generally done with their education within a year while becoming a stylist takes longer. Both provide scalp treatments, skin care, and facial care while a stylist is going to be able to provide nail care as well. The education for a stylist generally takes a bit longer than a year, depending on what credentials you are trying to obtain.
When you work in a barber shop, you will also want to invest in some combs, a couple of mirrors, and a duster to brush off the neck of your customers. As you get more experienced in the field, you will know what equipment works best for you and what equipment you will want to upgrade.