Ethics in the Chair, and Behind It

I have a colleague who is will be on maternity leave for four months.  I will be seeing some of her clients while she is out. I appreciate the referrals, of course. However, there are two, so far, who must blow dry their own hair, she tells me.  I'm confused here, I thought it was my job to show clients how it can look before they go home. These women are in their 50's or 60's perhaps, and seem to be very bright, competent women.  I don't understand.  Are they just unwilling to give up control for a few minutes?  Where is the insistence coming from?  And, most importantly, how do I want to handle the situation when they are in my chair? This is my profession, and they are in my chair...I want to blow dry their hair and complete the service.  I wouldn't think to tell a professional how to finish their job, especially if it had nothing to do with the performance later at home.  In fact, I need to blow the hair dry, whether it is worn curly and dried with the diffuser, or worn straight and flat-ironed.  I can see when I am drying it, where I might need to remove weight, or remove corners or, length...running my fingers through it allows me to know where I need to finesse the cut.

I'm conflicted about how to handle this with these clients. Allowing them to take control, and for me to stand back while they do this, feels funny.  Because they are not my clients, I feel I have room to say, "This is not how I do it."  Should the client have what she wants, and we do everything to provide that, including handing the blow dryer over to them.  This feels awkward, like I'm abandoning my professional ethics.  I don't want to give up control. 

 If I do hand the dryer over, than I feel that is when my service is over, and I leave the room.

Posted on December 17, 2007 and filed under boundaries.