Are you trying to figure out what the best barbershop software is for your business?
Then you’ve landed in the right place.
Deciding among all the salon and barbershop software alternatives is not an easy task. It’s frankly quite overwhelming. At least that’s how I felt when researching the best options in 2023.
It’s a big decision.
Getting your POS system, online booking, and business management right can save you a ton of time and be a big factor in the success of your business.
So today I am sharing what I wish I had found when I started looking at alternatives. I will summarize what I learned during the past several weeks of researching and testing all the top systems and lay it out for you to decide what is right for you.
Here’s a quick look at what we’ll cover:
- My Top Choices for Best Barbershop Software in Late 2023
- A Review of the Best Barbershop Software
- My Verdict of the Top Barbershop Software Systems
My Top Picks for Best Barbershop Software in Late 2023
Here are my top 7 barbershop software and POS alternatives. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on your business needs, so read through the options closely.
I have tried to wrap up their differences in one sentence below, but I recommend you go through the rest of the article to make an informed decision.
1. Mangomint: The smartest, most well-designed barbershop software with the highest user ratings and best customer support
2. GlossGenius: The best option for independent professionals
3. Fresha: The subscription-free barbershop software
4. Vagaro: The feature-rich and affordable barbershop software
5. Square Appointments: The popular POS with appointment software
6. Boulevard: The luxury booking and POS software with built-in marketing tools
7. Squire: A cool barbershop-only alternative
A Review of the Best Barbershop Management Software – September 2023
1. Mangomint: The Smartest, Most Well-Designed Barbershop Software with the Best Customer Support (US & Canada)
I genuinely believe this is the software of the future. It’s beautifully designed, super intuitive, and leverages smart automation to make your life easier and your client’s experience the best.
If you’re looking for a sophisticated platform with smart features that — at the same time — allows you to integrate with your other favorite tools, Mangomint is awesome.
Mangomint is designed for barbershops, salons, and spas with a team. If you’re a solopreneur, you may not benefit as much from the advanced features like self-checkout, two-way client texting, intelligent waitlist, personal customer support, integrations etc. and you might be better of with a solution that offers a low-cost plan for individuals.
- Modern, easy-to-use, interface
- Smart automations that help cut down on time spent managing business operations
- Open data ownership and contracts (you’re not locked into anything)
- Can integrate with any other platform that allows for integrations
- Embeddable website booking widget & online gift card shop
- Integrated payments
- Memberships, packages, gift cards
- Forms, two-way client texting, waiting room management, intelligent waitlist, and many other smart features
- Sophisticated business & payroll reporting
- Strong customer service & help documentation
- iOS & Android App
Special Offer on Mangomint: Get 2 months for free when you sign up for a free trial or book a demo using this link.
2. GlossGenius: The Best Barbershop Software for Independent Professionals (US Only)
Are you working independently and looking for an easy-to-use, yet well-designed, platform to run your barbering business? Then GlossGenius is a great option.
In contrast to Mangomint, GlossGenius offer a very affordable plan to fit the budget of solopreneurs.
Here, you manage everything inside an easy-to-use mobile app.
GlossGenius has a premium appearance and it’s easy to generate a simple website that looks good fast. Even the card reader design can be customized to fit your business.
GlossGenius is the software I suggest to independent professionals searching for a good-looking online booking experience and marketing tools without having to tackle technical challenges.
- Generate a beautiful website in just a few clicks
- Multiple card reader design options to fit your brand
- Smart and intuitive features that are easy-to-use
- Integrated payments
- Synchronize clients and calendars with your phone
- Easy-to-use email and SMS marketing
- Manage everything inside the GlossGenius app (Apple & Android)
- Advanced business reporting
- Affordable, pricing and free 14-day trial
3. Fresha: The Subscription-Free Barbershop Software (Available Worldwide)
Fresha is the only subscription-free program that also doesn’t have any usage restrictions. Even for teams, the subscription is free.
The ease of use, its free plan, and the fact that it continues to develop are what I see as the main strengths of Fresha.
You won’t have to tackle a steep learning curve with Fresha – it’s intuitive and just works. Using Fresha also means you can be featured on their client market place which gives you another avenue to attract new clients.
The drawback you’ll want to consider is that it’s pretty limited when it comes to customization choices. It works well out of the box, so hopefully, this should not be an issue. But, for example, you won’t be able to change the appearance of your booking page or enable booking that integrates with your website. You’re limited to linking out to the Fresha-designed booking page.
You should also be aware that, even if it’s subscription free, you’ll be charged for each appointment and up to 20% of the appointment value if it’s a new client that finds you on the Fresha marketplace.
- Free subscription with unlimited staff
- 20% New client fee – applies only to the first appointment of new clients via the Fresha marketplace website and apps
- 2.19% + $0.20 Payment processing fee per transaction across all payment methods
- Fresha marketplace where more clients can discover your barbershop.
- Super easy-to-use with a modern minimalistic design interface.
- iOS and Android Apps
- Instagram, Facebook, and Google integrations
4. Vagaro: The Feature Rich and Affordable Barbershop Software (US, Canada, UK, and Australia)
Do you need a lot of different features but still want to be able to manage it all under one roof at an affordable cost? Then Vagaro might be what you’re looking for.
It’s incredible to see how much they’ve crammed into this platform while keeping their price low.
From a feature standpoint, everything you could want is there.
Vagaro is a strong alternative for any size business that is cost conscious and still wants a lot of features.
Where Vagaro gets some negative user reviews is typically around service outages and smaller glitches in the platform. I have tested it quite extensively and haven’t experienced any major challenges, but it’s something that you may want to test out yourself.
- Integrates with your website, Quickbooks, Xero, Gusto, Google, Facebook, Yelp, Instagram
- Dedicated POS hardware
- Client marketplace to help you attract more new clients
- Subscription payments and membership features
- Built-in payroll software and support to charge rent to chair renters
- Built-in website builder
- Advanced client data tracking (including SOAP forms)
- Drag and drop, easy-to-use, calendar
- Sophisticated email and SMS marketing tools
- Advanced business reporting
- Affordable, pricing and free 30-day trial
5. Square Appointments: Popular POS & Appointment Software with a Subscription-Free Plan for Individuals in the US, Canada, and Australia
If you’re looking for a simple, effective, and affordable appointment scheduler, then Square Appointments may be your solution. It’s easy to use, and it comes with all of the functionalities you’ll need to run an effective appointment book.
This system may also be used with Square’s other solutions (such as a POS system, credit card reader, and marketing suite) to provide a comprehensive solution for the barbershop.
- Free subscription for individuals. You only pay a credit card transaction fee (2.6% + $0.1) when you accept payments through the platform.
- Integration with all other tools from Square
- Dedicated booking website
- SMS & Email Reminders
- Easy-to-use, drag and drop calendar
- Advanced client data (with images)
- Booking widget for website integration
- Advanced inventory management (with stock alerts)
- iOS & Android App
6. Boulevard Software: The Luxury Barbershop Booking Software with Built-in Email Marketing Tools (US Only)
If you’re the kind of barbershop owner that needs a strong marketing tool kit to grow repeat clientele and brand-presence in your area, Boulevard might just be a good option for you.
Building off of its core feature set (calendar scheduling, POS, online booking, reporting), Boulevard also offers a handful of premium add-on features aimed at email marketing and two-way messaging so that you can stay in touch with your clients and keep them coming back more often.
The up-and-coming luxury booking platform really is the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink option for bigger businesses that need just about every feature available in a piece of barbershop management and POS software, as long as they’re willing to pay a premium for it (and are willing to sign on for the mandatory 12-month contract).
- Easy-to-use interface
- Excellent online booking
- Integrated email marketing suite
- Great client data management
- Can integrate with a large number of third party applications
- Memberships, packages, & gift cards (physical & digital)
- Precision Scheduling™ tech to fill the best gaps on the calendar first
- Highly-detailed custom reports (on Premiere plans and above)
- Two-way messaging & Caller ID available as a paid add-on
- Easily-searchable online support website
- iOS and Android mobile app
7. Squire: A Cool Barbershop-Only Alternative (US, Canada, UK)
The other solutions I have recommended above are all general salon software solutions by larger or more established companies. As such, they provide a certain level of stability and financial clout to provide high-quality software that can continue to evolve and innovate.
There are also other, alternative companies, that offer software specifically made for barbershops. In my view, most of these solutions don’t provide enough distinguishing features to be considered better than the more established solutions shared above.
However, a company called Squire has recently caught my attention as a rising star in the barbershop management software segment. Squire is an all-in-one system with several innovative features and a genuine feeling of being a brand that understands the barbershop community.
The features include online booking, payroll management, inventory management, loyalty programs, recurring appointments, and point of sale (POS) capabilities.
One reason that Squire seems to have a great understanding of this niche is that they bought a barbershop in NYC to use as a testing ground as they developed the software. This together with the feedback received from the more than 2,000 barbershops using the software has helped Squire to rapidly develop a product that helps barbershops during the digital transition and that just might be able to compete with the more established salon software providers.
- Integrated with booking software and a register as well as a card reader in one system
- Barber-specific pricing and durations
- An iOS mobile app that can be customized with the barbershop’s logo and color scheme.
- Multiple booking options – web, Instagram, or app
- Automatically collect booth rent from barbers
- The software allows booth rental barbers to collect their own earnings
- Support for loyalty reward programs, promo codes, gift cards
My Verdict of the Top Barbershop Software Alternatives
Let me give you a summary of what you should consider while choosing between the best barbershop software systems on this list.
I have also recorded video reviews of some of the platforms which I’m including below if you want to dive deeper.
Mangomint – The Best Option for the Serious Barbershop Business with High Demands
Mangomint is for you who want flexibility, modern design, and smart automations that help simplify your business.
I just love the fact that you can integrate the platform with pretty much anything else. If you want to connect to a Shopify store or use MailChimp for your email marketing, you can. In fact, you can even use what’s called webhooks to connect with any other system that allows for integrations.
They also have a strong support team and I would even recommend you book a meeting with them before you get started so that they can show you how to get the most out of the tool.
GlossGenius – The Alternative for Solopreneurs
GlossGenius distinguishes itself from the competition by simultaneously providing beautiful design and simple use. It’s my first choice for solo practitioners looking to avoid any technical hassles while maintaining a high degree of professionalism.
When compared to other options discussed, the tool may be restricted in flexibility and functionality for bigger businesses, but it’s a good option for the small barbershops.
Fresha – The Only 100% Subscription Free Barbershop Software
It’s amazing how much value you get for free with Fresha. It’s that good that the first thing on your mind will be, “How do they make money?”
Fresha is a marketplace that connects consumers with salons and barbershops in their community. If you use the Fresha platform to bring a new customer, they will expect 20% of the transaction. You’ll also be charged a credit card processing fee of 2.19 percent + $0.20 for each appointment set up through the site.
The advantage is that there are no fixed costs; all you have to do is pay when you earn money.
The free subscription is not the only advantage of Fresha, it does provide many useful capabilities and is very simple to use.
Vagaro – The Feature-Rich, Affordable, Software for Barbers
The number of features you get with Vagaro is what I see as the main reason you could land on Vagaro. You get a ton of value here at a very affordable cost.
Another distinguishing feature of Vagaro is its client marketplace, which offers simple marketing tools to help you get your barbershop in front of more new people. And in contrast to Fresha, they won’t charge you a big bill for referring new clients from their marketplace.
Square Appointments – The Free-for-Individuals Appointment Scheduler for Barbers
I typically recommend Square Appointments in two different situations.
Either you’re an independent professional looking for a subscription-free yet powerful appointment scheduler.
Or, if you’re a bigger business and want to go all in with Square. That is, use their POS unit, website builder, credit card reader, marketing tools, and payroll software and you want to have that all integrated together.
Boulevard Software – The Marketing-Focused Barbershop Management Software for Larger Businesses
Overall, Boulevard is a rather sophisticated and feature-rich tool for running a barbershop business.
Their everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach to features and options means you can really dig in with tools that are designed to help you grow your marketing efforts and aid you in building revenue, tracking progress, and laser-focusing on the reporting that matters to your business.
But – and this is a big “but” – there is a pretty narrow niche of businesses that I would actually recommend Boulevard to.
I wouldn’t recommend Boulevard to solo barbers and most smaller barbershops (less than 5 barbers).
The premium price point (minimum $175/mo.) paired with the inevitable incidental costs that come with onboarding, data migration, and other get-started fees make this a potentially cost-prohibitive option for those leaner businesses.
Boulevard is a good choice for established barbershop businesses with several barbers who want flexible reporting options and also need an all-in-one marketing suite baked right into the software.
Outside of that, there are several other options on our list that might make a better choice and offer almost all the same features at a better price.
Time to Decide
I believe the differences between the tools should start to clear now.
The bigger barbershop business with higher demands on integrations, automations, and design will likely go with Mangomint.
GlossGenius is for the independent professional who wants simplicity and nice design.
If you want a simple and free alternative, I recommend Fresha.
Vagaro is the most feature-rich option at an affordable price.
Square is for you who are just after a cost-effective appointment scheduler or a complete solution where you activate more of the apps from Square.
Boulevard is for larger businesses that absolutely need built-in marketing tools and custom reporting options.
Squire if you need specific barbershop features.
If you want a more detailed comparison of the features of several of these systems you can take a look at my post on the best salon software.