How do I manage my hair now that I've given up my flat iron?

As a child I was convinced that my 3C hair was ugly. My mom didn't really know how to style my hair because my grandmother never taught her how to manage her hair. As a result my mom always straightened her hair. I always wanted my hair to look like my moms because the other kids in school would laugh at the funny looking ponytails and braids she would give me. So I never really learned how to do anything to my hair besides straighten it. All the straightening has really taken a toll on my hair and it's fried and frizzy so eventually I decided to go cold turkey from my flat iron. So for the first time ever I attempted to wear my natural hair which is now 3B. While it was wet it was curly and soft but when it dried it just turned into a wreck. So I attempted again a few days later, this time I added some product, but still my hair became a mess when it dried. So I wore a scarf over my hair for an entire 2 weeks until my hair appointment to get box braids. The braids have been in my hair for 6-7 weeks now and I'm procrastinating at taking them out. I just don't know how to manage my hair once I take these braids out and I'm terrified that all my classmates will laugh at me again like everyone did back when I was in elementary school. I just am completely lost. Honestly, I'd just shave all my hair off if I thought I could pull off the look.

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