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January 22, 2019

Frequently Asked Questions About Barbering

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Ever wondered why your barber works the way they do? Many men are familiar with the barbering experience from the perspective of a client, but what’s it like as the person behind the chair? Barbering is a practice that stretches back thousands of years. And while techniques have changed, having questions about hair management has not. Here are some common questions about barbering. Here are some common questions that people have about barbers and barbering:


What’s the story with the barber pole?

Thousands of years ago, barbers didn’t simply shave and cut hair, they were also general physicians for people who couldn’t afford doctors. They would perform simple procedures such as tooth extractions or blood letting. Think Sweeney Todd. Ok, don’t! While many of the health practices of yore have been debunked by modern medicine, the barber pole has remained as a symbol for the trade. Some say that the red and white stripes represent the bandages used during bloodletting, though a barber today wouldn’t dare to use that procedure on one of their clients!

What do barbers use to cut hair?

The obvious answer to this question would scissors, but barbers use much more than simply scissors to provide modern hairstyles and shaves. Barbers use brushes, towels, and a straight razor to shave their clients. For cutting hair, barbers often use electric trimmers to shave hair close to the skin, accompanied with scissors and a comb to provide the desired look. Barbers have many other accessories as part of their arsenal, including disinfecting solution for tools, hair coloring supplies, and much more!

Why do barbers wear gloves?

Gloves are an important safety measure to protect the client and the barber. They protect both people from skin conditions that can be transmitted through contact, protect the barber from staining their skin when coloring hair, and can protect the barber from contact with blood in the rare instance of a nick when shaving. Safety is most important for everyone involved!

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Do barbers learn the same things as cosmetologists?

The curriculum for barbers and cosmetologists can overlap quite a bit. For example, both professionals need to know similar health and safety practices, tool use and maintenance, as well as the basics for men’s hair cutting and styling. Barber programs typically cover straight razor shaves as well, while not all cosmetology programs provide this option. Barbering programs tend to exclude education about manicures, pedicures, and esthetics that are included in cosmetology education as well.

Do barbers have to be licensed to shave or cut hair?

Laws regarding barbering vary state by state, so it’s important to find out more information about licensing for where you live. In some states, it’s completely illegal to cut hair without a license, while some states are a little more lenient. In California, where American Beauty College is located, you cannot provide barbering services for a fee without a license. Either way, it’s highly advisable for people to earn their barbering license if they want to shave and cut hair. Becoming a licensed barber can give you the expertise you need to grow your own business and avoid making mistakes that could cost you in the long run. Check out this piece on what to expect when going into a professional barber.

How do barbers choose which barbering school to attend?

People who are interested in barbering can choose any school they want to work for their accreditation, but not all schools are created equally. Ideal schools will be accredited by the state and offer federal financial aid options and scholarship resources. The program should be up to date with modern barbering information, and the school should be proactively involved in helping their students to succeed. These are just a few things to keep an eye out for when trying to find the right school for you!

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Learn at ABC

Considering a future in barbering? Read our blog about the “5 signs barbering might be your calling” or visit our barbering program page for more details about what you can learn.

American Beauty College has two locations, one in West Covina and the other in Palmdale. Both of our campuses can provide you the barbering education you are looking for. Contact us to learn more about our barbering programs and how they can help you build a dream career.

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