For some of you, certain beauty terms and definitions can be confusing. We can’t even blame you when we see so many professionals making the same mistakes! Luckily, we are here to help educate you. One topic we want to tackle is the difference between a hairdresser and a hairstylist. Now, we know you might be thinking, “Wait a minute, aren’t those the exact same thing?” Don’t feel bad, it’s a problem even industry professionals run into! If some hair salons don’t know the difference, how can we expect you to?

The truth is, despite being used interchangeably, hairdressers and hairstylists are NOT the same profession at all! Just because they both work with hair, doesn’t mean they can both do the same thing. Not only do they each have their own professional training, but they do completely different types of work and even handle different tools during it! For example, someone can know how to cut hair perfectly, but that doesn’t mean they automatically know how to create a perfect up-do! Don’t worry, once you’re done reading, you’ll understand why it’s important to differentiate the two.


Hairdressers are in charge of processing and hair cuts, which means washing your hair, cutting your hair, applying chemical treatments and adding hair extensions. This is who you want to go to when you feel like changing up your look permanently, not just for one special event. Due to this permanent change to your hair, hairdressers might even require cosmetology licenses in some places, which can take up to two years to achieve.

At the bare minimum, they need specialized training for their profession, certificates on how to use their special products and equipment and different requirements depending on what they specialize in. You will likely find them in salons, because they use a lot of equipment and products that aren’t easily portable!


Meanwhile, hairstylists do exactly what their name states: style your hair! Styling hair means learning how to design hair and change up its look by creating curls, waves and volume, all without actually cutting or processing the hair. This is the person you want to go to when you need an up-do for a wedding, beautiful curls for prom or even fancy waves for professional events.

Hairstylists do not require a license to work, because they aren’t creating permanent changes in your hair. They will style it to create illusions of change in your hair, but at the end of the day, unlike a hairdresser, you can wash out any temporary changes. You will likely find them at special events such as a wedding, moving from one client to the next to create beautiful hairstyles on each one.

Not every hairdresser can style hair and not every hairstylist can do a hairdresser’s job… Which is why sometimes you might go to a hair salon and you’ll get passed from one person to another during different stages of the process. However, one person can receive professional training to do both, so they can wash, cut, process your hair, and then style it! Both of these professions require experience, creativity and hard work.

Hairstylists aren’t completely different from hairdressers, though. While they do different types of work, their skills can even be quite similar! For example, they are both handling your hair, which means both professions need to understand how to protect your hair from damage as much as they can. Whether it’s damage due to heat or chemicals, they want to keep your hair looking as shiny and healthy as possible.

Another skill they share is understanding the relation between hair types, hair styles and face shapes. The hairdresser will make sure to give you a cut that is perfect for your face shape, but also viable with your lifestyle. They will try to give you a hair cut that will suit every aspect of you. Meanwhile, the hairstylist does the same will styling your hair! They will ensure that your hairstyle looks good with your hair type, adding and reducing volume where needed and even creating waves and curls if you desire. For both of them, the most important thing is keeping the client satisfied!

Mark Holloway

Today, we want to highlight one of McAllister Spa’s massively talented hairstylists: Mark Holloway! If you’ve come to our hair salon in Miami Beach in the past, you might have even worked with him before and know how much he deserves this highlight! He is our creative director with decades of amazing industry experience. What first started as fun in his family’s salon in Los Angeles, quickly turned into a full-blown passion for hair and makeup that has lasted until this day!

After beginning his career in 1987, his work has graced fashion events and red carpet premieres the world over. His work has been in prestigious ad campaigns and editorial tear sheets, which means we are lucky to work alongside him at McAllister Spa! He can do wonders for your hair cut, hair color, makeup and more. However, he is most passionate about corrective color, Goldwell hair products, the use of Olaplex, as well as makeup and eyebrow threading.

If you’d like to work with him, consult him or simply ask him a question, don’t hesitate to contact him through email. He will gladly work with you to achieve your hair goals, applying his decades of professional experience to make your dream hair a reality.

Now that you know the difference between hairdressers and hairstylists, you can come to our hair salon in Miami Beach and choose your own stylist! While today we have recommended Mark Holloway, each of our stylists has experience and is wonderfully talented. Whether you want to work with Mark or any of our brilliant stylists, we have made booking an appointment super easy.

You can text, call or email us for a consultation, while working with our stylists to decide on the perfect hairstyle for you. Our McAllister hairstylists will be happy to make your dream hairstyle come true! Book an appointment today.