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difference between cosmetology school and barber college

What is the Difference Between Barbering vs Cosmetology ?

22 Jun , 2017,
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Here at Graham’s Barber College, not a week passes that a potential student does not call and ask the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question:

What is the difference in cosmetology and barbering?

There many answers to this question, and too many to expound on in one article, but here is one difference: The way barbers train and learn to cut and style hair is the opposite from how cosmetologists learn.

To put it simply, cosmetologists remove weight, barbers keep it and position it in certain areas.

This program we teach here at Graham’s Barber College allows cosmetologists and barbers to use what they know and are comfortable with, and fuse it with some “out of the box” thinking on how to approach the head.

For barbers, it is becoming as masterful with their shears as they are with their clippers – to utilize the shears in different ways of cutting, using the bone structure and approaching the ” top of the head’ with as much care and time as they do their fades, tapers, and outlines.

For cosmetologists, it is different: learning to leave some bulk in the hair – on the head, and in the right place, and to create the right silhouette form for each individual.

A barber learns that not everything is round – but learns to make a square or angle (or other) form that will work for your client and the shape of their head, and the drama of the cut.  We teach to not just to know the apex, occipital bone, and nape – but to know the “zones,” and how to approach it with as much detail as they do their styling and finishing techniques.

This is just ONE of many differences in cosmetology and barbering.

We would love to have you as a student, so you can become as skilled as possible in your career! Come visit. Free orientation is help every day, by appointment.





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The Arthur Anderson Barber Shop in Mattoon, Illinois, which only served white customers circa 1920


6 Dec , 2016,
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The following lesson comes from a conversation with Alexander Parker 81, Barber Shop Owner. “You know, I could teach these young boys a thing or two about cuttin’ heads, about making money cuttin’ heads.” I’ve had my license for 64 years and still can’t teach them nothin’. They know it all. Well there’s such a thing as being “over learned.

My first barber job was in Davidson, North Carolina, a small college town in a rural county. The shop was owned by Ralph Johnson. He was black but he look white. All his customers were white: farmers, professors, students. Back in those days you couldn’t cut white heads and black head in the same shop. You had to choose. Ralph and I couldn’t even give each other a cut during business hours. Ralph said a man made a better livin’ with “CW” on his permit, so that’s what I chose. “CW” meant colored cuttin’ white folks hair. “CC” meant colored folks hair.

I learned a lot from Ralph and I try to pass it down, but these boys won’t listen. Some barbers want to make money and some barbers want to make noise. The young guys get too friendly with the customers, talkin’ all the time. You should have a new head in your chair every fifteen minutes. Four and thirty-two. That’s the formula. Four heads and hour, thirty-two heads a day-forty on Saturday. In my day I was a workhorse. But these young guys don’t want to work that hard. And they always want to run have their “social experience” with the girls. Keep it zipped up and you’ll keep somethin’ in your pocket.”

~Alexander Parker licensed since 1952.


The Arthur Anderson Barber Shop in Mattoon, Illinois, which only served white customers circa 1920

The Arthur Anderson Barber Shop in Mattoon, Illinois, which only served white customers circa 1920 (image credit:


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barber surgeon Master John Banister

The Barber Surgeon

12 Oct , 2016,
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The most educated people of the first ten centuries after Christ were the monks and priests. Neither nobility nor the masses could read or write. All of the accumulated medical knowledge of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans had been lost or hid away in the monasteries.

There were no real Physicians or surgeons in this dark period, and most diseases that are commonly curable today were fatal then. Bloodletting and herbal remedies were the accepted methods of curing patients. Phlebotomy or bleeding methods was the first practiced by the clergy who also ran pharmacy shops within the walls of their monasteries.

These monks often enlisted young barbers as medical apprentices. Bloodletting was a messy, time consuming chore, and the boy barbers cold use the extra money.

At the council of Tours in 1168 the clergy were forbidden to draw blood or act as physicians or surgeons in any manner on the grounds that such practices were sacrilegious. Many barber moved out of the churches into private bloodletting establishments.


This began the marriage of shaving, haircutting, tooth-pulling and minor surgery, which went uninterrupted for the nest 600 years. George Washington bleed to death by his personal physician in 1799, after suffering from a windpipe infection. He died calmly counting his own pulse at the age of 67. By 1845, bloodletting instruments had disappeared from most doctor’s satchels.

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American Dream Barber Shop Owner Small Businessman

The American Dream

Oct , 2016,
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The American Dream is about building a better life for yourself and having the opportunity to succeed based on your aspirations and your abilities. Most people fulfill this dream through their careers or business ownership.

Millions of Americans will choose to go to work for a company that will provide regular paychecks, a sense of security, health insurance, retirement savings plan, etc. While many will be content working for someone else, others will dream of owning and running their own business. Is this YOU?

One thing for certain, THE AMERICAN DREAM is still possible. Over 600,000 new business opened all over the country last year. Excited entrepreneurs of all ages did exactly what they needed to do to start their business.

What makes these people different? Do they have a crystal ball that allows them to see the future? New entrepreneurs simply look at the economy and figure out a way to take advantage of the opportunity that exists.

Have you decided that owning a business and being an entrepreneur is your destiny? If the answer is “YES” then we would like to be the first to say CONGRATULATIONS!! You have made your first step and you are on your way.

Grahams Barber College

Barber Success


6 Sep , 2016,
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THE SUPER ACHIEVERS – as a barber, as a stylist, in life…

What is a SUPER ACHIEVER? It is simply one who consistently performs at a high level of effectiveness. There are three traits that are shared by SUPER ACHIEVERS:

1. Almost without exception, they are individuals with an extraordinary amount of physical energy.
When applied to the hair industry, these traits start by implementing in school. Getting proper rest, exercise and diet are keys to building physical energy.

2. The competitive strive continually to outperform the competition. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best and out performing your fellow classmates. This trend will probably follow you into your professional career, opening doors others can only imagine walking through.

3. They’re hard-nosed, but not hard-hearted. They criticize without crushing, and never lose sight of the fact that it is teamwork that propels an organization to success, not the random clash of individual egos.
Avoid splitting HAIRS, be a leader, lead by example. Demand the people around you live up to the standards, ethics and professionalism of your chosen profession. A good motto: I WILL NOT ASK YOU TO DO ANTHING I WILL NOT DO. Leave the ego on the door mat as you walk into the learning institution, and if you must, pick it up on the way out.

Developing these three traits will make you a better hair professional and will help you achieve your dreams.

Grahams Barber College

1926:  American actress Louise Brooks (1906 - 1985), the star of 'Pandora's Box'.  (Photo by Edward Thayer Monroe/John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images)


Sep , 2016,
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The first to champion the razor’s use were the Japanese. Using their own traditional tools and technique named Nihindo, they found it a practical method for creating movement in straight hair. The Japanese realized that razoring was the best way to remove weight, to texturize, and to add movement. This was especially effective on thick and straight strands that are indigenous to most people from this region.

Japanese Straight Razor

Japanese Straight Razor

In the west during the 20th century razor cutting came in and out of fashion. In the Roaring Twenties, Louise Brooks, siren of the silent film era, embodied the daring spirit of the time with her trendsetting bob, cut with a razor. But as the dawn of the 1930s fashion changed. Women started to grow their hair longer, and the sharp lines of the bob were abandoned. Setting hair on rollers became popular and the art of the cut was out. From the 1930s to the 1960s haircuts were made with the styling, not the style, in the mind.

In the nonfiction book Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell makes a compelling argument that the key to great accomplishments in any field is a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of 10,000 hours. Please allow that thought to sink in. Realize that to become a master of razor cutting will take you many, many hours of practice.

Do not let anybody tell you that the hair business is anything but a high-end career. It is highly creative, independent, and recession proof. People will always need a haircut.


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Getting Started

11 Jul , 2016,
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“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will Accomplish nothing in life.”
~Muhammad Ali

At some point in your life, you probably experienced a wishful child who has set up a lemonade stand, maybe that child was you or one of your own children. What do you think the purpose was behind setting up lemonade stand? I bet it wasn’t so that they could meet neighbors. That child saw the lemonade stand as their opportunity to make money. Now, most parents will squash the idea of a lemonade stand. Why? Because they’ve warn their little one of all the challenges, the hard work, and the slim odds of being able to make money.

A handful of these young entrepreneurs will follow through with their idea. They’ve seen kids do it. They will work hard to make signs, set up their stand, and make their pitchers of lemonade. Then most will sit and wait for cars to drive by or for people to walk by and buy their delicious ice cold lemonade.

Lemonade Stand 47332053_862157503c_o Photo by Joshua Ommen, licensed under CC Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Think about the last time you drove by a lemonade stand. Did you see kids patiently waiting for customers? Or, were they frantically waving their arms and signs and trying to grab your attention.

As you can imagine, many lemonade stands will open and close in one day. The child will realize that it wasn’t as easy as they thought. BUT, what if they would have studied the market a bit more? What if they would have made fresh-squeezed lemonade? What if they would have considered different locations, the local farmer’s market, their school’s baseball field, or in a neighborhood that was holding a local art festival event?

The more planning that goes into opening a business, even one as small as a lemonade stand, can increase the odds of success.

Grahams Barber College

Barber College in Dallas Texas

The Most Effective Way To Handle WALK-INS

24 Jun , 2016,
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Walk-ins can be a good source of revenue. There are very few shops that do not need new clientele.

Walk-ins should always be welcomed enthusiastically because they are new customers that have chosen to pay for services at your shop. Most shops should be trying to attract walk-ins so that they can stay busy throughout the work week. We must consider many guys find it convenient to get their hair cut impulsively and never consider making an appointment.

Since walk-ins are often strangers they are not likely to demand the owner or the a barber that is already busy. This makes them the perfect client for any barber that does not have a clientele and is trying to build a following.

After the barber is introduced to the client every effort should be made to get the client in the chair and serviced. Often the reason that they are there is because someone (another barber) kept them waiting too long!

The barber is obligated to exercise strict professional service since walk-ins can easily become a life long client. Make sure they are given a business card they may have a friend or relative that may be willing to refer if their experience is pleasant. Let them know you appreciate the business and will make every effort to provide good service.

Make the next appointment before they leave the shop. You might want to make a reminder call before the appointment. Many people appreciate your thoughtfulness and obvious desire to service them.

Grahams Barber College




Tips for ‘Guy Color’

7 Jun , 2016,
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Guys of every age are interested in color, but may be shy about broaching the topic. That’s DANGEROUS, because if they are not aware of what is available they may be tempted to those “MAN DYES” at the drugstore, which often result in peculiar shades of greenish black or garish orange. It is better to work color into the conversation and keep them away from Kool-Aid colors.

When coloring men it’s got to be quick and easy. Forget about full head of highlights or multi-dimensional techniques. You have to get men in and out quickly. They cannot feel as if their color is a lot of work.

Nothing will turn a man against color quicker than visible regrowth, he is not going to take time to retouch every couple or weeks. So opt for strategies like lowlights or semi-permanent stains which fade naturally and unnoticeably.

Hair color can be a particularly hard sell especially if the hair is cut short. In that case consider creating a flat price for a years worth of color. Get him on schedule, get the money up front, and then he doesn’t have to think about it again for 12 months.


REMEMBER You make your money with your mouth ~ even if the work is done with your hands.

Consultation! Consultation! Consultation!

Grahams Barber College

Illustation of a nineteenth-century barber shop and why barber colleges were created

Barber Schools Arrive

20 May , 2016,
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“In England, America and all over the civilized world, the decline of the barber was a spectacle for all to see. Barber shops became hangouts, places where low characters assembled. Smutty stories, malicious scandal and gossip of all kinds, characterized barber shops. Until a few years ago, a barbershop was a place where men showed their lower instincts and where women dared not to enter.” So wrote Mr. A.B. Moler in 1911 introduction to his classic textbook The Barber’s Manuel, which remained in print for 30 years.

Nineteenth-century barber shop

A. B. Moler began his apprenticeship in 1889 at the age of 21, under the tutelage of an older brother who had mastered the trade by the time-honored system of on-the-job training. Mr. Moler recounted that he spent the first three years of his apprenticeship engaged in floor-sweeping, neck-shaving and hot-towel dispensing; actual learning little about his chosen trade.

Over the next 10 years, Moler devised a method of training that led to the establishment of the “Moler System of Barber Colleges”. Beginning with the main branch which he founded in Chicago in 1893, the colleges spread to every major city in the United States and Canada.


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