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The Difference Between a Haircut and a Style: Explained

When it comes to men’s grooming, getting a haircut is often the initial step toward looking your best. However, have you ever pondered the distinction between a haircut and a style? While a haircut is simply the act of trimming or cutting one’s hair, a style involves the use of various techniques and products to create a specific look. Understanding the difference between the two can help you communicate more effectively with your barber or stylist and achieve the desired outcome. So, let’s delve deeper into the nuances of men’s grooming and explore the world of haircuts and styles.

Understanding the Basics: What is a Haircut?

At its most basic level, a haircut involves trimming or cutting the hair to a desired length. This can involve using scissors, clippers, or other tools to remove length from the hair, as well as shaping the hair to create a specific look. A haircut can range from a simple trim to a more complex style, depending on the desired result.

One important aspect of a haircut is the consideration of the client’s face shape and hair type. A skilled barber will take into account these factors when determining the best haircut for the client, as well as their personal style preferences. For example, if a client has a round face shape, a barber may suggest a haircut that adds height to the top of the head to elongate the face. Similarly, if a client has fine hair, a barber may recommend a shorter cut that adds texture and volume to the hair. Popular men’s barber haircuts include the classic buzz cut, the textured crop, the side part, and the slicked-back undercut, among many others.

Once the haircut is complete, the art of styling comes into play. This involves using styling products such as pomade or wax to create a specific look or texture with the hair. Depending on the client’s personal style preferences and hair type, a barber may recommend different products or techniques for achieving the desired look.

Beyond the Cut: The Art of Styling

While a haircut is focused on the actual cutting of the hair, styling involves creating a specific look or effect with the hair. Here are some of the most common tools and techniques used in hair styling:


Hair products, including gels, waxes, pomades, and hairsprays, are commonly utilized to achieve hold, texture, and volume. However, it’s crucial to select the appropriate product for each client based on their hair type and desired style. This ensures optimal results and client satisfaction.


Blow-drying is a technique used to dry and style hair at the same time. By using a round brush and directing the airflow in different directions, barbers can create volume, texture, and movement in the hair.

Flat ironing

Flat irons are often used to straighten curly or wavy hair, or to smooth out frizz and flyaways. This tool uses heat to temporarily straighten the hair, but it can also cause damage if not used properly.


Curling irons and wands can be used to create curls or waves in the hair. The size of the barrel will determine the size of the curl or wave, and different techniques can be used to create different effects.


Texturizing scissors or razors can be used to remove bulk and create texture in the hair. This technique is often used to create a more natural or tousled look.

Updos and braids

For clients with longer hair, updos and braids can be a great way to create an elegant or playful look. Different braiding techniques can be used to create different effects, and accessories such as clips and ribbons can be used to add interest.

Overall, styling is where the creativity and artistry of the barber comes into play. They can recommend the best style and products for their client’s hair type and face shape, taking into consideration the individual’s lifestyle and personal preferences. The stylist’s expertise can transform a simple haircut into a work of art that enhances the client’s features and highlights their unique beauty.

Styling is not only about creating a fashionable appearance but also about promoting hair health. Barbers use techniques and products that nourish and protect hair, helping to maintain its natural shine, strength, and elasticity. A skilled barber will work with the client to develop a styling routine that promotes healthy hair growth and prevents damage caused by excessive heat, chemicals, or styling.

Finding the Right Balance: How Haircuts and Styles Work Together

Ultimately, the difference between a haircut and a style is that a haircut is focused on the actual cutting of the hair, while styling involves creating a specific look or effect with the hair. However, the two are closely connected — a great barber haircut provides the foundation for a great style, while skilled styling can elevate a basic look into something truly special.

One important thing to keep in mind is that the style should complement the haircut. For example, if you have a short, tapered haircut, a sleek and simple style may be the best choice. On the other hand, if you have longer hair with layers, a more textured and voluminous style may be more appropriate.
It’s also important for a barber to consider the client’s daily routine and level of maintenance when suggesting a style. A style that requires a lot of upkeep may not be practical for someone with a busy lifestyle or limited styling skills.

One of the benefits of visiting a barbershop rather than a regular hair salon is the expertise and attention to detail that barbers bring to their craft. A good barber can provide personalized recommendations based on your face shape, hair texture, and personal style preferences. When it comes to finding the best NYC barber, word of mouth is often the most reliable way to go. Our barbershop is known amongst all those who rely on us for providing exemplary, fashion-forward haircuts and designs.

In addition to hair treatments, we offer a range of grooming services, including beard trims, shaves, and facial treatments. With our professional assistance, you may strike the perfect balance between refreshing your existing appearance and trying something completely new.