okay buckle up....
I have dreads, Ive had them since last January. I got them because I liked the way they look and I still do. They hit just a little past my shoulders right now. As for getting them go to Dreadheadhq.com and read their ssite thoroughly. The main thing to do is research them fully before getting them. Before I got mine I researched them off and on for about two years. The method Id say is best is backcombing, I got mine done in a salon and They backcombed and also crocheted mine. I would say use wax to start if you want, BUT USE VERY LITTLE IF ANY. The place that did my dreads used wayyyyyyy too much wax and I had a hell of a time washing it all out. If you and a couple friends (girlfriend, etc) feel comfortable doing them yourselves then let them do it. If not, go to a salon and spend the money to do it.
As for washing them, I wash mine 3-4 times a week, I play college football so during the season I wash them more than 3-4 times per week.
The main problem you will have working against you is time. Everyone (me included) wants their dreads to look perfect right off the bat... and that is not the case at all. For white people it takes about a year for your dreads to start looking legit. Yes theyll look dreaded throughout that first year but IMO a year is about the time where it starts too look legit. Another problem is summer heat, along with long hair in general, its hot as hell. But, if your dreads are long enough like mine are you can just pull em back in a ponytail etc.
Also, society doesnt accept dreadlocks so you will have to battle with the usual people saying. "OMG DID YOU PUT HONEY IN YOUR HAIR?!" or my personal favorite "YOU DONT SHOWER BECAUSE YOU HAVE DREADS" You will have a lot of people looking at you funny and asking you the most random questions you could ever think of. Enjoy it, embrace it, and be kind to the people interested in them.
If you have any questions PM me, I currently have a deactivated facebook account so I cant post a picture of myself.