Learning how to braid can be overwhelming. The more you do it, the more you learn. You continue learning new things every few months. I would like to harp on this idea of charging cheap rates for continuous periods of time. Under charging your work, time and effort can leave you feeling used at the end of the day.
When you are first beginning to braid, you charge at your experience level. So yes it means you just might be cheap for a while to get your self up and running. But its important that as you grow in experience, so do your prices. Look...I know times are rough and you can very well take whatever money you can get. But there comes a time when you need to step up.
I have heard many stories from young up and coming braiders. Who feel like they work so hard to do styles that take long periods of time to do. But they feel like what people are willing to pay doesn't equate. For example if your clientele are Uni students, don't expect to charge like a big dog. Expect to cater your services to them. Meaning styles that take shorter periods of time to braid, for example medium or large box braids. Be creative and come up with specials, like bring a friend..get $10 off your dutch braids.
Being creative, taking pride in your work, learning how to better yourself will refine your braiding game. Always be ahead of everyone else, think of things that no one is doing. Give yourself a time frame that you feel you can start to charge a bit more for you work. It can be in 8 months time, set a date, know by how much you will increase your prices.
Good braids takes great skill and is something that can literally take many many hours to complete. Its very physical and takes lots of patience and stamina. I started thinking my highest charge would be $200, even for work that would take me 9 hours to do. There is no way in hell I would charge that little for that amount of work. Think of Tattoo artists and hairstylists, they charge according to the amount of work and hours it takes. I go by quality of work and experience.
Remember you can cater to both those with lower funds and those with wider wallets. Dont get bullied into having to charge $120 for braids you know should cost more. Let them go elsewhere.
When you are ready to stand up for yourself it will be an easy transition