You ought to take some shots of these characters and overlay them as you progress through development. It's kind of hard to see what you've changed. Maybe make an animated gif that just fades between them.
The hair in the back does ease up very quickly, as though it's in two sections- octopus style and merely tense style. Maybe use a few strands in between those levels of curly, but as you said it's still tentative (this is just my humble opinion). Still, wow- your models always have this flavor to 'em that I love. Keep up the awesome work!