I had my 24" of hair backcombed and crocheted in December of 2015, only to emerge with spiky 6-8" dreads and a sore scalp. I didn't really know there was a viable "other way", and tried to accept the outcome. Due to my professional work environment, I errantly thought I couldn't do free-form dreads, and got a lot of support from websites and a few local people for going somewhere to get them "installed". I thought that though the two processes were different, the result would be the same. Obviously I was misinformed.
The results were far from what I imagined, given my previously flowing hair. I emerged with , side-show Bob-ish noodles sticking out from my head. I tried to convince myself that I would like them in time. They did get better as they grew and loosened, but when I became dismayed at the loops at the roots, I went in for more crochet--unknowingly perpetuating the vicious cycle. I hated the maintenance--it was costly, painful, and didn't represent who I am. I have never spent a lot of time or money on my hair--that's one reason I wanted dreads in the first place. I was told that "it was up to me" but that most people feel the need for maintenance every few months. I was made to feel that if I didn't get it, I wasn't "taking good care" of my dreads.
So $500 and one year later, here I am. Ready to ditch the hook. Though it sickens me that I made such a poor choice, I am really happy to finally understand why I wasn't really happy with my hair. I'm excited about the possibility of doing this more organically second time. I can't wait to release my scalp from the tension it is feeling at this very minute. I'm trying to decide whether to comb them out or just let them grow. Does anyone have any opinions or anything to help inform my decision? I'm leaning toward coming them out at this moment because my scalp is really sore.
updated by @barefoot-sensei: 01/22/20 09:33:16AM