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Barber or Artist?

Oxford dictionary defines an artist as “a person who practices any of the various creative arts, such as a sculptor, novelist, poet, or filmmaker.” Based on this definition, it can be argued that a barber is also an artist. 

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A barber is a master sculptor of hair and beauty. There has been a long history of not differentiating between a barber and an artist. For example, imagine yourself not having groomed for over a year. Getting a haircut after a year of not maintaining it, you will surely feel cleaner, newer, and more beautiful. An artist and barber have many things in common but one of the main similarities is their ability to take a project and make it better. This often requires extensive skills and years of training.

Sometimes a client might only have a picture to show the barber for reference and expects the barber to make them look exactly the same as the picture. This might be easy-peasy for the client, but oftentimes the barber is left on a whim trying their best to deliver the service as close as possible to the wishes of the client.

This is where the magic of a barber comes to light. In moments like these a barber and an artist are indistinguishable. Just like the painter who needs to know which brush to use, how much pressure to put on the canvas with each stroke, or which colour will compliment the pallet, the barber must do the same with his own tools.

barber sitting on barber chair with face mask on
Barbershop female employee smiling at the camera

Another point we would like to point out is that a barber does not JUST cut hair. A barber is responsible for knowing how to cut, style, colour, groom, and treat hair as well. If we add these factors into what defines a barber and go back to the painter comparison, the case for a barber being an artist starts to get much stronger.

Barber holding hands and smiling at the camera
Professional barber sitting on barber chair
Female barber smiling at the camera

For example, a painter needs to methodically plan and calculate which colours will work best with others. Likewise, a barber must determine the same things but with hair instead of the canvas. Very often a barber is left to discern on their judgement which tools and which products will work best for each client. 

We want to push the envelope one step further and argue that a barber is actually more of an artist than a painter. How do we reckon?

Well it really comes down to one significant difference between the two and that is, responsibility. If a painter somehow messes up their painting, they can start over and nobody other than themself is going to be held accountable. However, if a barber messes up a clients hair, the damage will take weeks to be able to fix. They will also be held accountable and responsible for the damage they have done to their piece of art, the haircut. 

A barber is much more than JUST a barber. A barber is the artist responsible for turning every haircut into a Mona Lisa.

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