cosmetology vs barbering

August 10, 2023

Barbering vs Cosmetology

If you have a passion for hair, you have the opportunity to embark on careers in both barbering and cosmetology. These two distinct fields can offer unique opportunities for those looking to express their creativity, skills, and passion for beauty. Whether you envision yourself focusing solely on hair or experimenting with makeup, understanding the difference between barbering and cosmetology is crucial when it comes to choosing a career path! In this blog, we’ll explore the key differences between the two, hoping it gives you clarity on the path you want to pursue!


Barbering focuses primarily on men’s hair; specifically in cutting, grooming, and styling. The roots of this trade can be traced back to ancient civilizations, making barbers an integral part of society for centuries. Today, modern barbers continue to master the art of classic and contemporary haircuts, as well as facial hair grooming and shaving techniques.


The barbering program offered at Aveda Institute Boise and Aveda Institute Twin Falls consists of 900 clock hours, typically completed in under a year by most students. This program presents an excellent opportunity for individuals seeking a career change, a new beginning, or a chance to pursue their passion for a rewarding future.

In this program, you can expect to learn:

  • Styling
  • Foundational Cuts
  • Tapered Cuts
  • Fades
  • Shaving
  • Beard Design
  • Skin Care
  • Men’s Grooming
  • State Rules and Regulations
  • And more!


Graduates of the barbering program can find rewarding opportunities in barbershops, hair salons, or even start their own businesses. As more men embrace grooming and self-care, skilled barbers are in demand, meaning this can be an exciting career choice with excellent growth potential.

  • Barber Shop Owner
  • Salon Manager
  • Barber Educator
  • Aveda Purefessional™
  • Industry Influencer
  • Beauty Salesperson
  • And more


Cosmetology, on the other hand, is a broader and more versatile field that encompasses a wide range of beauty treatments, including hair care, skincare, makeup application, and nail services. Cosmetologists are trained to work with clients of all ages and genders, making it an inclusive career choice that caters to diverse beauty needs.


Our cosmetology program spans 1,600 clock hours, typically finished by students in nearly a year. Moreover, the program offers flexible scheduling options, including full-time and part-time schedules, designed to cater to individual needs. These varying schedules empower our students to strike a balance in their lives, giving them the space and time to explore their true potential and embark on a journey of self-discovery.

In this program, our students can learn:

  • The History of Cosmetology
  • Theory
  • Anatomy
  • Chemistry of Color
  • Guest Artists & Specialty Classes
  • Safety & Sanitation
  • Manicures & Pedicures
  • Makeup Application
  • Waxing
  • Fashion Shows
  • Photo Shoots
  • Charity Events
  • Marketing
  • Networking
  • Self-Promotion
  • Financial Planning
  • And More


Obtaining a cosmetology license can open doors to flexible work hours and the freedom to pursue your unique career path. Upon passing the cosmetology licensing exam, you gain eligibility for various roles, including:

  • Platform Artist
  • Cosmetology Educator
  • Brand Representative
  • Beauty salesperson
  • Industry writer or blogger
  • Salon Owner/Manager
  • Aveda Purefessional™
  • And more

Choosing The Right Path

Making the decision between barbering and cosmetology can be challenging, but both career paths can lead to fulfilling and rewarding opportunities in the beauty industry. Your decision ultimately comes down to your personal interests and career goals.

If you have a passion for men’s grooming and want to specialize in creating hairstyles for men, then barbering could be your calling! If you have a flair for hair, makeup, and skincare, then cosmetology could be perfect for you!

Benefits Of Working In Barbering And Cosmetology

No matter which path you choose, there are shared benefits between barbering and cosmetology that can make both professions rewarding and fulfilling!

  • Satisfaction In Your Job: As a beauty professional, seeing clients’ faces light up with joy after service can be incredibly gratifying. The ability to make people feel confident can create a sense of purpose in your job.
  • Build Lasting Relationships: Many barbers and cosmetologists forge meaningful connections with their clients. These lasting relationships can lead to a loyal client base, creating a sense of community and trust.
  • Opportunities For Continuous Learning: The beauty industry is constantly evolving, and it’s highly recommended to take continuing education. With new trends, techniques, and products emerging, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies.
  • Growing Demand: The demand for skilled cosmetologists and barbers continues to grow, at a rate of 11% by the year 2031. People of all ages and genders seek beauty services to look and feel their best, creating a consistent need for talented professionals in both fields.
  • Creative Expression: From intricate haircuts to creating unique makeup looks, each career presents an opportunity for beauty professionals to unleash their creativity!
  • Flexibility: Both cosmetology and barbering can usually choose between full-time, part-time, or freelance opportunities, allowing them to have flexibility with their work and personal life.

Ready To Pursue Your Passions?

Whether you choose barbering or cosmetology, your journey can be filled with learning, growth, and the opportunity to make a positive impact on your clients’ lives. If you’re ready to pursue your passions, take the first step and contact us today! We look forward to helping you achieve your dreams!


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Now's the perfect time to pursue a career in cosmetology, esthetics or barbering. We'll even help you find a job after you graduate! We offer financial aid to those who qualify and our schedule allows you to have the perfect school/life balance.

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Our cosmetology program provides students with training in hair, skin, and nail care.

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Our esthetics program focuses on the theory and practical application of skin care techniques.

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Nail Tech

We offer a nail technology program that trains students in the art and science of nail care.

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Our barbering program is designed to teach students fades, shaves, skin care and more.

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Our salon is supervised by our experienced educators, and as a result you can experience and enjoy Aveda salon and spa services at amazing prices. All services are performed by our students under the supervision of licensed professionals. We offer special perks through our Pure Privilege Membership, and we offer a full range of salon and spa services. Check out our work below, and contact us today to book your appointment.
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