Pros and Cons of Working as a Barber

advantages and disadvantages of being a haircutter

You think about becoming a haircutter but are not entirely sure whether this is the right profession for you or not? Good news!

I will show you all the pros and cons of being a hairdresser in the following chapters so that you can decide whether you still want to become a haircutter or rather want to go for other career options instead.

Barber Job Profile

Job DescriptionHairdressers cut peoples’ hair and make sure that their hairstyle look as nice as possible.
Salary$28,000 per year on average, most hairdressers make between $22,000 and $37,000 per year.
Job SecurityRather poor since you are replaceable and barriers to entry are quite low.
Job SatisfactionDecent if you like cutting hair and talking to your clients.
Work-Life BalanceGood since you will not work many extra hours and often also have free weekends.
Physically / Mentally Demanding?Neither mentally nor physically demanding most of the time.
Future OutlookPoor since many jobs will be lost in this industry in the near future.
RequirementsNo special educational requirements. A high school diploma will often be enough to work as a barber.

Advantages of Being a Haircutter

  1. Barbers can work indoors
  2. You can talk to many different people
  3. Hairdressers are important to keep our system running
  4. You can help out your family and friends
  5. Being a haircutter can help you grow your business network
  6. You can start your own hairdressing business
  7. You can share your tips on social media
  8. Hairdressers can make some extra money on weekends
  9. You can start a side hustle around haircutting
  10. Being a haircutter is rather relaxed
  11. You will have standard workweeks
  12. You can avoid heavy physical work as a hairdresser
  13. You don’t have to work in a classical office environment
  14. Free holidays and weekends for hair stylists
  15. Decent work-life balance
  16. You don’t need a college degree for becoming a barber

Barbers can work indoors

One advantage of being a hairdresser is that you can work indoors.

While many other people have to work under extreme outdoor conditions, you will be able to work in a rather protected environment.

It will not matter to you whether it rains or snows outdoors since you will enjoy the privilege to use heating and make your working conditions as cozy as possible.

Also during times of extreme heat, you can just use air conditioning in your hair saloon and can work in a decent environment while many other people have to work outdoors during extreme weather.

You can talk to many different people

During your barber career, you will also be able to talk to many different people.

In fact, people often not only go to the hairdresser to get a nice hair style, but they also want to talk about their problems and also about what’s going on in the world.

Hence, as a hairdresser, you can get many different opinions and views of the world and this can help you to better understand what’s going on right now.

You will also have the important task to solve other peoples’ problems and even though this might be exhausting and annoying sometimes, it can still give you a feeling of importance and chances are that you will value your own life much more if you hear about the bad things that might happen to others.

Hairdressers are important to keep our system running

As a haircutter, you will also be pretty important to keep our system running.

Imagine a world without hairdressers.

People would just look weird and society as we know it today would just not exist.

Instead, we would rather look like animals and not like civilized people.

Many people also don’t feel well if they can’t go to the barber to get a nice haircut.

Consequently, their overall quality of life would greatly suffer without the option to go to a hairdresser whenever they need it.

Thus, while many people belittle barbers, they are actually pretty important in various aspects of life and you should not underestimate the effects that a shortage of barbers might have on the entire social system.

Hence, by becoming a hairdresser, you can assure our high quality of life and can just make the lives of many people better.

You can help out your family and friends

Working as a hairdresser can not only make sense for your professional career, but it can also help you in your own life.

For example, you will be able to help out your loved ones if they urgently need a haircut and don’t want to work for an official appointment at a different barbershop.

You will also be able to offer haircuts to your friends at a lower price compared to the competition and this can make you quite popular among your circle of friends.

Consequently, your friends will also be more likely to do good for you in case you need help in the future.

Being a haircutter can help you grow your business network

Since you will be able to talk to many different people during your barber career, you will also be able to build a strong business network, at least if you have some talent in those things.

This can greatly help you in the long run, especially if you want to quit your barber job one day and want to work in a different field.

While this will be almost impossible without contacts, a strong business network can greatly help you in this regard since people often employ other people they already know instead of strangers.

You can start your own hairdressing business

Another benefit of becoming a haircutter is that you will also be able to start your own hairstyling business sooner or later.

In fact, many barbers work for a hairdressing company for a few years, gather some experience, build a network and then open their own barber shops.

Of course, this is not for everyone since having your own business also implies working much more than the average person.

Yet, if you have this kind of entrepreneurial spirit and it is clear to you that you want to work self-employed sooner or later, a career as a hairdresser can be great in this regard since it is rather easy to start your own business in this field.

You can share your tips on social media

If you are really good and passionate about what you are doing, you may also want to share your tips and tricks on social media.

By doing so, you can not only get a certain level of fame, but you will also be able to help people out regarding various aspects of hairstyling and hair problems in general.

In turn, people will be really grateful for what you are doing for them and this can just make your life much better since you know what you do good for others and therefore satisfy the altruistic side of you.

Hairdressers can make some extra money on weekends

Many hairdressers are also able to make additional money on weekends.

In fact, many hairdressers help out their families and friends with haircuts and can make some nice extra money along the way. Sure, this is not for everyone and it also means that you will have less leisure.

Yet, if you need some extra money during difficult periods of your life, you will have this opportunity as a hairdresser.

You can start a side hustle around haircutting

It is also fairly simple to start a side hustle as a hairdresser.

For instance, you could start a YouTube channel or a blog that covers many different topics about hairdressing.

If you attract enough eyeballs to your blog or your videos, you can make serious money from it.

In fact, some barbers make much more money from those side hustles compared to their salary from their day jobs.

Hence, if you are willing to work hard and are also willing to invest plenty of time to learn about digital marketing, chances are that you will also be able to make much more money than the average barber and may even be able to afford some luxury, even though your base salary from your day job may be rather low.

Being a haircutter is rather relaxed

Another upside of becoming a hairdresser is that you will also not have as much stress as people who work in most other jobs.

While there will be periods when you have many different clients at the same time and have to handle them all at the same time, you will have a rather relaxed time for most of the day.

In turn, you will have plenty of energy left when you come back home to play with your kids or to do other things.

You will have standard workweeks

As a haircutter, you will usually also have standard workweeks.

Quite often, you will work from Monday to Friday.

You will usually start your workday around 9 a.m. and finish around 5 p.m.

Sure, there are exemptions to the norm but most barbers just don’t have to work many extra hours.

Instead, you will have plenty of leisure that you can spend on your hobbies or also to meet up with friends after work while many other people still have to work during those times.

You can avoid heavy physical work as a hairdresser

Another advantage of a hairdresser career is that you will also be able to avoid heavy physical work. Sure, working as a hairdresser will imply a physical component.

Yet, compared to other people like construction workers who have to lift heavy stuff on a regular basis, you will have a rather comfortable life in this regard and this also means that you risk suffering from serious physical health issues will likely also be lower in the long run.

You don’t have to work in a classical office environment

As a barber, you will also not have to work in classical office jobs.

While some people like working in those environments, others don’t like those artificial work environments at all.

Many people who have to work in those office jobs just stare at their computer screen all day long and this can just not be considered natural since humans just haven’t evolved like that.

Instead, we as humans need some level of exercise instead of sitting around in an office chair all day long to stay healthy.

By becoming a hair stylist, you can avoid the trap of office work and can work in a more active environment instead.

Free holidays and weekends for hair stylists

Most hairdressers will also enjoy free weekends and holidays.

Sure, from time to time, you may have to work on Saturdays or even Sundays.

Yet, this will not be the case quite often and this means that you will have many weekends off that you can spend with your loved ones and can make nice weekend trips while other people like train drivers often have to work during those times.

Decent work-life balance

In general, barbers also enjoy a pretty good work-life balance.

Due to free weekends, holidays and since they also don’t make many extra hours, hairdressers will have plenty of leisure to spend on things they like even more than work.

Hence, if money is not that important to you and you rather want to have lots of leisure, going for a hairdresser career may be the right way to go for you.

You don’t need a college degree for becoming a barber

You will also not need fancy education for becoming a hairstylist.

In most cases, it will be enough to finish high school and you will be good to go.

Consequently, you will not have to spend many years of your life in college and can also avoid high tuition costs and other fees related to college education.

Instead, you will even be able to make money at a rather early age and will be able to become independent rather soon.

As you can see, a career as a hairdresser can indeed have many advantages.

Yet, you should also not forget the downsides to working as a hairdresser which I want to discuss for you in the following chapter.

Disadvantages of Working as a Barber

  1. Hairdressers don’t make much money
  2. You may need a second job
  3. Old-age poverty may become a problem
  4. Barbers are replaceable rather easily
  5. Questionable future job prospects for hair stylists
  6. You will not learn many hard skills during your barber career
  7. Limited promotion opportunities for hairdresser
  8. Problems to get a mortgage
  9. Constant worries about money may lead to mental issues
  10. Barbers have a rather low social status
  11. Male hairdressers still have to deal with social stigma
  12. Hard to switch fields

Hairdressers don’t make much money

One problem with being a barber is that you will just not make good money.

In fact, many hairdressers are barely about to make a living from what they are doing and will often even struggle to pay their basic bills.

Hence, don’t expect that you will be able to afford any luxury by becoming a haircutter.

Chances are that you will have to think about every dollar that you spend and that you will not be able to afford many nice things.

You may need a second job

In regions where rents and overall living costs are quite high, you may even need a second job to cover your bills.

For instance, if you live in New York City or in Silicon Valley, your barber salary will just not be enough to pay for rent and other basic expenses.

In those regions, barbers often have to take on additional work and this means that you will have to work long hours every day and will barely have any leisure at all.

Consequently, before you decide to become a barber, make sure that you are aware of this issue and that you calculate your monthly expenses so that you get a better impression of whether a barber salary will be sufficient to cover your bills or not.

Old-age poverty may become a problem

Since you will not make much money as a hairdresser, you will also not be able to save and invest sufficient money for retirement.

In turn, once you get older, you may suffer from serious financial problems since your pension will just not be enough to pay your bills anymore.

In the worst case, you may even end up homeless if you can no longer pay your rent.

As you can see, financial problems related to a hairdresser career can lead to all sorts of unpleasant outcomes and you should really make sure that you are willing to deal with those issues before you decide for a career in this field.

Barbers are replaceable rather easily

Another downside to becoming a hair stylist is that you will also be replaceable rather easily.

Since barriers to entry are rather low and many people can do the job, you may lose your job from one day to the other without prior notice.

In fact, competition is quite fierce in this field and if someone comes along who is better than you or demands a lower wage, chances are that you will end up unemployed rather quickly.

Questionable future job prospects for hair stylists

Not only current job prospects are rather poor, but you will also suffer from rather questionable job prospects in the future.

Due to our technological progress, hair stylists may become obsolete in the near future since machines will be able to do the job instead.

Sure, this may take a few years until we get to this stage.

Yet, the point will come when many hairdressers will lose their jobs and you should just make sure that you are aware of this fact and willing to take the risk.

You will not learn many hard skills during your barber career

Another disadvantage of working as a barber is that you will just not learn many hard skills during your career.

In fact, while you will learn many things related to hair, you will not gather any other knowledge that is relevant on the job market.

This can be quite unsatisfying and annoying, especially when you hear about all the nice things other people learn in their jobs while you will not learn many of those things.

Limited promotion opportunities for hairdresser

You should also not expect any fancy promotion options as a hair stylist.

Quite often, you will work in this field for many years but will still do similar work like someone who just started out working in this field.

Also your salary will not increase as much as in most other professions and this can be quite annoying and unsatisfying since your performance will not matter for your professional success that much.

Problems to get a mortgage

Since you will not make much money as a hairdresser and will also be replaceable, chances are that you will also have a hard time convincing banks to lend you a loan to buy a home.

In fact, many banks will not grant you a mortgage due to your insecure job prospects and you may therefore never be able to fulfill your dream of having your own home as a hairdresser.

Constant worries about money may lead to mental issues

You should also not underestimate the emotional pressure and stress that comes along with financial problems.

If you always have to worry about money and about keeping your job as a barber, chances are that you will also suffer from mental problems like depression sooner or later.

Barbers have a rather low social status

Many people will also belittle you when you tell them what you do for a living.

Sure, some people will appreciate your work.

However, others will just make fun of you and will try to bring you down.

Male hairdressers still have to deal with social stigma

There is also still a social stigma related to male hairstylists.

While many people claim that they are tolerant, they will still often talk poorly behind your back and will secretly make fun of you since hairdressing is just not part of the idea of a really masculine male.

Hard to switch fields

Since you will not learn many hard skills as a hairdresser, you will also have a quite hard time switching fields.

For instance, if you get bored or annoyed with your job one day, you will often just not have the privilege of switching the industry.

Instead, you will often have to work in the hairdressing industry for many years since you will just not have the necessary qualifications to work in a different field.

Top 10 Being a Barber Pros & Cons – Summary List

Being a Barber ProsBeing a Barber Cons
Barbers have standard workweeksBarbers don’t make much money
Free weekends are quite commonYou will have almost no job security
Being a hairdresser is rather relaxedPoor future job prospects for barbers
You can talk to many different peopleHairdressers have a low social status
You can help out your family and friendsYou may need a second job
Good work-life balance for hairdressersOld-age poverty may become a problem
You can make extra money on weekendsBanks may not grant you a mortgage
Haircutters can start a side hustlePeople make fun of you
You can share your tips on social mediaSocial stigma for male haircutters
Hairdressers can work indoorsYou will not learn many hard skills

Should You Become A Hair Stylist?

Now that I showed you all the advantages and disadvantages of being a barber, it is on you to decide whether you still want to work in this field or if you rather want to go for a different career path instead.

Make sure to take your time since wrong decisions in this regard can greatly adversely affect various parts of your future life.

Also make sure to check out the following articles:

Advantages and disadvantages of working as a floral designer

Advantages and disadvantages of working as a call center agent

Advantages and disadvantages of working as a politician

Sources

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1088185/best-paying-states-for-barbers-us/

https://www.britannica.com/art/hairdressing

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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