By Kristie Hamon
Ever wish you could go back in time and hang out in the local classic barber shop with your friends and get an old-fashioned shave and haircut? Luckily, Ron Allen’s barber shop is only a few steps from campus, versus a couple of decades ago. Allen’s Barber Shop offers hot towel facials and straight razor shaves like they were done back in the day.
Allen, the owner and operator of the shop used to be apprehensive about hot towel facials and said, “I’m not the metrosexual type of guy,” that is, until he went to barber school and learned that his instructor made a living doing them. His instructor talked him into trying it. Allen sat down, his instructor put the towel on his face, and he fell asleep. When he woke up Allen said, “It was the most refreshed my face has ever felt.”
Additionally, you might ask why you should have someone else shave your face? Allen said it’s the difference between getting a hot lather in peppermint soap while you chill in the shop vs. a cold lather and the laborious work of doing it yourself.
Allen is an Eastern graduate from Louisville. During his time at Eastern, Allen not only received a bachelor’s degree in physical education, but was a defensive end linebacker on Eastern’s football team from 1997-2001.
During his stay at Eastern, Allen started cutting his own hair because there wasn’t a place in town that he trusted to do it for him without having to drive back home for a haircut.
Allen began cutting his friends and fellow football players’ hair in the dorms on Thursdays before everyone went out.
After Eastern, Allen became an assistant football coach at Madison Central and Berea, and worked a security job until he was laid off.
Afterward, Allen decided to return to cutting hair. He enrolled in the Lexington Academy of Barbering, or “The Lab,” as he called it.
“Cutting hair was my only other love.”
Allen decided to stay in Richmond because he graduated here, knew the roots and believed the market was underserved for hair. Allen said there weren’t any barber shops when he went to school here and that he would have loved to have had one.
Allen said people should come here because, “it’s full service. There is nothing we won’t do. The atmosphere is friendly, it’s in walking distance from the school, and we have great customer service.”
Aside from specializing in hot towel facials and razor shaves, the shop even does straight razor lines and hair color. He said they even do eyebrows.
Allen said they will cut anyone’s hair.
“Barber shops used to be so segregated back in the day. I’ve made it a point that everyone is welcome at Allen’s Barber shop. We do all hair.”
During the interview, Allen was cutting the hair of Charles Thomas who played basketball at EKU from 1997-1999. Thomas said he goes to Allen’s because the shop is “very friendly, and always meets (his) needs.”
Allen’s barber shop is located a few steps off of campus at 298 S. Second Street and is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. A regular hair cut is $12, but if you bring your student I.D. on Mondays and Tuesdays, you can get your hair cut for $10.
You don’t have to drive home to get your hair cut. Come sit in Allen’s barber shop, watch the game, and get a great quality haircut. “The things we offer, no one else does,” said Allen.