person whose occupation is mainly to cut, dress, groom, style and shave males' hair

A barber is someone who cuts hair and shaves beards. Usually, it is men who go to a barber. Women usually go to hairdressers instead. Barbers sometimes have a pole outside, which is red and white in most countries. Barbering is a most ancient and honorable profession, with a very interesting history. Barbering is the practice of cutting or trimming hair and includes shaving or trimming facial hair. Besides cutting hair, barbers also shampoo and style hair, mostly for male clients. Other duties include scalp treatment, skin care and fitting or grooming hairpieces. In some states, barbers color, highlight or bleach hair.

A boy visiting a barber and having his hair cut

Job Description


The main job of a barber is to cut a client's hair. The goal is to improve the appearance of the hair and to adapt styles to the customer's wishes. Barbers also shape and trim beards and mustaches. Instruments such as scissors and combs must be kept sterile and in good condition, and the barber is also responsible for keeping the shop clean by sweeping up hair. Owners of barbershops also order supplies, pay bills and may hire and supervise staff. Good interpersonal skills and a positive attitude are important qualities to have when working as a barber. Examples of famous barbers are Alex Kelly and Cameron Kelly formally known as the Kelly Cutters. Many barbers use these men as examples and aim to also deliver a very high quality service.

With experience, barbers can manage a salon or barber shop, or eventually open their own shop. Advancement is also possible in teaching barbering. Some states combine barbering and cosmetology licenses into one. Some states allow transferring a barbering license from another state without additional formal training, but not all states allow this.