Little Known Differences Between Cosmetology and Barbering

Most people do not know the difference between cosmetology and barbering but there are several key characteristics that set these two disciplines apart. Though cosmetology and barbering both deal with the proper cutting and care of hair, they also include different, unique aspects that set them apart from one another. These differences are subtle and can be overlooked without careful consideration.


  • Can include hair, skin, nails, facials, body treatments, and more
  • Generally considered for women
  • Most often takes a day spa or salon feel

The first and most obvious difference is the sex of the clients that are likely to take part in these different branches of hair and skin care. The field of cosmetology includes skin care, facials, nails, hair care, and more. This field is not limited to simply cutting and dying hair but can include any of the different treatments mentioned. Generally with cosmetology there is a salon or day spa like atmosphere where clients can partake in. Rather than a small and quickness oriented atmosphere, a salon that offers cosmetology will likely take the time to make clients feel at home and to get them relaxed.

Another key difference is that in cosmetology school, beauticians are taught to dye and style hair, cut hair, do makeup, complete facials and skin care regimens, and to do other things like nails and skin treatments. The beauticians that are part of the cosmetology field are generally multi-talented and have the ability to do many different beauty geared activities. These specialists are almost always ready to perform and create styles and looks that go beyond simple hair cutting.


  • Hair cuts
  • Shaving
  • Basic Skin Care

Barbering specialists are a bit more limited in their skill sets. Though they have the ability and knowledge to cut and style hair, generally things like dye, perms, makeup, and advanced skin care are not part of their skill set. In most cases such as this, barbering professionals are taught to handle just about any issue that a male client may come across and need to have done. Rather than focusing on complex beauty issues like makeup and nails, barbering professionals are almost always skilled at cutting hair and shaving men quickly and efficiently.

Another difference is that barbering professionals practice their skills in smaller, more laid back atmospheres than that of a salon or day spa. Generally barber shops are small, close knit, and are focused on quickness and efficiency while harboring a brotherly or family feel. In most cases, barbering professionals are more focused on getting the job done quickly and efficiently than they are in creating an atmosphere of relaxation and full service. Most barber shops are utilitarian and are not worried about things like makeup and nails.

We at Evergreen Beauty College offer both cosmetology and barbering courses. Therefore, if you want to start a career in the beauty industry, you should start by enrolling in one of the beauty courses offered at our beauty college.


Frank Trieu
Vice President of Business Development & Industry Relations

Frank Trieu is a cosmetology industry leader, and despite his accomplishments and accolades, he still prioritizes students on the Evergreen campus. Through building relationships within the community and local salons, retail stores, and spas, he helps facilitate job placements for aspiring beauty professionals using his expansive network.

Happy Evergreen Beauty College Students


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments