Hey everyone! I'm a total noob to the dread world!
i started with hair as 2-3 inches... It took me a long time to see the first knot [the first real knot i saw at the end of the sixth month, now i'm at 9.5 months], but after the first knot lots of them started popping on my head, and all of the hair on the back of my head are dreaded [shrinking like crazy, now i have some dreads that are 1 inch]... Only now some sections of the side of my hair started dreading [but most of them doesn't have any knots]...
You can start now. Maybe it will take a long time to dread, but i can assure you that in the end you will love it! Stop playing with your hair, it slows your progress, and your hands have natural oils... if you mess too much with your hair, the oils will get on your hair and this isn't good.
buy the locking up liquid shampoo from www.dreadlockshampoo.com it makes your hair and scalp a bit dry [not so much, it don't give you itches] and it really help your hair to dread.
Separate when needed [by my experience, i can tell you that starting with short hair you will have to be more aware about your sections, and shorter the hair, easier for them sticking at each other by the tips]
just be patient, gentle and love your hair and embrace your journey.
Hope my english make sense [ i'm learning by myself]