Sydney Hairdressers vs Sydney Barbers

19th century barber shopWhen it comes to grooming, a Sydney man today has more options than ever before. Many men take great pride and care in making sure they look sharp. No longer a trend, male grooming has become a normal part of a man’s routine.

High-end hair salons and barber shops in Sydney now offer beer & wine as well as coffee & tea. Also, modern barber shops have welcoming and comfortable environments and have moved away from the old-school stark white walls and white barber jackets.

Both environments can be just as cool to hang out as each other today. So what is the difference apart from price?

Let’s take a look at some of the key differences, so you can determine whether a barber or a hairdresser is the best option for your specific needs…


Male Hair Salon vs Barber Shop – The Differences

Male Hair Salon Barber Shop
Scissor over comb exclusively Clippers mainly
Shampoo & Rinse Optional
Massage during shampoo Rare
Hair Colour Not available
Keratin Straighthening Not available
$$$ $-$$


The Training

Hairdressers and barbers in the past had to hold a Certificate III in Hairdressing to be qualified. Hairdressers would do their apprenticeship in a hair salon and barbers would do their apprenticeship in a barber shop. Once in the salon or barber shop is where the tradesperson will focus their skills and splits off into their chosen field. More recently, TAFE has started offering Certificate III in Barbering that focuses purely on barbering skills.

Hairdressers develop cutting in all variety of cutting styles for men and women. High-end salons would be influenced by Vidal Sassoon precision cutting techniques. Hairdressers learn other services such as hair colouring and hair relaxing services. Barber cutting component is included in the course.

Barbers develop a more limited range of haircuts mainly using clippers and almost exclusively for men. They are also trained in hot towel shaves. Barbers concentrate on traditional male hairstyles with a focus on fades as this is the signature look of barbers. Shapes and lines cut into the hair is becoming common place and many barbers are specializing in this trend.

What this really means for the man that is deciding between hairdresser and the barber is the end result from the haircut. Yes in theory both are cutting hair. Cheap hairdressers and barbers are about hair removal and very little about style.

Barber’s Hair Styling Services

A good barber is going to offer a set range of hairstyles from traditional short back and sides to buzz cuts.

More modern barbers will offer hipster style fades and beard grooming services.

Hairdresser’s Hair Styling Services

A good hairdresser will customize your haircut based on face shape, facial features, jawline and lifestyle. They will ask extensive consultation questions to find out what your main concern is for your haircut and the reason why you are selecting the style you are after.

The hairdresser will give advice based on what you have said and then make suggestions using their expert knowledge to adjust a style that will suit. Sometimes this will mean adding hair colour or a hair texture changing treatment like keratin straightening to opening up your options. A haircut might be the last thing to do to achieve the most perfect customized style for you.

In short, the difference between a hairdresser and barber is the outcome you are after. A good barber can give you a traditional haircut that fits with most men. A hairdresser will give you a fully customised hairstyle that is perfect for you and not based on a trend.

At Detail for Men, our team of expert hairdressers have been personalizing men’s style since 2006. Our male-specific hair salon also offers skin clinic and day spa to cater for all your grooming needs. Make a booking now with one of our team by clicking on the Call Us or Book Now button.