The amount of length immediately lost when starting locks is dependent on your hair type and the methods used to start locks.
Comb coils, two-strand twisting, and braidlocking often makes tightly coiled and kinky hair types appear longer. This is because these methods stretch out the natural curl pattern and can make each individual hair seem longer.
Backcombing tends to make baby locks look the shortest, but the tight setup may loosen a bit over time to give a bit of length back. Twist-and-rip locks lose less initial length than backcombed locks, but they are still subject to shrink during the maturation process.
Between the startup and the final stages of maturation, your hair can “lose” up to half of its apparent starting length.