Dreads too tight! Causing mold or buildup. My dreadlocks also seem too dry!
Say dread. Twist and rip is not for our hair type. You honestly would've been better off with just twisting and leaving your hair alone. But whats done is done.
Black folks hair is naturally fragile and is not elastic like other hair types so our roots have to be strong to bear the weight of the hair that is dreaded. This is why black women braid their hair to make it grow faster. Our hair individually is extremely weak and breaks when too long, but when braided or dreaded long weak stands become stronger as one (like a single stick compared to a bundle of sticks). Everybody's roots join, but our hair IMO benefits the most from this. When you rip your roots you are weakening your dreads support system. If you do separate only do so with SINGLE loose stands of hair that is wet. Once your roots are rooted or anchored I wouldn't force them apart. Also stop twisting. You're gonna twist your dreads right off.
The smell if, like SE said, it doesn't smell like a refrigerator gone bad is merely the natural smell of your hair and scalp. It's what I call head sweat and is a byproduct of your body purifying itself much like BO and is unique to each person. Like what your hat or durag smells like after wearing it for awhile.
No need to mess with the loose strands. They will either marry into a nearby dread or a bunch of your loose strands will dread into one new dread.
As far as buildup is concerned I would use that neutrogena only once to remove any buildup you can. But remember. Any product you put in your will leave some buildup. A lot of these non-residue shampoos have oils in them which do not completely rinse out, hence the scent they leave behind. However, they leave behind the least amount of residue. I would use a castille soap/shampoo like Dr. Bronner's, or Kirk's castille soap. and also an herbal rinse of mint tea, rosemary, and sage. Check out Cupidvalentino1's videos on youtube for more info.
I don't understand what you mean by your dreads are too tight? You have to realize that our hair curls like no either. So when you assist this process I guess you twisted your hair tightly then your hair naturally twisted itself, which our hair does. If you want to loosen them one thing I did to to moisturize my hair was I cut a stalk off my aloe vera plant and rubbed the juices on my hair. I let it set for awhile then I rinsed. Super soft. Or you can use acv, which I now avoid, after a baking soda wash, and that will loosen your dreads.
Blow dry your hair on a cool/cold setting or drive with the windows down.
I used to use coconut oil, but it became unnecessary. The herbal rinse and drinking more water (staying hydrated) has made my hair the softest and most moisturized its ever been without being too greasy. Also the aloe vera helps.