The long-romanticised idea of a pregnancy glow and thick lustrous hair is believed to be real. Post-delivery though, the scenario is completely different. Not only do you have panda eyes from all those sleepless nights spent nursing, but you also have to also deal with hair fall thats alarming. Be prepared to find your pillow strewn with those pesky strands or an excessive amount of them clogging the drain.Theres nothing to feel bad about though! Postpartum hair fall is a natural phenomenon, one that nearly every woman goes through in her journey as a mother. Let us break it down for you scientifically.The average woman loses around 100 strands of hair every day before she gets pregnant, says gynaecologist Kaveri Prakash. During pregnancy, the body produces excessive estrogen and progesterone, two hormones which stunt the constant shedding of hair, and make it look thicker and more lustrous. Once you deliver a baby, these estrogen and progesterone levels come back to normal. So, its time to shed regular hair, plus all that unshed hair from your pregnancy also starts falling alongside. At this stage, it is normal to lose around 300 400 strands of hair a day. Postpartum hair loss usually starts around three months after delivery and lasts for around six months, but can stretch to a year in some cases. It usually stops on its own and hair fall returns to normal, but if you find youre still suffering from it, figure out if there are other underlying issues such as thyroid or iron deficiency that have developed after your delivery. The important thing to remember is that you are not alone, and around 90 per cent of women across the world suffer from postpartum hair fall.No one is immune to postpartum hair fall. Soon after actor Anushka Sharma became a mother with daughter Vamika, she put up a picture on Instagram with the caption When post baby hair fall makes you appreciate a good haircut even more. For Sameera Reddy, motherhood brought on even more severe after-effects, when she was diagnosed with alopecia in 2016 after the birth of her son. On a social media post, she wrote, What Is Alopecia Areata? It is an autoimmune disease. When you have Alopecia Areata, cells in your immune system surround and attack your hair follicles. This causes the attached hair to fall out which causes patches of bald spots. I got diagnosed with it in 2016 when Akshai saw I had a 2-inch bald spot at the back of my head. In one month I discovered two more patches. It was really hard to deal with. She added, Alopecia Areata does not make people sick, nor is it contagious. It can, however, be difficult to adapt to emotionally. For many people, Alopecia Areata is a traumatic disease that warrants treatment addressing the emotional aspect of hair loss, as well as the hair loss itself. And though right now I have healthy hair with no patches (that I am grateful for every day) I've been told I have to be aware it can come back at any point in my life. I do take homoeopathy and I holistically hope to keep it at bay.Although Reddys case is a rare and extreme one, which very few new mothers have to face, her discussion paved the way for conversation around postpartum hair fall and encouraged many new mothers to be honest about their experience with it.Postpartum hair fall might be difficult to combat, but you can make life easier with a few simple steps. Gurugram-based dermatologist Prakriti Reddy offers some tips:1. Make vitamins and doctor-approved supplements a part of your postnatal care. Biotin is especially important for hair growth. Vitamins C and E are also vital for cellular enhancement. Iron and zinc are other key nutrients to prevent hair fall.2. Supplements are great, but you also need a diet that is nutritious and fulfilling. Eggs, spinach, and other leafy vegetables, whole grains like oats, carrots, avocadoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, lentils, and walnuts are all good to prevent hair fall. They also have other added benefits. And get this, caffeine is a hair stimulant, so you neednt feel guilty about getting your daily cuppa.3. Dont wash your hair more than twice a week. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner which are geared towards preventing hair fall and breakage. If youre able to pick up a brand with natural ingredients, thats even better. Avoid brands with parabens and sulfates.4. Oil your hair twice a week with a mix of castor and coconut oil. Hibiscus oil is another great hair follicle stimulator. A lot of brands have reputed specialised blended oils to deal with hair fall. You can use these as well.5. Switch to satin or soft cotton scrunchies to hold back the hair. This way, youre not putting extra pressure on the strands.6. Avoid chemical treatments at your salon such as straightening or hair colouring. On the upside, hair spas are great, especially those that offer hair fall solutions.7. Reduce stress levels. Stress is directly linked to excessive hair fall, so practice mindfulness and meditation. Always keep your outlook on life positive.8. In case you need further intervention, visit your dermatologist or gynaecologist before starting off on any medication or course of treatment.So, if you find that hair fall has suddenly crept up on you a few months after motherhood, show yourself some self-love and self-care while dealing with the process!