So this happened ...
I was warned and I know all the palm rollers out there are saying "I told you so." It's a well known urban legend that those who crochet hook are at a high risk of their dreads breaking off ... at any point in the day you could find your locs half the length they used to be. Like, don't roll down the car window because they might fly out or something.
Once again, like my run-in with dread rot, there is a kernel of truth to the rumors. Yes, an inch or so of the end of my dread broke off. The nature of dreads is that once they are mature, the oil from your scalp no longer distributes throughout your hair and you're literally hanging on to hair that otherwise would have shed and been washed down the shower drain by now. My dreadies are now well past my shoulders and nearly three years old so this shouldn't be a huge shock.
I do crochet hook, and probably over-crochet-hooked the ends in order to get them nice and blunt instead of having "paint brush" ends. Also, I shampoo and blow dry them too often, about once a week because I like to jog and get sweaty. This makes my already naturally dry hair even more brittle. I should be more mindful of a conditioning routine, but I can't find a good product to soften my dreads (dear readers, any suggestions?).
But a huge culprit, even more so than the crochet hooking, is the beads I used to decorate my locs with. I read a warning that they can cause weak spots. I wish this warning was as ubiquitous as the crochet hook panic! Those weak spots from the beads are EXACTLY where my hair is breaking off.
And finally, I may have overdone it on the palm rolling and especially the finger rolling. The dreads that broke are on my left side, precisely where I mindlessly finger roll out of habit at stoplights with my elbow propped on the interior of the car door. Woops.
The happy ending is that I get to do less dread management, including less palm rolling, while my dreadies recover. Hooray! Don't have to tell me twice.