Wow, even though my hair has always grown long, I don't think I've let it grow quite this long since I was pregnant with my son (over 17 years ago!). So this is where my SLs have brought me after a mere year and I really like the results. Looking at these pics makes me wish I'd have remembered to measure my hair while it was down yesterday, but I didn't think of it at the time.
I have an up-do at the moment which I am also loving, so I won't be taking it a down for a minute. My consultant and I have agreed to start clipping off the relaxer at my Jan 08 retightening. Unless I change my mind and delay the inevitable a bit longer, I plan to have all of the relaxer off by the spring (I need at least a little something to keep my head warm until then). I think I have about 6" of natural SL'd hair right now so it will feel and maybe look like a drastic change, but at the same time I am looking forward to seeing how my locks look "totally naturale".
I feel especially blessed to be able to pass on the experience and message that if for any reason you are a sister that prefers to keep some or all of your relaxed length while your SLs are developing, first of all know that there is no shame and nothing wrong with this approach. This is your journey and, as such, you never need to feel that you have to justify keeping your relaxed ends for or to anyone. Assuming you've chosen SisterLocks because you want to go totally natural, you'll likely already be aware that the relaxer has to go eventually and you'll want that. When, how fast and how much is totally up to you, keeping in mind input from your consultant. Second, keeping your relaxed hair can be done without bunching and tangling drama, as long as your consultant knows how to manage it correctly and you follow her instructions. There are some consultants that won't install SLs with any relaxer still in the hair. This is way cool too. In my case, I was extremely fortunate to find a consultant who, among other things, knew how to work with relaxed ends and who also put my relaxed hair in the SLs pattern (as you'll see elsewhere in my blog and/or in my Fotki, I began this journey with approximately 3" of natural hair and my total length was at least 8", probably more). It would be many months before I realized that she had even done this; I guess I just never thought about it until I kept reading posts about others having trouble with their relaxed ends. It was sort of like a lightbulb moment. Since relaxed hair will never lock (at least prob not in my lifetime), my consultant did this for the sake of manageability and consistency (I'm actually guessing this because I keep forgetting to ask her why she made this choice, but knowing her professionalism and dedication to her work ... ). Besides being extremely precise, my consultant also has the added advantage of being very fast, so any extra time added on to do this during my installation was minimal. Thank goodness! Just more proof for me that Divine Guidance led me to her (and Lord knows I said some serious prayers about this thang before I jumped in) and to Sisterlocks!!