By Anna Homa

Being a college student can be hard on the wallet. With just enough money to pay for that Netflix subscription, buy food and go out a couple nights a week, saving money for other things becomes less of a priority.Getting a haircut, which at some places can cost as much as $25-$30, can lose its importance. After a few months, the extra money helps to put gas in your car, but you might also resemble a shaggy dog.

So what do you do? You can forgo the gas and start walking or bumming rides, or trust a friend who swears she can cut your hair to look just like Jennifer Aniston. Or you can venture to downtown Richmond and visit The Chop Shop, where your first haircut is free.

Lisa Kelley opened her shop, located on First Street, about two weeks ago. The shop shares a building with and is directly under The Scoop Shop, which is owned by Kelley’s sister.

The Chop Shop is the first shop owned by Kelley, who has been in the styling business for more than10 years. Kelley said she is skilled in doing different cuts, such as the Mohawk, the Jennifer Aniston look or a military buzz cut.

“I’m diverse with cuts,” Kelley said. “I can do trendy cuts as well as basic blunt cuts and ethnic hair.”

The first cut is free to attract business. After the first visit, a cut will cost $7, no matter the style. For Shriners or children with disabilities, the haircut is free every time.

“I’m passionate about service,” Kelley said. “I feel like I’m giving back.”

If you want a shampoo with the cut, it costs an additional $20. But don’t ask for any type of chemical service, because after working with the different chemicals involved in perms and coloring for so long, Kelley has become allergic to them. However, she will give recom

endations for other places that perform those services.

She won’t push a certain product on her customers either. In many other salons, stylists are pressured to sell a certain amount of product to everyone who comes in, Kelley said. The reason her prices are so cheap is because she doesn’t want to sell the customer. But that doesn’t mean she won’t recommend a product if it’s needed. If someone has dandruff or damaged hair, she knows the products to use that will correct the hair problem and where they can be purchased.

At other salons, it’s frowned upon to talk about politics or religion with your customers, but at The Chop Shop, Kelley said she enjoys and welcomes it.

“If you don’t discuss important issues, that is what causes friction,” Kelley said. “What’s the point if you don’t talk about it?”

The biggest draw for Eastern students is the price of the cuts and the close location to campus, Kelley said. Even though she didn’t go to Eastern, she earned her degree from a vocational school in Lexington. Kelley said she supports Eastern students and is offering window and wall space in her shop to display student’s artwork.

“I want to let the students get out and be seen,” Kelley said.

Kelley is also thinking of changing the name of the shop and welcomes any input from her customers. Who knows, maybe you could be the one to find a permanent name for her shop.