LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A first glance, it may seem like an ordinary salon.

However, the women doing the cutting have a back story that many don't get a chance to hear. They are inmates at the Madison Correctional Facility.

"This is something that is the biggest transition that I've ever experienced," Stacy Hess said.

She was arrested for theft of a stolen car in 2011. While serving time, she heard about the prison's beauty school and dove right in. "This is my passion. This is what I want to do," Hess told WHAS11.

The program started in 2006. 175 women have graduated and those who complete the required 1,500 hours are licensed to do hair in Indiana once they are released.

"You believe in them and it touches your heart," Tara Scholey, a cosmetology instructor, said.

She oversees the 25 women who are currently in the program. Right now, they are offering free haircuts to school aged children and believes parents shouldn't be fearful of inmates cutting hair. The prison is a minimum-security facility and many of the women are nearing the end of their sentences.

"I have no fear any day working with them," she said.

It's a second chance at life, but for many it's also their first chance to land a stable job once they leave. Hess, who is a mother of three, isn't proud of all her choices, but she's proud of the choice she's made to turn her life around.

"When I am going to walk out of here and be, it's something I'm going to be able to smile at," she said.

Free haircuts are being offered to all Madison area school-aged children Tuesday 9 a.m. 5:30 p.m., Wednesday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Thursday 9 a.m. to noon.