Just the Tips
I cut on a slight angle. It blunted into a point
I hate to break it to you, but you were lied to. That soap is terrible for you. It may be ok for locks. But if you want to be healthy and not damage your immune system, trash it.
SLS, the first ingredient is a detergent, it's made to strip oils from car engines. Sure, it's in a lot of shampoos and conditioners, but it is extremely toxic.
There are a few other very questionable ingredients in there. HYDROXYCITRONELLAL is an immunotoxin.
If you want the best soaps for good prices, and that are not going to cause cancer, check out dreadlockshampoo.com
The BS is a base, which will dry out your hair even more and make it itch and brittle. The ACV is an acid which will reset the pH level of your hair and scalp make to normal. It will also soften your hair a bit.
ACV acts like a conditioner without leaving residue in your hair.
So, yes, it's needed after every wash. You don't need much for baby locks. In a gallon of water, you only need a cap full of it. You can add oils to this rinse too.
The only time you;d not use the ACV is if your hair gets oily fast. Then you'd not use it for a week or two, until your scalp stops getting oily. But then you're reintroduce it slowly
Baby locks should have some extremely loose roots. Usually between 1-3 inchs of straight hair. As they mature that shrinks. Mature locks have between 1/4 and 1 inch of loose hair there.
If it didn't lock by itself I'd have 5 inches of locked hair and 20 inches of straight hair. Eagle would have 5-6 inches of locked hair and 10 feet of straight hair. Roots lock and mat over time, on their own. The loose hair at your roots is what snags onto new growth. That's why you shouldn't mess with your roots. When people tighten their roots by pulling in loose hairs, they thin out their roots and make it so there is nothing for them to tangle with
There are a few discussions on dying locks. I dyed my hair all the time when it was straight, but I wouldn't recommend any of those techniques for locks.
What I can let you know is that some dyes make your hair slick and I've been told that it can undo some knots.
All that said, wax migrates. When you heat it up in warm water when you wash them, the wax moves. It may have only been in the bottom 3 inches at the beginning, but 3 years later, there's a good chance that there is some wax throughout the entire lock now. Cutting off the bottom 3-4 inches won't get all the wax out.
If you are set on cutting that part off, go ahead, but check out the dreaducation page and the wax removal techniques to get the rest of the wax out
SLS is a detergent and is meant to strip oils from your hair. The problem with it is that it is extremely toxic. A few other chemicals in there are questionable.
Dreadlocks take hours to dry. Mature ones can take between 5 and 24 hours depending on how thick they are. So they may squish a little right after you wash them.
But the fat that they were slimy sounds like it is probably oils and other dirty trapped in your locks. Wash 2-3 times a week for clean hair and scalp.
If you have soft water, Dr. Bronners is great. But the soaps Brittany mentioned is the best. The BS wash is just fine, and you can add whatever oils you want to it, which is super convenient
If you are growing them for any type of spiritual reasons, they don't have to took presentable, by law. But I understand the desire to. I make mine look neat when I go to interviews and work. A ponytail is fine, but tends to slow down the process. A tam would be better, because it allows for them to move around and brush up against eachother. A bandanna would work as a good middle ground and still look neat if you have a nice looking one