Alright, so the first bit of this- don’t panic, and take it with a grain of salt, okay? I’m not trying to worry you, just convince you and give some reasons to back up my opinion on the issue! 🙂
First, here’s a video of my opinions of the pros and cons of using the bands in your hair: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X27zgcznHeI
Actually, using rubber bands to hold your roots together is a pretty … not so good way of doing that.
The rubber bands restrict movement of your roots, and restriction of movement prevents locking (this is the same reason we encourage people to remove or change the location of wraps on their young locks).
Another issue with those little rubber bands is that they are damaging to your hair. In brushable or locked hair, they tend to get tangled up in your hairs and break them as you try to remove them. Doing this once or twice will not cause substantial damage, but repeated or long-term use of rubber bands can cause more substantial damage to your hair.
Another other issue with rubber bands is that they can get lost in your hair. If you put in 50, you might not find all of them. The ones that get left behind may cause weak spots in your locks. They may become horribly tangled in your hair and be painful to remove. They may sort of “erode” in your hair after repeated washing, drying, and exposure to the elements. That is a bit icky looking if you have lost one for that long.
Now, your locks won’t be ruined because you put rubber bands in them. I really encourage you to take all the rubber bands out and to have a friend help you make sure they’re all gone. Your roots will lock better without being constricted by the bands.
I, too, have straight hair, but with root rubbing and crochet hooking (only crochet hook once per month), I was able to keep my roots tidy and staying together. These methods are explained on our maintenance page: http://dreadlockinfo.com/maintenance
Obviously, maintenance is your personal choice. Some people (like myself) choose to heavily maintain their locked hair while others choose to leave their locks mostly alone. As long as you separate and wash, you can choose any maintenance you wish to do beyond that.
Another important thing to do is to separate your locks daily. Take 5 minutes every day and make sure the roots of one lock aren’t eating up the base of another lock, and make sure the parts between all your locks feel clean. This can be done by touch, and will go faster than you think. Here’s a video I’ve made about that topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22XC3HiA5Hw
Also, at one month, don’t worry too much about your locking progress! The locks are gonna do what they please, and they will lock up beautifully in their own time. At 3 months, they’ll be doing well, and in 6 months, they’ll be great! At one year, they’ll be simply fabulous!
If they unravel a bit, it may be due to the fact that your hair is a bit too short. I hope this helps you!!
If you have more questions, you are welcome to ask.