I backcombed and palmrolled. To deal with the tips, I roll them around on my palm (as described on dreadheadhq). My hair was mostly straight, but I'd gotten a perm a few months before all this, and it was still partially there, and I've dyed my hair and bleached the bangs before dreading.
I bought some pomade from Cafe Earth in Great Falls, MT; I used it to keep frizzies somewhat controlled and put it in the dreads about once a week (using this til my knottyboy stuff gets in).
I haven't washed em yet, and I wear either a beanie/ski cap or a cotton scarf around my head at night, which keeps them down and back, and prevents me from looking deranged. I also use Febreze sometimes; smells good and seems to be doing good, thanks whover mentioned it. :D They get itchy sometimes, but it feels sooo good to scratch my head when I do! I got some lose hairs that I'm trying to learn to love, since they won't behave and go into a knot.
So far , so good. Parents have no problems with them, and I still love them.