A barber is a professional who cuts, trims, and styles hair for primarily male clients, though many women with shorter hairstyles opt to go to these professionals too. Most barbers also provide facial hair maintenance, custom shaves and other men's grooming services. The goal of a barber is to make each client feel comfortable and at ease while their hair is being cut or styled. The barber also seeks to ensure that the client is happy with his or her hairstyle, length and color or his new facial hair style.
Barbers cut, trim, shape, and taper their clients' hair. They usually use tools such as scissors, clippers, razors, and combs. When a barber grooms a client's facial hair, he will apply lather to the area to be shaved, usually the beard or hair contour. He will then remove the unwanted hair using a razor. Barbers may also provide other services such as applying lotions, shampooing, styling, coloring hair, and singeing. In addition, a barber may perform massage services for the scalp, neck, and face.
Finally, barbers will typically bill the client, accept payment and tips and finalize the sale. They may also sell the client products such as shampoo, lotions, or tonics that will meet their styling, grooming and maintenance needs between appointments. They will clean their work area and tools according to the state's safety and sanitation requirements after each appointment.
The license requirements to become a barber vary by state, but on average it takes around 1500 hours of instruction in a barber school to be permitted to sit for the exams. You will also need to be at least 16 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, and pass the appropriate licensing exam. Some states allow you to apply for your license if you have a past criminal record with a felony conviction, whereas others do not. We recommend contacting your local board to find out if it is permitted.
Before beginning your training program, you should find out the specific requirements for your state of residence. Visit the state license requirements page to find the required hours for becoming a barber in your state. You should also call your state licensing authority to make sure that the information you have is up to date and that there haven't been any recent changes in license requirements.
Ever wonder what a day in the life of a barber is like? How about what a barbershop stylist earns each year? Below Beauty Schools Directory has answered common questions about the salary, job outlook, career options and other career information about barbers to help you decide if this is the right career path for you. If you like the sound of becoming a professional men's stylist and groomer, simply enter your zip code in the box to the right and choose "Barbering" as your program to find schools near you.