Owner of Luke’s Barbershop, Luke Dolan comes at us again with some labelling issues, are you a barber or a hairdresser or both?

Recently on social media I’ve noticed that women are being turned away from barber shops because barbers don’t cut women’s hair, allegedly. Which then makes people ask, are you a barber or hairdresser?

The amount of statuses I’ve seen on Facebook, Instagram and some actual full on person to person arguments, is ridiculous. I don’t know whether to roll on the floor laughing, scream or just break down and have a weep!

I’m sure a lot of you out there reading this have been in this industry for long enough to remember that once upon a time, barbers were deemed as inferior to hairdressers, based on the simple fact that ‘they only do men’ and that the cuts were quick and cheap… and before you hair salon folk start saying “No we didn’t” let me say, yes you did! How do I know? Because I was one of them!

I worked in salons where we had barbers across the road and we would often comment “Why do people even go there? The cuts aren’t good.” Someone would say “It’s cheap, quick and guys can’t be bothered to wait or book.” Come on, be honest, some of you have had these same discussions.

But remember, also at this time there were no mobiles phones, no computers only word processors, typewriters, cars with pop up head lights and certainly no Facebook! That’s right people, we’ve evolved! Times change and in the five minutes you take to read this you would of aged, it’s just how things work.

Barbers aren’t seen as inferior anymore and now it seems everyone wants to be barber. For how long this trend will go on, who knows and really, who cares!? Shell suits were a craze once, bet you don’t wear them now!

Ok, so to the statement: Am I a barber or hairdresser?

What separates a barber and a hairdresser? Sexism is what separates them! Ha! The age old male and female argument. Do you cut both? Or do you just do one? Seems archaic now to think that we still pigeonhole ourselves based on the gender of the person’s hair we work on.

Barbering in general has changed now. It’s not seen as the quick and cheap alternative, barbers get confronted by all styles and shapes on a daily basis; they are dressing more hair and finishing techniques are now key. So does that mean that we are now male hairdressers, fancy barbers or hairdressers?

Am I both? Am I one of them? Does it really matter what I deem myself? The question really is, can I cut both men and women’s hair? The answer for me is yes… but I am better at cutting men’s hair because I’ve done more of it but that wouldn’t stop me from cutting ladies hair if she wants me to.

I’ve seen barbers state, ‘A barbershop is just for men’, I can see why people say that but if a woman wants a cut, will you turn her away because she’s a woman? Surely not. If you are unable to cut her hair then yes turn her away but it’s because of your skillset and not because she’s a woman. Maybe some barbers hide behind the ‘barbershops are for men only’ statement because they simply can’t do it!

Would hairdressers turn away a guy? Errr no! So why they for all and barbers are just for one? Even as I’m writing this, the argument seems an increasingly more futile one. It’s silly.

So to finish with that statement: Am I barber or hairdresser?

I am neither. I am a hairdresser that works in a barber shop.

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