“Are you in a play?” people sometimes ask Cayce Jane.
“No,” she has to say, “this is how I do my hair.”
Cayce Jane’s hair may be emerald or lavender or a blend of pink, purple, and teal. No matter the color, her preferred style is 1940’s victory rolls or finger curls. She calls it “vintage rainbow unicorn.”
“I think there’s something so luxorious about all those curls in vintage hairstyles that modern hairstyles don’t provide,” she said.
Cayce was interested in hairstyling since she was a young girl, but told herself that she had to do something else— those jobs were fallbacks, not something you pursued in college. But after starting a college degree in history, she finally realized she actually wanted to work in hair.
She enrolled in cosmotology school and mastered how to “wet set” her own hair, using YouTube tutorials— since cosmotology schools don’t usually focus on those retro styles— and lots and lots of practice.
During some of that time, she immersed herself in her love of an earlier era. She regularly wore full vintage outfits and pored over research on how women curled and styled their hair before electricity, let alone the thousands of products and devices now available at Sephora. Cayce has even used vintage recipes to recreate homemade setting lotion from the 1940s.
“It did work really well,” she said.
Like most people sometimes experience, Cayce has struggled with wearing the style and look she wants.
“It took me a long time to leave the house confidently,” she said. That happened more often when she was in her early 20s than now, several years later.
“You just have to do it,” she said. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned is if you’re feeling unsure about it, you just have to run with it and rock it. Honestly, what I have found is that if somebody is wearing something and they have confidence, most people don’t question it. They’re just like, ‘Oh, you have that amazing pile of hair on top of your head. That looks great.’ But it takes a lot to not feel self-conscious.”
Now, she spends a little less time in the details of her own hair and more helping others achieve the look they want. At her current salon, Public Image in downtown Phoenix, Cayce regularly tops clients with vintage styles, but also expertly dyes, cuts, and styles other looks as well.