I'm a 30 year old female with 6 year old dreadlocks.
I've noticed in the last couple months that I have much thinner roots than I used to and some dreads are becoming thinner as well. There are larger gaps between the roots than there used to be. I'm guessing it was a gradual process. I didn't notice because my fringe was never locked and I was wearing my hair in a very tight bun with the fringe pulled back off my face. I can't stand my hair touching my face.
They were created with a crochet hook and I initially had about 40 dreads. I had them retwisted about 6 months after creation which I thought was fine, a little stiff for a couple days, but fine. The second retwist was at 2 years. This was a terrible job. The roots were super tight and the dreads looked ridiculous because he tightened about 3 inches down from the root and then left the rest thick. I couldn't really see what he was doing at the time. My scalp hurt for at least a week and I couldn't sleep without being in pain. I didn't get them retwisted after that, so it's been 3 years or so since I've done anything at all to them.
I've never really understood how to care for my dreads so I would often go a long time without washing. I used dry shampoo to make it look cleaner, despite actually making it worse. I'd say I had a very unhealthy scalp. The tension from my hairstyle caused major itching and I did not hesitate to scratch. This likely damaged the follicles and broke many hairs. I neglected to care for them for over 4 years. I'm under no illusions as to how I've caused my hair loss, I'm just wondering if it's fixable. Can I grow hairs back in the bald spots?
I've looked at many posts on here from people in similar situations but there's never any follow up so it's difficult to know if anyone has actually recovered.
I've started washing my hair twice a week since November and I massage my scalp for a few minutes every couple days. I use peppermint, lavender and rosemary oil in an almond carrier to massage a few hours before I wash my hair. I no longer wear it tightly pulled back and I've cut my dreads shorter to avoid any tension from weight.
What can I expect from recovery?