Learning to become a barber differs in specifics from school to school and course to course, since each has different curriculums, requirements, and teachers. But there’s a lot that is the same!
Almost every barber school will be hands-on—typically after you gain the required core skills—and will prepare you to take the state boards for your license. Each will teach you how to cut and form different hairstyles and how to pull off the perfect shave.
But what are some of the very first things you’ll learn as student barber?
What You’ll Learn The First Week
You might hope that you'll be handed a set of clippers and begin trimming hair as soon as you step into the classroom. However, in most cases, this won’t happen. The first thing you will be handed will likely be a workbook to write and practice in, a textbook to study, and exam book to review. Still, you’ll find out many cool things in the first week to month of barbering classes.
Here are a few things you could learn on your first week of barber school:
- The history of barbering. Barbering has a long history, dating back to as early as 296 B.C. (as far as we know). Did you know that sometime in the long-ago past, barbers were dentists and surgeons as well? It sounds bizarre, but it's true! Barber schools will give you the full rundown of barbering, and may even teach you about how some of the old techniques have influenced and shaped today's techniques.
- The core techniques of cutting hair, trimming, and shaving.
- The tools you'll be using to cut and trim hair. You probably won't learn how to cut early on, but many barber schools will teach you what the different tools are and what they're used for within the first week or two. The explanation of tools may include cutting guards, multi-cut clippers, touch-up trimmers, eyebrow and ear trimmers, combs, etc.
- The tools you'll be using to shave. Again, not how to achieve the perfect shave just yet, but what the different professional tools consist of, and what they're each used for.
- On the business side of things, you might attend several lectures on how to create customer loyalty. Customer loyalty is key to running any profitable barber shop and having a professional career as a barber. You will learn how to gain new clients, retain them, keep them coming back frequently, and keep your appointments booked to the max.
- An overview of what a professional look entails.
Beyond The First Week
After your first few weeks of barber school, you might receive your barber kit with all of your required tools so you can begin to work with mannequins. You will be supervised as you're instructed on how to cut, trim, shampoo and design hair, as well as how to professionally shave and groom the face, beard, mustache, eyebrow, nose, and ears.
Past that, you will continue to learn more about the trade and advance in your skills and knowledge. Enjoy the process, and shadow the best barbers you can find; you’ll learn tons!