Hair looks like a rat's nest
The average person will not be able to tell the early signs of locks. Just think back to every time you saw someone with nappy hair on the street, and didn't give them a second glance. For all you know they could have been growing locks, and only just stopped brushing that day or earlier that week. Baby locks do just look like a nappy rats nest. For some that stage only lasts a few weeks before their sections become more defined. For others, myself included, it can take over a year. I had a tangled mess for about a year before I saw even the resemblance of a dreadlock. Even now, the areas in between mature locks still looks nappy and messy. It dies down after a while, but healthy locks always look kind of messy. Loose hairs and frizzyness comes from not worrying about how you look to others and letting your hair do it's own thing. So don't worry if the back of your head is kind of a mess right now. It'll come together.
I didn't notice you mention it, but how long is your hair, anyway?
And yeah, if your locks are just knotted at the root, don't separate them. They only need separating as the start to web together along the body of the lock.
updated by @Baba Fats: 07/23/15 04:51:32AM