While most people do associate barbers with men’s haircuts, is this widely held belief accurate? In other words, do barbers cut women’s hair?
There are many barbers that do cut women’s hair. The services are usually limited to providing short and simple hairstyles that don’t require additional, salon-esque techniques such as perming and coloring.
Although that’s the gist, I wanted to dig deeper.
As you’d expect, it isn’t quite as simple – there’s a large grey area. No two barbers or two salon stylists are the same.
There’s some overlap, as well as exceptions.
Knowing that there are good reasons why a barber may or may not be willing to cut women’s hair is important.
Let’s talk it through.
3 Situations Where A Barber Would Cut Women’s Hair
Let’s start off by talking through three situations where a barber may be happy to cut women’s hair.
1. It’s A Short And Simple Hairstyle
If you wanted to simplify things as much as possible, you could distill it all down into the following principle:
Barbers deal with short hair while salon stylists are more comfortable dealing with long hair.
It isn’t quite as simple as that, as you’ll soon see. But sticking with this principle will make the rest of it much easier to understand.
While barbers almost exclusively deal with short hair, salon stylists are more versatile when it comes to length.
Hairstylists can manage both short and long hair, although long hair is what they’re more used to seeing.
The style you’d be able to get also differs between barbers and salons.
Barbers are able to give quick, short, and tidy cuts that don’t take too much time. Nowadays, fades are a staple of their work as well.
If you’re looking for anything more complex or any additional services, you’d be better off going to a salon even if you have short hair.
So, it doesn’t really have anything to do with man vs woman. Both men and women can have short hair, just as they can have long hair.
Men with long hair would be much better off visiting a salon, as opposed to a barbershop.
If, as a woman, you wish to get a short and simple hairstyle that a barber would reasonably be expected to do, you shouldn’t have a problem.
It’s worth asking the question.
If you’re a woman looking for a haircut more commonly found on men, there is absolutely no reason why a barber won’t be able to do it for you.
There are also barbers out there that can provide short and simple “women’s” haircuts such as pixie cuts and bobs because they’re just that – short and simple.
However, there will also be barbers that simply aren’t confident with these styles even though they’re short. They probably won’t agree to do it.
At the end of the day, it’s way better to have someone that actually knows what they’re doing with your hair. If this means giving up on the barbershop and visiting a salon instead, so be it.
2. They’ve Had The Relevant Experience
The barbers within a single barbershop are likely to have had a range of different types of training and experience.
Because of this, you may have some barbers who have had some training and experience with cutting long hair types and common “women’s” hairstyles.
There will also be those who haven’t.
What you sometimes get is some barbers who may be able to cut women’s hair and some barbers who can’t, even within the same company.
It’s important to ensure that the barber you’re visiting has had the proper experience with whatever style you’re looking to achieve.
If all you want is a simple and traditional hairstyle that’s more commonly found in men, you won’t have a problem.
But if you wanted a more typically “feminine” hairstyle, you’ll need to probe into whether they’re actually competent to do so (if they agree to do it in the first place).
Although there are definitely barbers capable of styling short haircuts such as pixies and bobs, you really need to be sure of this in advance.
If you don’t want to take the risk in these instances, go to a salon instead.
3. Additional Services Aren’t Required
There are certain services that just won’t be provided in a barbershop.
If all you want is a simple haircut or a fade done in a quick and efficient manner, a barbershop would be the place for you.
But if you’re looking for any additional services, really question whether you can realistically expect it from a barber.
Services such as perms and coloring are rarely if ever, provided at a barbershop.
You’d really need to visit a salon and ask a stylist to do that for you.
When you think of a barber, think of washing, cutting, fading, trimming, and shaving.
If what you’re looking for doesn’t fall into one of those service categories, there’s a good chance you’d be better off going to a salon instead.
Although this is true regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman, it’s more relevant for women because they’re statistically more likely to ask for a service such as a perm or coloring.
Even if a barber is comfortable doing a short women’s haircut, they most likely won’t be able to fulfill these other services if they’re required.
It’s yet another thing to consider if you’re thinking about visiting a barber as a woman.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions on the topic that you’ll find useful.
Are Barbers Trained To Cut Women’s Hair?
Barbers are trained to cut simple and short hairstyles that are more commonly found in men. However, most of them wouldn’t object to cutting a woman’s hair if they were confident that they have the training to produce the style that they’re looking for.
It isn’t that they’re trained to cut “men’s” hair as opposed to “women’s” hair.
Hair is hair, ultimately.
Their training just usually focuses on short hairstyles. In addition, they usually don’t have training in providing additional services like perming or coloring if these are required.
These short styles are just more commonly found on men – not exclusively.
Is It Harder To Cut Men’s Or Women’s Hair?
Women’s hair is technically no harder to cut than men’s hair. It’s just that the styles more commonly found on women are generally longer, more involved, and take longer to style than the styles more commonly found on men.
Long hair takes time to style and also requires a different skillset.
Because of this, you’ll often find that barbers are reluctant or unable to cut and style long hair. A salon would be a much more appropriate place to visit.
Although women are more likely to have long hair, there are still plenty of women with short hair.
If they have a short, simple hairstyle, it should be just as easy to cut as it would be on a man.
Women are generally more likely to ask for an additional service. For example, perms, blowouts, or coloring.
These services do require extra training and won’t be available at your everyday barbershop.
Can You Go To A Barber For A Pixie Cut?
There are plenty of barbers capable of doing pixie cuts. It is a short and simple style that many barbers would feel confident producing. Not all of them would have the experience, however, so it’s important to find out in advance.
The pixie cut is a great example of a short hairstyle that women feel comfortable visiting a barber for.
It’s short and doesn’t usually require the additional services or techniques you may need a salon for.
But it doesn’t mean that all barbers would be able to do it for you. There are many who won’t.
This is because although it’s a short style, there are many barbers who simply aren’t trained in producing traditional women’s hairstyles.
Find out whether they’d be able to before you visit.
If you don’t feel confident that they’d give you the result you want, try a different barber or visit a salon instead to be safe.
Can A Barber Refuse To Cut Women’s Hair?
A barber can refuse to cut women’s hair just as they can refuse to cut men’s hair. This is usually because they don’t have the training or experience to produce the required style.
As you’d expect, however, they are not allowed to refuse to cut women’s hair solely on the basis of gender. That’s discrimination.
But refusing to cut someone’s hair because they simply aren’t capable of doing it should be thought of as a gesture of goodwill.
You wouldn’t want a barber cutting your hair when they don’t actually have the skills to do it. That would be downright unethical.
If a woman wants a long hairstyle or a style that requires an additional service like a blowout, there’s an extremely high chance the barber won’t be able to do it.
In much the same way, if a man wanted a similar style, they’d be just as likely to refuse to do it.
Final Tips For Women Visiting Barbershops
If you’ve gotten this far and you feel as though a barber may well be able to pull off the simple haircut you’re looking for, here are some tips to consider.
1. Do Some Research
It’s a good idea to do the research before visiting the barbershop. You want to know if they do see women and if they do, whether they’d be capable of producing the style you want.
Reviewing their website is a good place to start. Do they have women in the display photographs? More importantly, do these women have styles at least a little bit similar to the one you want?
Calling them would also be perfectly appropriate.
Explain any concerns to them and describe what you’re looking for. If they don’t think they can help you, you just saved yourself a visit and can try the next one instead.
2. Show Them A Photo
This is a good idea whether you’re in a salon or a barbershop.
But when you’re in a barbershop, it’s probably even more important that you show the person cutting your hair a photo of what you’re looking for.
Communication is crucial.
3. Settle Your Expectations
Finally, settle your expectations.
That doesn’t mean lower your expectations (although it may sound that way). It just means don’t expect salon-esque services from a barbershop.
A barber has pretty well-established limitations on what they’re generally expected to do.
If you feel as though you may need to step outside of those boundaries to get what you’re looking for, visit a salon instead.
But if you think a barber would actually be able to help, always bear these limitations in mind.
There you have it. Hopefully, a thorough answer to a question that’s often asked but rarely ever answered properly.