HENRICO COUNTY, Va. - Two Hermitage High School students have turned their joint hobby into a way they can give back to their classmates while helping them look their best.
Hermitage High School is buzzing this week as students prep for homecoming.
"Nothing beats the feeling of having a fresh cut and you look in that mirror and your confidence level just goes up at least times 10," DJ Sullivan said.
He added cutting hair has been a passion since he was a freshman when, after getting a bad trim, he started cutting his own hair — and eventually others'.
"I knew if I just kept doing I'd get better and eventually, that it will turn into a skill," said Sullivan.
He added that when he began cutting hair, he lived in Charlotte, North Carolina at the time and sought out guidance at a local barbershop. He said one of the barbers at the shop became a mentor to him.
Sullivan said he normally charges for the haircuts but last week got the idea to offer them for free at school to help kids look their best for picture day.
School counselor Patric Anderson helped it become a reality.
"It's beautiful. This is what I signed up for," Anderson said.
The blossoming barber wasn't expecting a huge turnout.
"But, as I saw the day going on, a lot of people coming around then like 'You got next. You got next.'," Sullivan said.
So many students wanted a cut that 10th-grader Darian Dabney brought his barber kit the next day.
"We're helping them look their best, so I think that's really cool," Dabney said.
45 haircuts later, the pair returned this week for homecoming and think they'll do it a few more times this year.
"Graduation pictures and stuff. So, it'll always be something that's needed," Sullivan said.
Anderson says he's grateful for students like Sullivan and Dabney who are setting good examples for the rest of the school community.
"I tell each and every last one of our students, we're role models for the future. So, the students and younger students see that, and it's awesome," Anderson said.
Sullivan said that he's just enjoying having the chance to use his passion to help others.
"Just the smile I've put on people's faces and saying, 'Good cuts,' and people, you know, looking in the mirror and just being blown away -- that's better than any amount of money that I could be given."