Shear kindness: Hairstylist offers free haircuts to homeless at Minneapolis Central Library

Katie Steller has been a hairstylist for more than a decade.

"Cutting hair is definitely an art form. There is a lot of creativity that goes into it, so my artistic brain loves it," said Steller.

But on this day she is creating quite a buzz at the Central Library in downtown Minneapolis.

"For me, getting a haircut made me feel less alone in some moments. I just see it as something that I want to continue doing too. Meet people where they are at," said Steller.

Steller, who owns Steller Hair Company in Northeast Minneapolis, recruited about a half dozen professional barbers and stylists to take part in an event called Line Up At The Library.

They're giving free haircuts to about 50 people who are unhoused and may not have the money or transportation to get one on their own.

"Haircuts are something that a lot of people take for granted as being something that's just easy to walk through a door, go pay for a haircut and it's not always as accessible as that," said Steller.

Steller knows firsthand how life-changing an act of kindness can be.

She dealt with a number of health issues growing up... causing her hair to fall out.

But Steller says a stylist treated her with kindness and compassion when she went to get her first haircut at a salon, prompting Steller to choose the profession as a career.

A few years ago, she started a non-profit called The Steller Kindness Project, after she began bringing her red stylist's chair out into the community to give complimentary haircuts to people who are unhoused.

"We're putting out that ripple effect of kindness and I think if we want to see real change, it has to start on those small micro levels," said Steller.

In the end, Steller says she is accomplishing more than just giving someone a new do.

She is building relationships and creating connections, one haircut at a time.

"I can't change the world. I can't fix all the problems. I can't do so many things, but I can cut people's hair and I can show that I care through that," said Steller.