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It’s no secret. Many women are com-fortable seeking the services of men when it comes to beauty and reproductive health. We sought to find out why

Evelyn Makena @evemake_g

Grooming and reproductive health are issues that are close to a woman’s heart. When seeking professional services in these areas you would naturally expect that women prefer their fellow women since they understand the issues based on their personal experiences. However, it’s not always the case.

Ironically, women feel more at ease seeking the services of male hairdressers and gynaecologists. It’s, therefore, no surprise that these two fields that deal with women issues have a sizeable number of male professionals.

Juliet Nekesa has entrusted the delicate duty of safeguarding her reproductive health to a male professional for the past seven years. Nekesa observes that male gynaecologists keenly listen to their patients.

“They do not take any information you give to them for granted and are sensitive to the issues you discuss with them,” she notes. Her previous experience with female gynaecologists was not pleasant. According to her, women gynaes often brush off a patient’s concern even though they may at times pose serious risks in the long run.

The care of male professionals in the field is different. “They are not judgmental. Even if I go to him frequently with various concerns he will not start judging me,” she says. Nekesa adds some women gynaecologists tends to compare their experiences to hers.

“Using their experience as a reference point on how to handle a patient may not always turn out well because every woman is different,” she adds. Nekesa, however, cautions women to be careful not to fall to predators in the name of professionals. She recounts of how she had to terminate the services of one male gynaecologist after she realised that he was out to take advantage of her.

A study from John Hopkins School of Public Health, USA suggested that compared to female gynaecologists, male ones were likely to pay more attention in understanding what the patient was going through.

They were more likely to paraphrase what the patient was saying to check if they were on the same page. Men in this field were likely to have heightened sensitivity about the anxiety caused by a gynaecologist’s exam since they have never undergone it.

Routine examinations like a pap smear might be stressful to women and male physicians likely to be gentler and take time to explain what they are doing as compared to female gynaecologists who may brush it off because they have the experience of what the process entails.

In the case of Benta Muhia, her preference for a male hairdresser is mainly based on the fact that they are keener on building relationships with their clients. It’s been a year since she sought the services of a male hairdresser and attests to liking the experience.

“I had been going to female hairdressers before. In cases where I did not like their services it would be difficult to complain because they would blow it out of proportion,” says Benta. Registering a complaint with her current salonists is easier since he rectifies on it without complicating issues. She says male hairdressers pay her more attention.

“He takes time to advise on what is best for me and what will not work. He also goes an extra mile to ensure that I am comfortable while making my hair,” she says. Sam Karanja, a hairdresser popularly referred to as Sam De Salonist, says that forming good relationships with their clients is what sets them apart.

“I keenly listen to my clients and try to make them feel comfortable. For me it’s not just about offering a good service, but ensuring that our clients are also treated well,” he says. Men in the field try harder to bond with their clients and do not take it for granted as they would like to make a mark in a field traditionally thought to be a reserve for women.

Also, a man would want to show off how good he is for his own ego. The result? Gorgeous looking hair and a happy client who in turn will be sure to let her “girlfriends” in on the hair stylist’s prowess.

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