You get to control the size of your dreads. We recommended one inch or smaller where the section of hair meets the scalp. This is only due to drying times, once mature, this size can take 24 hours to fully dry. Any sections larger than this can take days to dry inside the inner core of the dread and need to dry out in between washes or mold can set in. People who grow fat dreads know the special care needed, like not swimming every day...they must dry out.
Dreads will always want to join onto each other, even mature dreadlocks. So you just gently rip them apart unless you want them to join. Only do it when necessary, otherwise let them be. Some need to do it weekly, some monthly, you will know what's needed for yours.
If you are using products from www.dreadlockshampoo, the liquid form is a locking up liquid which helps quicken the journey. But both bar and shampoo keep them nice and clean.
Gary, you are still truly free form if you separate your dreads, so don't worry about that part at all. Enjoy the rest of your ride...peace