In general, expect to lose about 20% to 30% of your hair’s length when backcombing. If you want to see how much that is, measure your hair to get its current length, do some computations or simply Google how much is 20% or 30% of your current measurement, and deduct that amount from your current hair length. This will at least give you an image of the length you will end up wit

However, there are a lot of factors that will determine how much length you are going to lose.

Split Ends

Depending on your stylist or your personal preference you have the option of cutting off your split ends before locking your hair or leaving them to be locked. Sectioning

Choosing to have rounded ends for your locs will also affect the length of your hair. You can lose up to 1 inch to 3 inches of hair in this case. Larger sections of locs will also cause your hair to shrink a lot since more hair will be needed per inch of dreads to fill the width of one section. So if you already have short hair to begin with, you may not want to lock large sections of it.

Thin or Fine Hair

This can also be a problem if you have thin or fine hair. Thin refers to the density of your hair, while “fine” refers to the thickness of each strand of your hair. You will need more hair to form a solid section for it to actually lock together, so having thin or fine hair will cause a lot of shrinking as well.

Layered Hair

Having a layered haircut will also make you lose a lot of length. When backcombing, you usually start from the roots, working your way down to the ends. Once you run out of hair to work on, obviously, you can’t continue to backcomb since there won’t be anything to comb. If your hair is layered, you run out of hair sooner because you will have to stop at the shorter layers of hair.

The good news is a lot of people actually don’t lose any length from their hair at all. If you have been taking good care of your hair and getting your regular trim that you don’t have any split ends to worry about, if you choose to leave the ends of your locs wispy and loose, and if you have average hair density and thickness, then you will not see any loss in length.