Barber Shop FAQs

  • Introduction

    Barbers primarily provide grooming services for men. That includes hairstyling, hair cuts, shaves, and beard trims. Some barbers also offer additional services, such as skin care treatments and eyebrow grooming. While barbers mostly work with men, some do offer limited services for women, as well. 

    When searching for the right barber, it's a good idea to check reviews online and look for someone you feel you can trust. Make sure the barber you select takes time to understand what it is you want when you get your hair cut or beard trim.
  • What is the best way to describe to your barber the haircut that you wish?

    If you have something specific in mind, it's always best to bring photographs for inspiration. That being said, keep in mind that every person's hair is different, so in some cases, it can be difficult to replicate inspiration photos exactly. If you can't find a photo, be as descriptive as you can by providing information about the length you want and the style you'd like to achieve.

  • What to expect when you go to a barber for the first time?

    When you visit the barber, you can expect to spend the first few minutes discussing your services. If you're there for a haircut, your barber will likely ask you questions about the desired outcome. After, your hair is washed or wetted, and then your barber will begin to cut using either scissors or clippers. At the end of the cut, most barbers take time to dry and style before taking payment.

  • What is the difference between a hairstylist and a barber?

    Barbers are most often trained to provide cuts and other services for men's hair and shorter hairstyles. They often work with clippers over scissors. On the other hand, hairstylists most often work with long hair and use a variety of scissors, clippers, and styling tools.

  • Do you tip barbers?

    It is customary to tip barbers when they provide good service. Tips range from about 15% to 20%, but of course, most barbers appreciate tips in any amount. If you feel that your barber did an exceptionally great job, it's acceptable to leave a tip that's higher than 20%.

  • What kind of men\'s haircuts are available?

    There are plenty of haircuts for men of varying lengths, and each style is best suited to different hair types. Men who are unsure of what they want should take time to research styles prior to booking an appointment with the barber. Some of the most popular haircuts include the pompadour, textured crop top fade, and faux hawk fade.

  • What is the barber\'s paradox?

    The barber's paradox is a puzzle, also known as Russell's paradox, about a town in which all residents must be clean-shaven. In this town, the barber is one who shaves all those, and only those, who don't shave themselves. In the paradox, it's assumed that everyone is male, the barber must be shaved, and townspeople may only shave themselves, not the barber. The question in this paradox is, who shaves the barber?

  • How does a barber shave someone with acne?

    When working with acne-prone skin, barbers typically perform wet shaves to avoid skin irritation. They will prepare the skin thoroughly by cleansing well and applying warm towels before adding shaving cream or gel for sensitive skin and using a single-blade razor to remove hair with as little friction as possible.

  • What do the blue, red, and white colors represent in a barbershop pole?

    The barber's pole dates back to the middle ages when barbers offered surgeries, bloodletting, and tooth extractions. While undergoing these procedures, patients would grab a staff to encourage blood flow and the pole itself is representative of that staff. The colors are meant to represent blood, bandages, and veins.

  • Why are barbers called barbers?

    The word barber is derived from the Latin word barba, which means beard. In the earliest days, barbers were considered leaders of their tribes and only the most trustworthy men were allowed to provide hair and beard services.

  • Do barbers need a license to operate?

    While licensing requirements vary from state to state, most do require barbers to obtain a barber or cosmetology license before they're allowed to cut hair for clients. Licenses are typically obtained from the state's cosmetology board. In addition to licensing, it's important for barbers to obtain insurance coverage.

  • Do barbers go to cosmetology school?

    Barbers can learn to cut, color, and style hair in cosmetology school, barber school is a better option for those who want to learn shaving and men's grooming techniques. Barber school is also typically much shorter than cosmetology school, with most students graduating in about six months.

  • How much do barbers make annually?

    According to Indeed, the average barber earns $21.14 per hour, which is often complemented by benefits, such as professional development, health insurance, dental insurance, and employee discounts.

  • Do barbers have to pay taxes?

    Just as with other professions, barbers are required to pay taxes on their income. While some are employed by barbershops and are paid hourly or annually, those who are self-employed and work out of their own shops or rent a chair in an established shop must track their income and submit the right forms to the IRS when tax season rolls around.

  • How do barbers show proof of income?

    Barbers that are self-employed can use receipt ledgers, invoices, and tax statements to prove their income when applying for loans or other financial products. Additionally, a barber that uses a chair rental can obtain a letter from the shop owner to prove income in some cases.

  • What clippers do barbers use?

    While every barber has their own preferences, most like to work with clippers that are comfortable for their hands and offer a simple way to adjust the hair length. Some of the more popular brands among barbers include Wahl Professional, Andis, and Philips.

  • What is the average booth rent for barbers?

     The cost of a booth or chair rental in a barbershop can vary depending on the shop's popularity and its geographic location. In most cases, barbers and hairstylists can expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $1,200 monthly for their rental, with the average rental costing about $400 per month, according to Genbook.

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