I have certainly had the feelings you describe, days of looking in the mirror and going, "what was i thinking? i look horrible!!" and then i have days (way more often) of thinking "this is part of the walk i'm on, and things are going just right".
I work as a nurse in an ICU, and my coworkers have gotten curioser and curioser the longer i've been dreading, so questions have become more frequent and pointed. the washing question is by far the most popular one. fortunately, i'm pretty secure and don't value the opinions of others much, so if it's my coworkers asking, and being respectful, i answer w patience and continue educating on dreads. on the other hand, one physician who is always a condescending smart ass has made some comments about my having a head injury (i was wearing a wide white headband that day) and something else about the dreads which i can't recall at all (that's how important it was to me), and in light of our professional relationship and my lacking the need to always have the last word, i simply ignored him. on a positive note, he hasn't said anything else about it for a few weeks now.
so i hope you can find peace, whatever you decide. my advice is to go with your gut feeling, whatever feels right to you, but give it enough time that it is truly a decision and not a knee-jerk reaction to this negativity you're feeling.
peace to you!