After much reading through the memories (great info by the way) I decided to attempt a single dread. Long story short, I have different texture (curly vs straight) hair behind my ear. I assume this is a result of many years of shaving the back of my head with a straight edge razor. I find it optimal (for me) for a dread and I have attempted it twice with little success. The natural segregation of the hair back there follows the hairline. In other words, If I let it come together by neglect, I end up with a 1 1/2 - 2 inch by maybe half inch section. If I embrace that and just make it wider making the section more evenly distributed I end up with a huge dread. My goal is to have a dread of about 1/2" maybe slightly bigger but definitely not looking for a 2 inch dread. For such a goal, how much of a footprint should I gather at the roots in order to get the desired thickness, keeping in mind that my hair is very thin?
Here's a picture of my last attempt:
ETA: This is the result after attempt 3
These two are to show the curly hair and how it hides the newly created dread :/