Freelance Work. Is It Worth It?


There isn’t just one path in the beauty industry. From freelance work to editorial hairdressing to renting a booth to salon owner to fashion show stylist, the multiple directions a stylist can take in their career is part of the reason that so many people get into the industry. It allows individuals to love what they do and expand in any way they desire to. 

 Leaving the salon for freelance or jumping headfirst into starting your own salon can be so rewarding, but it also can be so scary. Michael Dueñas knows this all too well. With a career full of experiences, Michael tells us on Volume Up by The Tease, that he would 100% jump into freelance again even after all he has experienced. 

Michael Dueñas never set out to be a celebrity hairstylist and photographer. Growing up surfing and spending time at his friend’s salon, he realized a true passion and gift for hair. While his career has been anything but laid back, his charming personality and unique talent has been attracting top level clients from the beginning.

Michael is a curly hair specialist, after training at DevaChan in Soho and becoming a master stylist and educator for them, his love for textured hair grew. Michael has been on the fast track, working with numerous celebrities and also —has been fortunate to have been the consulting celebrity stylist for Garnier, the brand ambassador for Schwarzkopf Professional, and the brand ambassador for Aloxxi International.

After several years working in New York, Michael moved his career out west and is currently based in Los Angeles. He has had the pleasure of shooting for editorials including Elle, Allure, Jalouse, FLAUNT, C Magazine and Nylon and works with advertising clients including GUESS, Aeropostale, L’Oreal  and Got2B.

Michael has turned his passion from beauty into much more.  Learning skills that benefit a brand from start to finish. He has helped brands launch unique and revolutionary products, designed packages to further their brand, and create stunning stand out imagery and video series.  He is truly a one-stop shop.

Jump over to wherever you may stream to hear about Michael’s fantastic, full career, his scariest moments, his work beyond hairstyling and his shared love of dancing with his daughter. 

“Two days later, I got a phone call. ‘Hey, you have to be at Mariah Carey’s house at 5 am.’”

“The scariest thing I ever did was leave the salon. A steady paycheck. I had a, not to toot my own horn, I had a massive clientele. I was set for what could be the rest of my life… ‘Let’s take this leap. I’m out.’ And that was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done to watch my bank account go from here to the lowest depths you can imagine, because it turns out when you are freelance you’re not doing eight clients a day five days a week.”

“And I was like ‘oh, why are these being hidden in the hair.’ And I started doing different styles with them and making them shown and not always hiding them. And just continuously doing that and that just became my thing”

Listen to the full episode here or wherever you stream and head over to our Instagrams @Readthetease and @volumeupbythetease.

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Madeline Hickey

Madeline Hickey is the Digital Media Producer for The Tease and Volume Up podcast. Beauty is the name of her game. Think you have the perfect guest for the podcast? Let her know:


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