hey there. i had my traditional locs for almost 6 years, started after 2 years worth of natural hair. like you mine felt heavy and i sort of felt like a hippy. i cut bangs (big mistake) and that was the beginning of the end for me. i got them cut off completely 5 years ago. i went with loose natural hair for awhile but wanted longer hair again and realized for me to achieve length again my hair does better in locs so this time i have sisterlocks and i'm happy.
i don't regret my original set of locs
i don't regret cutting those locs
i don't regret the time i spent with loose hair
i don't regret getting sisterlocks
i've been happy at every point and once i felt really inclined to do something i knew it was the right choice and i never looked back. plus, if my desire had been to keep my hair shorter, loose hair is nice. it's just for me, my hair was fragile and did better loc'd than loose for length.
here's some pics
of my hair at the longest lengths