4 Reasons for Why Do Barbers Use Alcohol for Haircuts?

Barbers have been using alcohol as a part of their grooming routine for decades. While it may seem like an outdated practice, it remains a crucial step in the process of cutting hair. But why do barbers use alcohol? There are several reasons why alcohol is a staple in barbershops around the world.

Firstly, alcohol is an effective disinfectant that helps prevent the spread of bacteria and infections. When a barber uses clippers or scissors on a customer, there is a risk of transferring bacteria from one person to another.

By using alcohol to clean their tools between customers, barbers can significantly reduce the risk of infections and keep their customers safe.

Secondly, alcohol also helps to remove excess oil and dirt from the scalp and hair. This is particularly important for customers with oily hair or a buildup of product in their hair. Alcohol can help to break down these substances, leaving the hair and scalp feeling clean and refreshed.

4 Reasons for Why Do Barbers Use Alcohol for Haircuts?

Sanitation Purposes

Barbers use alcohol for sanitation purposes. When a barber shaves or cuts hair, they are exposed to blood, skin, and hair particles. These particles can carry bacteria and viruses that can be transferred from one client to another. To prevent this, barbers use alcohol to sanitize their tools and work area.

Alcohol is a powerful disinfectant that kills most bacteria and viruses. It is also quick-drying and evaporates without leaving any residue. This makes it an ideal solution for barbers who need to clean their tools and work area quickly between clients.

Some barbers also use alcohol as an antiseptic. If a client has a cut or nick on their skin, the barber may use alcohol to clean the area and prevent infection. Alcohol can also help to reduce inflammation and redness, making it an effective solution for treating razor burn and other skin irritations.

Overall, the use of alcohol in barbershops is essential for maintaining a clean and safe environment for both barbers and clients. By using alcohol to sanitize their tools and work area, barbers can prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses and ensure that each client receives a safe and hygienic haircut or shave.

Preventing Infections

Barbers use alcohol as a disinfectant to prevent infections. When a barber uses a razor or any other sharp tool, there is a risk of infection if the tool is not properly sanitized. Alcohol is a quick and easy way to kill bacteria and viruses that may be present on the tools.

Most barbers use a solution of 70% isopropyl alcohol to disinfect their tools. This concentration is effective in killing most bacteria and viruses. The alcohol is applied to the tool and allowed to sit for a few minutes to ensure that all bacteria and viruses are killed.

Alcohol is also used to disinfect the skin before a shave. The barber will apply a small amount of alcohol to the skin to kill any bacteria that may be present. This helps prevent infections and ensures that the shave is as clean as possible.

Using alcohol to disinfect tools and skin is a common practice in the barber industry. It is a simple and effective way to prevent infections and keep customers safe. Barbers are required by law to follow strict sanitation guidelines to ensure that their tools are properly cleaned and disinfected after each use.

Astringent Properties

One of the main reasons barbers use alcohol is due to its astringent properties. Astringents are compounds that cause the contraction of body tissues, which can help to reduce inflammation and irritation. When applied to the skin, alcohol can help to tighten and tone the skin, making it firmer and smoother. This is especially useful when shaving, as it can help to reduce the risk of nicks and cuts.

4 Reasons for Why Do Barbers Use Alcohol for Haircuts?

Alcohol also has antiseptic properties, which means that it can help to kill bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause infection. This is particularly important when using razors and other shaving tools, as they can easily spread bacteria from one person to another if not properly sanitized.

However, it is important to note that alcohol can also be drying to the skin, which is why it is often combined with other ingredients, such as glycerin or aloe vera, to help moisturize and soothe the skin. Additionally, some people may be more sensitive to alcohol than others, and may experience redness, itching, or other skin irritation as a result of its use.

Ease of Use

Another reason why barbers use alcohol is because it is easy to use. Alcohol can be applied quickly and easily to the skin without any mess or fuss. Unlike other disinfectants, alcohol does not require any special equipment or training to use effectively. Barbers can simply apply the alcohol to their tools and surfaces using a spray bottle or cloth, and then wipe it off with a clean towel.

Alcohol is also very versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. For example, it can be used to clean and disinfect scissors, combs, and other tools. It can also be used to sanitize the barber’s hands before and after each client, as well as to clean the client’s skin before and after a haircut. This versatility makes alcohol an attractive choice for barbers who want to keep their work area clean and hygienic.

Additionally, alcohol is very effective at killing germs and bacteria. It can kill up to 99.9% of germs and bacteria on contact, making it an ideal choice for use in a barber shop. This is especially important when working with clients who may have cuts, scrapes, or other skin conditions that could be easily infected. By using alcohol to clean and disinfect their tools and surfaces, barbers can help prevent the spread of germs and keep their clients safe and healthy.


Barbers have been using alcohol for a long time, and it has become an essential part of their tool kit. It is used to disinfect the tools, prevent infections, and stop bleeding. Alcohol is also used to clean the skin before and after a haircut, which helps to remove dirt and oil, making it easier to cut hair.

While there are some potential risks associated with using alcohol, such as skin irritation and dryness, the benefits outweigh the risks. Barbers are trained to use alcohol safely and effectively, and they take the necessary precautions to ensure that their clients are not harmed.

Overall, alcohol is a crucial component of a barber’s toolkit, and it plays a vital role in ensuring that their clients receive a safe and hygienic haircut. By using alcohol, barbers can prevent the spread of infections, promote healing, and maintain a clean and healthy environment for their clients.

Executive Chef | Website | + posts

Chef Michael Correll began his restaurant career near his home in his teens as a pizza cook, but soon moved to Philadelphia where he first landed at Jones, an acclaimed Stephen Starr restaurant on Chesntut Street.

It was also in Philadelphia that Chef Correll pursued his culinary education, graduating from the Art Institute of Philadelphia in 2008.

After school he worked for Chef Marc Plessis at Nineteen in the Park Hyatt Hotel before moving to Pinehurst, North Carolina to open the Carolina Room.

See what Baltimoresun.com and Baltimoremagazine.com say about him.

Leave a Comment