Just for a point of reference for you. I had my hair crocheted and combed the crochets out in January. After that I went natural for 6 months but didn't see any progress so after the 6 month period I Twist and Ripped my hair using the sections that had formed naturally during the 6 months of going natural. They were basically just like separate strands they hadn't begun locking up at all I haven't counted but there is probably 20 or so. I'm actually glad I did it this way because the shape and size of the sections are quite random rather than starting with a perfect grid that most people do. About a month or so after I did the TnR I got some of Vicky's Dreadlocks Shampoo which made a hell of a difference.
So now I'm about 10 months in from when I first combed out the crochets and about 4 months since I Twist and Ripped and these photos are from now.
As for cutting off the Twist and Ripped bits as you said before here's some close ups of a couple so you can see they just look like normal dreads.
As for combing them out when I combed out the crochets I stopped using dreadlock shampoo and used my wife's normal shampoo and conditioner for 2 weeks to soften my hair up before I started to comb them out. From then on it took me 2 weeks to comb them all out in which time I carried on with normal shampoo and conditioner. From when I combed the last one out I went back to dreadlock shampoo.
I don't think you will necessarily need to do this as your hair is still really loose where as mine were really tight from the crochet. One thing though is I would look for a wooden comb. I actually already had a beard comb which I used. Maybe just pick 1 dread and see what you can do with a comb and some soft combing, not too hard so as not to break the hairs. Maybe give that a go for 10 minutes and see the progress. Then another 10 minutes and then another. If it seems to be going OK then keep on with it but I would definitely do 1 at a time rather than a bit of all of them to find out you are damaging the hair too much.
Hope this can help you in some way. Any questions just give me a shout.
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