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Barber License Vs Cosmetology License – Which is Right for You?

Are you debating between getting a barber license vs cosmetology license? There are a lot of differences to consider, and while many students decide to get both licenses, one or the other may be right for you.

To start, here’s an overview of what each program has to offer.

Barber License Vs Cosmetology License

At Avenue Five Institute, we offer a professional barber program and cosmetology program. While there is some overlap between the two programs, there are a lot of things that set them apart.

What Do You Learn in Barber School?


Barber school is dedicated to the craft of cutting and styling men’s hair, as well as short female haircuts. Some key things you will learn in barber school include:

  • How to cut and style men’s hair
  • How to shave using different methods including a straight razor and foam shave
  • Best health and safety practices for owning, operating and working in a barber shop

Learn more about our Professional Barber Program

What Do You Learn in Cosmetology School?

barber license vs cosmetology license - at cosmetology school you'll learn how to style hair like this partial updo with unicorn inspired hair color

Cosmetology school also focuses on cutting and styling hair, but it doesn’t focus as heavily on men’s hair styles or shaving. For instance, you will not learn how to free-hand with a straight razor. Instead, it dives into more aspects of hairstyling, such as:  

  • Coloring hair
  • Chemical relaxing
  • Braiding
  • Styling long hair and short hair

In addition, cosmetology students learn about and work hands-on with:

  • Skincare
  • Nail technology
  • Make-up
  • + more

Learn more about our Cosmetology Program

Barber Vs Cosmetology License – Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?

Do you envision yourself owning or working in a barber shop and providing straight cuts, fades, and other technical men’s hairstyles?

Or, do you see yourself working in a salon on a variety of male and female clients – cutting, styling, and coloring hair?

Many students decide to get their cosmetology license and then follow it up with their barber license so that they can cater to a wider clientele base, providing men with the hairstyles they want, while still being able to serve women who want color treatments, updos and so forth.

Come Take a Tour of Our Campus to Learn More!

cosmetology and barber school students pose in front of Avenue Five Institute in Austin, Texas

Still unsure which is the right path for you? We welcome you to come take a tour of our newly renovated campus. Come see what we are all about – check out our barber school program as well as our cosmetology program. Both offer in-depth hands-on training taught by real world professionals.

Schedule a Tour Today!