I feel like my natural dreads are at such a blah stage. A few questions.
id recommend you keep on-top of separating them. Though you will get loose hairs and what not I feel it is better to keep them maintained at least in a separating sense. I didn't do anything with separating my dreads for around a half a year and this weekend I started to attempted to break up some of the congos. Let just say it wasn't that enjoyable. Some of my hairs were joined to dreads from pretty great distances. For example dreads from the side of my head where grasping hairs growing out of the back of my head. The worst was towards the back of my head. I spent most of the weekend just "picking" at my head trying to separate each hair individual so I didn't have to make any drastic cuts and ruin any dreads. I'm actually still not done the separating process.
Now that I've gone of on a tangent of my own experience, I think it is better to separate where and when you see fit. It is better than having to do it when dreads are already committed to dreading with each other. Saves you some pain and time in the long run.
And addressing the loops and stuff that is normal.