Photo: Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images
Dreadlocks that are "mature," or older than six months, and those that have been started from neglect can get matted up. When this happens, the locks grow toward each other and start to merge, leaving your head looking like a fat sausage. Reclaiming sleek, even dreads takes a lot of labor and can be painful. In this case, you've got to suffer a bit for the sake of beauty and you can either shave your locks off, if the matting is extreme, or separate the mats one by one.
Pick up a dread cluster with your fingers and check it out in the mirror. Look for places where the hairs have merged together.
Pull apart the locked dreads, beginning at the ends. Work slowly.
Use scissors to snip apart a tough cluster that you can't pull apart with your fingers. Before you cut, follow the direction of the hairs with your eyes so you know where they're tangled. If you blindly cut, you could cut off a big section of hair.
Keep pulling until you get to the roots and have completely separated the matted hair.
Take a deep breath -- you did it! Then move onto the next tangle and repeat.