When you’re getting started on your dream to work in the beauty industry, you may be wondering which program is right for you! If you’re passionate about hair, your choice could come down to choosing between cosmetology and barbering. Find out more about each program, and see which one might be the perfect fit for you!

table showing the differences between cosmetology and barbering

What is Cosmetology?

Cosmetology could be considered the foundation of the beauty industry, as cosmetology programs commonly include many skills and industry best practices. Cosmetology can allow you to style someone’s hair, apply makeup, manicure nails, and more. A licensed cosmetologist has spent hundreds of hours in school in order to enter the beauty industry confident and ready to help others feel beautiful.

woman styling another woman's hair in a salon

What’s Included in Our Curriculum

Our 1,500 hour cosmetology program allows us to teach a thorough curriculum, so that our students can feel prepared for their futures in the beauty industry after graduation. Our curriculum includes:

  • Theory – 150 hours
  • Manicures & pedicures – 90 hours
  • Facials (makeup) – 30 hours
  • Scalp treatments – 30 hours
  • Shampoo, conditioning, & rinse – 60 hours
  • Hairstyling – 390 hours
  • Hair color – 120 hours
  • Hair cutting & shaping – 180 hours
  • Lash and brow tinting & arching – 30 hours
  • Professional development – 180 hours
  • Hair reconstruction, permanent wave, & relaxing – 240 hours

Our program can be completed in as little as 13 months. We strive to provide flexible scheduling for our students so they can reach their dreams while balancing real life. Contact us to find out more about our class schedules!

What Careers Are Available in Cosmetology?

After graduation, you could have many career opportunities available! A licensed cosmetologist could work as a:

  • Salon or spa owner
  • Color specialist
  • Movie/TV stylist
  • Makeup artist
  • Beauty marketer
  • Beauty influencer
  • And more!

Your future career in the beauty industry can be rewarding, exciting, and allow you to meet so many new people. Beauty professionals, whether they be cosmetology or barbering experts, get the chance to make connections with new clients almost every day!

What is Barbering?

One of the biggest differences between cosmetology and barbering is the skills you learn in barbering to use clippers, razors, and style men’s facial hair. A barber should have knowledge of men’s hair, facial hair, and skincare to stay competitive in the barbering field. Men’s skincare has become more popular than ever, as the male personal care market is expected to hit $166 billion in 2022, according to Allied Market Research. With men’s skincare growing in popularity, it’s a good idea for barbers to learn skincare techniques and products so they can be strong candidates for careers after graduation.

woman styling a man's hair in a barbershop

What’s Included in Our Barbering Curriculum

Our 1,500 barbering program is designed to help students learn the necessary skills and confidence to be successful both in their time with us and after graduation. Our curriculum includes:

  • Sanitation & safety – 155 hours
  • Professionalism, history of barbering, business management – 175 hours
  • Anatomy, physiology, chemistry, hair/scalp treatment – 200 hours
  • Facial massage & treatment – 40 hours
  • Men’s hairpiece, mustache, beard design & shaving – 65 hours
  • Hair coloring – 150 hours
  • Haircutting & hairstyling – 580 hours
  • Chemical relaxing, curling, & waving – 95 hours
  • Board rules & regulations – 40 hours

To find out more about our barbering curriculum, contact us to schedule a tour! Finding the right student culture environment is just as important as what’s taught in the program. Visit us to meet students, instructors, and get a feel for our school.

What Careers are Available in Barbering?

With a barbering license, you could have many future career opportunities. While many barbers choose to work in or own a barber shop, a barbering license can also prepare you to work as:

  • Barber shop owner
  • Sales representative
  • Movie/TV stylist
  • Shop manager
  • Product developer
  • And more!

As the beauty industry evolves, new careers are being created all the time. A foundation in cosmetology or barbering can help you find your own path in the industry, and pursue a career you can be passionate and excited about!

Which Should You Choose?

When it comes to deciding between cosmetology and barbering, you’ll want to think about where your passions lie. Ask yourself the following questions and see if they point you in the right direction:

  • Do I want to style men’s or women’s hair?
  • Am I interested in makeup application?
  • Do I want to learn more about manicuring?
  • Am I passionate about styling men’s facial hair?
  • What kind of careers do I want to pursue after graduation?

While the programs are similar in some aspects, the differences are what could help you decide which program is right for you.

If you’re finding it hard to choose, why not pursue dual licensure? If you finish in one program, enrolling in the next could give you an even more competitive edge in the beauty industry and allow you to explore new opportunities.

Get Started at Elite Academy of Cosmetology

The next step to getting started on your future in the beauty industry is to tour a beauty school! We want potential students to feel welcome and to get an understanding of our learning environment. We’re here to answer any questions you might have, and we can’t wait to meet you. Contact us today to find out more about scheduling your tour!