A pair of Israeli soldiers trade in combat for curling irons
Michael and Tzion are two friends with a lot in common. Both men grew up in Israel, both moved to Tennessee and both have a talent for working with hair. That talent eventually lead them to the Tennessee School of Beauty.
When growing up in Israel, Michael and Tzion never imagined they would be working in a beauty salon. In fact you could say that their backgrounds are about as far from a hair dryer as you can get. Tzion was an officer in the Israeli military. "All of my background is military. In Israel it's mandatory. When you turn 18, you go. I'm a lieutenant, I'm an officer so I signed up for a total of five years."
Michael was a first sergeant. "It's like Call of Duty to be honest with you. When somebody is shooting at you, you're like 18 and invincible. You're not afraid they are going to shoot you, there's no way they can hit me."
Most people meet in a typical, non-dangerous, social environment. Michael and Tzion met in the middle of what Israel calls the Second Lebanon War. "Obviously we have this connection between us which is military bond, fought together. I'll take a bullet for him in a second and I know he'll do the same for me without even thinking twice."
If their story sounds familiar, it might be because in 2008 Adam Sandler starred in the movie "You Don't Mess With The Zohan", the tale of an Israeli special forces soldier who fakes his death to move to America and become a hair-stylist. "We get it all of the time. We love Adam Sandler, I can't even tell you how much. I love his movies, I love everything about this guy."
Both have applied many of the skills they gained on the battlefield and applied them to the salon. "The military gives you a lot of aspects of working in a salon as being a team player and be able to not be pressured. You know how to handle with stress."
For these battle tested soldiers, styling hair is more than hobby. It's an opportunity to have a positive impact on other people's lives. "I love that we get to communicate and talk with so many different people with so many different stories." "To be able to make a change in a person, to be able to make a person be happy about themselves, I think it's a gift, a gift to make people happy."