It's different for different folk. All my hair under started to dread first, the top of my head was the last lot to start knotting. But I know others that are the opposite and their hair dreaded on top first, so there is no answer. My hair took a ridiculous amount of time to dread considering it is a bit curly. I don't know why it took years rather than months. I had to regularly pull apart the early dreads 'rip' for a couple of years to stop it becoming one giant dreadlock. Eventually you no longer need to do that once they start behaving themselves. That's what's odd about it taking so long because once it really got going I couldn't stop my head from trying to become a giant dreaded rats nest. I wouldn't be surprised if I started another set that it would evolve differently and I'd Have different answers. So just go with the flow.
Hey thanks. I've trimmed them a bit by actually ripping the ends off a few. It's a bad thing to do, but they were thin, I actually tore a few inches off. Just went 'grrrrr' and yanked a lump of dread off. I might properly trim them a lot shorter soon. ( maybe)
And these super short front ones are slowly getting longer, not much for 7 odd years. But they'd been chin length for years, started growing again. Hmmm?
Nah, it's fine. But I wouldn't put beads in until they are more mature, keep them free for tangles and knotting etc. I only have a few, they usually go missing then I find some random odd thing and shove it in and forget it exists for ages. I washed my hair 8 hrs ago and the dreads are completely dry as a bone now just from the air.