Although there might be minor variations depending on the style and era of the piece you’re performing (Mughal court dance vs religious dance); there are three main elements to every hairstyle you might wear for a Kathak performance. 


Also called a ‘hair switch’ or hair extension, the parandi is a three-threaded decorated hair braid. It can be tied to both the end of an existing braid (to give the appearance of longer hair) or on top of an existing braid (to add thickness). 


A gajra is a braided flower string used purely for a decorative purpose. It can be worn both on a bun and coiled around a braid. Although fresh flowers can be used, nowadays, artificially made gajra are more frequently worn. 


The maang tikka adds glamour to the hairstyle. It can be of different styles – straight, straight with sides to cover the forehead or side sitting ( if you’re performing a court dance).