The hair on the top of my head was not touched for the remainder of 2004. I did, however, keep cutting the back to allow the top and front to catch up. I did this to avoid any kind of 'mulletlike' appearance. It was also a logical step towards my goal of achieving all one length hair.
Here is my hair in January 2005, one year after the butchering in January 2004:
It felt great to finally have regained this amount of length. Of course, my journey was really just beginning. I enjoyed steady growth and here was my hair six months later in July 2005:
I continued with my routine of getting the back trimmed every six months or so. Hair grows fastest in summer and by the end of August my hair had lengthened to:
From about the summer of 2004 I had entered the period of growing known as the awkward stage. This is the time when one's hair is long enough to look 'messy' but too short to reach a tie in the back in which all the hair will fit. There are various ways of dealing with this stage. Some wear hats or bandannas but these aren't always acceptable in certain settings. I relied on gel to slick my hair straight back. Although this tended to create a hair helmet look, it kept things comparatively neat and it worked well for me. Here is what my hair typically looked like as shown in this October 2004 photo:
I also would wear halftails which became possible long before a full tail:
Then came the moment of transition that every longhair awaits eagerly, the time when all of one's hair will reach a tie in the back. By September 2005, I pretty much had achieved this:
By the end of 2005, I felt like I truly was a longhair and was very happy with my progress. This was my hair in December 2005: