What is the difference between a "hairdresser" and "barber"?

According to Longman Dictionary, a hairdresser is a person who cuts, washes, and arranges people's hair in particular styles.

According to the same dictionary, a barber is a man whose job is to cut men's hair and sometimes to shave them.

So, the difference between both words is that a barber is always a a male whereas a hairdresser could be both male and female. Do you agree with me or is there more to it? And couldn't a women be called a barber? I have had my hair cut by women at American barber shops, and I have always thought they were barbers. What's your feedback on that?

Asta lavista! And gracias por your replies.

Unlike a barber, a hairdresser's main focus is on styling the customer's hair.

A barber is usually thought of as a man, although I suppose a woman could also do the job.

My feeling is that the word 'barber' is on the way to becoming archaic. I never hear it. People just say eg I'm going to get a haircut.

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I agree that a barber could be a woman.

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Hi Anon,

I agree with you and Clive: a barber is "a person who cuts and dresses men's hair and shaves and trims beards; a men's hairdresser".

I think a barber could be a woman, but a hairdresser could be a man.
Although, I usually call a man a barber, and a woman a hairdresser unless said so, like in your case, the store was American BARBERS, and it was a female, so yeah.

--PLUSH <3
No a barber is not about the person cutting the hair..it's about the person's whos hair's being cut. So a woman would never get her hair cut at a barbers! It doesn't matter if it's a man or a woman cutting the hair in a barbers all that matters is the person sitting in the barbers chair!

I came here to find out if a hairdresser uses scissors on the back and sides instead of clippers because I thought that was one of the differences...a barber uses clippers for the back and sides and a hairdresser uses sciscorrs...
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Consider this.

In my experience, the word 'barber' is falling into disuse. Outside this Forum, I don't remember the last time I saw or heard it used.

Best wishes, Clive
I believe the licensing is different. According to my hair dresser a barber is licensed to use a straight razor and a hair dresser's license does not allow it.

I've never heard of anyone needing a licence to use a straight razor. Where do you live?

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CliveIn my experience, the word 'barber' is falling into disuse.
Not in mine. Here the word "barber" is very commonly used. Who does a man go to to have his hair cut where you live? I'm curious. What word do you use?

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