In a previous blog post, we touched on the biggest differences between a stylist and barber to help to determine which is the right fit for you. A barber’s primary strength is short hair styles, such as the buzz or the military cut, and hot lather shaves. Barber shops provide a certain atmosphere that some men are looking for. The type of atmosphere where we talk sports and cars and not much more. Stylists, on the other hand, have more of a focus on more advanced hair cuts. Stylists use both the clippers and scissors and are trained in longer hair for men. The atmosphere at salons tend to be much more relaxed, laid back and conversational.
Deciding between a stylist at a salon or a barber can be an incredibly difficult decision, as a male myself, I know. But that is only half the battle. The next question then becomes reputable chain vs small, specialized boutique. Men’s Cuts, for example would be a perfect example of a small, specialized boutique. Mae and her staff are extremely knowledgeable on a wide range of styles and cuts and the boutique atmosphere means you’ll pick up the conversation right where it left off at your last cut. On the other hand, a more reputable chain, such as Great Clips, tends to provide a certain level of comfort to us men. We know we won’t be in that chair for longer than 15 minutes at the maximum and we know exactly what we are going to walk away with. No suggestions about new ways to style or new cuts that would fit our head well, just a simple, easy cut. And for some, that is perfect.
Whether you ultimately decide to choose a barber or a stylist to maintain your hair is completely up to you and almost all personal preference. Believe it or not, as of right now, every barber and stylist in the state of Ohio is a licensed professional. This is very important, not only to us men considering we are putting our complete hair trust is these individuals and will have to live with their work for the next 4 to 8 weeks, but also to those in the industry. This keeps the stylists and barbers updated on trends, practices and knowledge. The steps to become a barber, for example, can be rigorous. The first step is education. A barber-in-training must complete 1500 hours of study and practice and before they are able to graduate from barber school. Depending on the state, the next step for a future barber will be testing in the form of both a hands-on and written exam. Once passed, there will be some fees and dues to pay, and then they apply for their license. This ensures credibility and keeps us patrons relaxed knowing our barber is qualified.
The process for a stylist is a bit more advanced. Instead of simply logging a number of hours, stylists are taught through a more structured process. Through a 9 month to 2 year program, stylists are educated and taught to cut with scissors, some clippers, tease, braid, use all types of hot irons, color, blow-dry and finish for a complete look. In the past, it was more common that stylists did apprenticeships in high end salons to gain more knowledge in providing a better cut. Having said that, any stylist who works alongside experienced top stylist become better through that interaction. One can't help but learn and to improve when you are in that surrounding. Stylists are also more interested in fashion and grooming. Expect to spend 30 minutes or less in a chair for a great cut, 45 minutes if you have long thick hair or just hair that is not been cut for 3-6 months. Stylists are more open to change, in fact they welcome it.
Interestingly, chain salons have begun to pop up more and more, focusing on providing convenience. Many of these chains pride their services on time. Somewhere between 7-10 minutes is the allowed time for a cut and convenience. This works for people on a budget and for those who are not as particular about their appearances. I call it the express haircut.
As a boutique stylist, Men’s Cuts opened to give us men a better alternative to a barber and chain. They truly want us to have the freedom to wear our hair short or long, straight or curly.
As of recently, some states have begun eliminating the need for the license. The problem here is that anyone can advertise themselves as a stylist or a barber, with no training or possibly no experience. This leaves us consumers in the dark and creates a hostile industry for those who earned it. Luckily, Ohio is not one of those states considering eliminating the need for a license (as of now).
If you’re ready to make a change with your look, schedule an appointment now with Men’s Cuts. Mae or Anna are ready to give you the best cut you’ve ever had!