Barbershops vs. Hair Salons: What’s The Difference?

Barbershops and hair salons: they are basically the same, right? Some people mistakingly believe that both are just locations to get a haircut, and it doesn't really matter where you go. Untrue. In order to make an informed choice about where to get your hair done, here is a look into the strengths and weaknesses of barbershops and hair salons.



Back in the early 1900s, the barbershop was the place for men and women to get quick haircuts. Barbers are specifically trained to use clippers, which tend to gear more towards men's styles. This is a huge strength of barbershops: they know how to do men's hair specifically. Most barbers also offer the trimming and shaving of facial hair, something that is usually not seen in hair salons. Since the development of hair salons, which will be discussed later, the clientele of barbershops has become primarily men. While the prices of each location vary, haircuts at barbershops are generally less expensive than at a hair salon. Another strength of barbershops is that they usually do not require appointments prior to walking in the doors.


One major weakness of a barbershop is that since men's hair is generally short, the variety of styles offered at barbershops is not very wide. Another weakness is that since there are no appointments needed, there can occasionally be a long wait required, depending on how many people show up. 

Hair Salon


One of the major strengths of a hair salon is that the technicians and cosmetologists are trained in a wide variety of hairstyles and techniques. This means that no matter the texture, quality, length of your hair, or desired hairstyle, they have what you are looking for. A good salon will usually have several appointments available at a number of different times to accommodate most schedules. Some hair salons also offer manicures, which make them kind of a one-stop shop for women. 


Depending on the experience and skill of your cosmetologist, haircuts in a salon can be quite pricey. Some specific hair treatments can also be very expensive. Some celebrities have been reported at having spent thousands of dollars on a single trip to the hair salon. (Obviously, this is not the case at every salon.) 

In conclusion: barbershops are generally geared towards men, while hair salons are usually for women. Both genders are allowed at both establishments, though they may find a more personalized experience depending on their gender.