Hi there, It’s been a while since I posted but wanted to post this. It’s to encourage people new to this journey and to express the importance of patience, explain the tons of info I have learned all thanks to this site and all of it’s amazing members and the satisfying result that come with such patience & encouragement. It’s not much just a before and after pic & some insight on what I learned. Keep in mind everyone’s experience will be unique to them but there are some things that just go with the territory. . On my 1st day I thought this day would never come. There were issues that I didn’t even think would be resolved in a decent way such as the fact that my sides were shaved. The concern for what will happen as the new hair grows in and will it lock up the same way was always a huge concern. Here I am almost but not quite at my 3 year mark. June 9th is my 3 year anniversary. It’s like this, if you obsess over more than just washing & separating the time goes slow as molasses. If you don’t think about it past the thought needed to take proper care the times goes so fast that one day you’ll look in the mirror and BOOM you’ll have a magnificent mane of locs that you won’t even believe. The process has been so interesting and fun. I had quite the ugly stage that seemed to go on forever but I roughed it and got to the other side. I have only ever used the shampoo they sell on this site and it’s pretty much all you need. You don't need expensive products. Questions I have seen many ask as well as asked me: I have loops, lumps, bumps & loose hair should I use a hook? 1st of all NOOOO! 2nd Don’t worry about it because your hair will do exactly what it’s meant to do. How many locs do you have? I have no idea. I have lots of loose hair which is normal and with that being the case I find new babies all the time. How long did it take to mature? The ones from day 1took 2-3 years the rest- still maturing. Our hair is forever going through the process since it grows and new hairs will form into babies that mature fairly quick. Not to mention new growth. Something else I get asked alot is about new growth on existing locs and the answer is for my hair anyway - they just grow into the loc. No maintenance needed. They just grow that way. How much length will I lose? It may depend on how you started, your hair type & some other things but ultimately it will depend on how long your hair is. Basically you’ll lose a percentage of your length so the longer it is the more it will shrink. Since mine wasn’t that long it shrunk alright but it wasn’t that drastic so whenever I wished I started with longer hair I remember that. The reason for the shrinking -your hair is curling up into itself to create the proper knots to form your locs. It’s all part of the process. So remember if you ever feel discouraged, like combing them out of heaven forbid going to a salon just remember what I said. I have seen so many people posting about giving up but don’t. Patience is key! I hope this will helps at least one person feel better when feeling discouraged. it will makes this post all worth it. The below pic is me at 5 months and me today. Be well, Be safe and Peace!