If you’re one of the many men suffering from hair loss, you’ll be glad to know that there are some well-researched, FDA-approved treatments available.¹ These treatments do not offer magical fixes, but if your hair loss is due to male pattern baldness, they can effectively stop hair loss, preserve the hair you still have, and even regrow hair you thought was gone for good.
Keeps is a subscription-based telehealth solution that’s focused on hair loss treatment and prevention. It offers a diverse catalog of hair and scalp care products and FDA-approved medications for hair loss. Is it the right choice for you? We’ve tested its services and also tested the competition, so we’ll help you decide.
Keeps offers some of the most reliable hair loss products on the market at significantly low prices. It has doctors who can provide you with a prescription and guide you through the entire process so you get the most out of your treatments. Follow-up consultations aren’t free, and shipping costs $5, but those are among the few negatives we’ve encountered.
- Convenient online consultation process — and your initial consultation is free
- Board-certified physicians registered to practice in most states
- Unlimited messaging with your doctor
- Discreet home delivery
- Less than half the cost of buying at a traditional pharmacy
- Hair restoration surgery available in New York City with plans to expand
- Get 50% off your first order, offered exclusively to our readers
- Treatments are limited to male pattern baldness
- Medical consultations are not available in six states or the District of Columbia
- No insurance or FSA/HSA options available
- Follow-up consultations and shipping each cost $5
Keeps gives men a convenient and discreet pathway to proven treatments for male pattern hair loss. Get 50% off your first 3 months!
Keeps’ telemedicine service allows a doctor to review your hair loss and medical information and then recommend the best treatment. No trips to a doctor’s office or a pharmacy. Everything arrives at your doorstep.
- Why you should trust us
- How we evaluated Keeps
- What is Keeps?
- How Keeps works
- What makes an ideal candidate for Keeps?
- Are Keeps treatments safe?
- How much does Keeps cost?
- Finasteride from Keeps
- Minoxidil 5%
- Minoxidil + finasteride for generalized hair thinning or loss
- Other hair loss products and services from Keeps
- How to get started with Keeps
- Medical consultation with Keeps
- Frequently asked questions about Keeps
- How Keeps compares to the competition
At Innerbody Research, we extensively test each health service we review, including the products and services offered by Keeps and its competitors. All told, our team has spent over 1,100 hours researching hair loss in its various forms, its prescription treatments, and its non-prescription alternatives.
We’ve gotten hands-on with treatments from the top hair loss solution providers, including Keeps, to get a sense of the ordering processes, customer service, and product quality. Our team has read through more than 200 scholarly articles and scientific studies dedicated to hair loss and its treatments.
Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this review was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy. We’ll continue to track developments from Keeps and its competitors to keep this article and adjacent content up-to-date.
Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions to live healthier lifestyles.
We examined four key areas in our evaluation of Keeps — the same kinds of criteria we apply to any hair loss service. We consider these in isolation, looking at Keeps as a company all to itself while also comparing its products and services to those of its main competitors. Ultimately we found Keeps superior to the field in almost every respect.
We begin with treatment options, which speak to Keeps’ potential effectiveness in treating your hair loss. There are many prescription and non-prescription approaches to treating hair loss, particularly androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness. You’ll find that Keeps offers the most well-researched products available, as well as some non-prescription approaches that may work on their own or serve as excellent companions to prescription treatment.
After treatment options, we consider cost, an area where Keeps consistently performs well. There are a few caveats we’ll get into below, but most men will find they save more money going through Keeps than anyone else.
Our last two criteria — convenience and customer support — involve everything from website design and shipping logistics to chat support and consultation experiences. As with treatment options and cost, Keeps is among the best telehealth companies we’ve encountered for overall customer care.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these criteria to see how we came to our conclusions.
The effectiveness of your Keeps experience will have a lot to do with your specific treatment regimen and hair loss goals. A man who’s been completely bald for years will not see a big improvement by just using a thickening shampoo. But even men significantly far along in their hair loss have options from Keeps that can be quite effective.
With finasteride and minoxidil as its primary treatment options, Keeps delivers the two best-known answers for men fighting hair loss.² ³ And it offers the latter in both solution and foam form, so you can determine which application method suits you best. There is also a combination of topical finasteride and minoxidil — a new addition to the Keeps lineup — that has tremendous potential but is still a little pricer than other treatments.⁴
When it comes to ancillary treatments, the Keeps Ketoconazole 2% shampoo is an excellent addition. It’s not technically designed to fight hair loss, but its anti-dandruff capabilities can cleanse and care for the scalp, which helps inhibit hair loss and promote new growth. Supporting this with the company’s thickening shampoo and conditioner helps complete your regimen.
Where Keeps could bolster its product lineup would be in the supplement space. For example, it puts saw palmetto and biotin into its thickening shampoo, but most studies show that these ingredients work more effectively when ingested than they do when applied topically. By comparison, Hims offers biotin gummies that provide some nourishment to hair, skin, and nails, and Nutrafol — a company explicitly focused on hair loss supplementation — offers complex multivitamin and botanical combinations that aim to replace finasteride as a treatment option. Still, we believe Keeps remains the best place for most men to start their treatment journey.
Keeps has some of the most competitive prices in the business. Its products come in three-month supplies that renew and ship automatically, so you don’t have to worry about running out of anything you use. The price you see on the page is lower than those of competitive products, but it’s also worth noting that the prices of its products by volume are also lower. One ounce of its shampoo, for example, is cheaper than one ounce from Hims, Keeps’ top competitor. Innerbody Research readers also get 50% off their first order with our promo code, which makes Keeps the least expensive place to start treatment among all the companies we’ve covered.
Keeps provides you with a free initial consultation to determine which products may be best for your hair loss goals. The doctor also follows up a few weeks later to ensure you’re having a positive experience using the product and not dealing with any side effects. After that, you get unlimited messaging with your doctor for free, and if you want to have another consultation for any reason, it costs $5. That’s a little less ideal than a system like Hims, where follow-up consultations are always free.
Shipping is a similar letdown to Keeps’ consultation costs, with a $5 charge per shipment. Compared to Hims’ free shipping, that’s a disappointment, but if you can afford to order larger quantities up front, those shipping costs dissipate quickly. That’s because shipping charges apply per shipment, so if you get a six-month supply of finasteride, minoxidil, shampoo, and conditioner, the total shipping cost is still just $5.
From a convenience standpoint, you want your experience to be fast and effortless. Keeps’ website is the first aspect of the company you’ll encounter, and it’s simple and easy to navigate. You can quickly see what products it has to offer, read a little bit about each one, and learn in-depth information about hair loss all in a few minutes. The Hims website can be a little more confusing simply because the company has so many other products to offer that don’t have to do with hair loss.
Once you decide to get started, you can set up a quick doctor consultation and receive a prescription for your specific hair loss issues. Your order bills and ships automatically every three months unless you choose bi-annual or annual shipments. Getting back in touch with your doctor is as easy as writing a message in the patient portal or scheduling an inexpensive follow-up, many of which are available as soon as the next day. This is pretty similar to a company like Hims, which also offers various billing and shipping options.
When it comes to the convenience of treatment routines themselves, that depends a lot on the treatment path you ultimately adopt. Topical solutions like minoxidil or the finasteride and minoxidil combination tend to be a little messy and frustrating, though they also carry a lower risk of anything but mild side effects. Minoxidil foam might be more convenient for you, depending on your hairstyle, but it is slightly more expensive. Oral finasteride is the most convenient option, as it requires only a once-daily dose of oral medication — a single small pill that’s easy to swallow. That couldn’t be easier, but there are some drawbacks to finasteride that we’ll discuss below.
Insider Tip: The solution can be very messy and undesirable if you use the dropper bulb for anything other than filling the dropper. Don’t squeeze the dropper when applying the liquid to your scalp. Instead, simply tap the end of the dropper on a portion of exposed scalp — touching the surface of your scalp like that will release a droplet of the solution onto it. This is a good, controlled way to apply the minoxidil drop-by-drop across your head, without the liquid running down your face or neck.
Keeps’ customer care is an exceptional part of the experience. It starts just a few moments after you visit the page when its live chat feature pops up. Actual people, instead of bots, helm this feature. They can answer a whole litany of questions regarding various products and services on the site and will readily walk you through the process from start to finish. Keeps and Hims share similar qualities of phone and email support, but the Keeps live chat is something with which Hims can’t compete.
After you get started with Keeps, the company reaches out to you time and again to let you know that your doctor has established a suggested treatment plan, to give you shipping updates, and to check in on your progress with its products. You also have access to its care team 24/7, so if you notice something you think might be a side effect at three in the morning, you can ask someone about it.
Keeps is a telehealth service dedicated to treating hair loss, specifically androgenetic alopecia in men. It conducts almost all of its business online, where its customers can speak with doctors and receive prescriptions for various hair loss treatments. The company also sells several non-prescription treatments and secondary products like shampoo and conditioner.
It appears as though Keeps has no plans to expand outside the realm of hair loss, which holds it in stark contrast to a company like Hims; Hims offers many of the same treatments you’ll find from Keeps but also has systems to deliver primary care, mental health services, and treatments for sexual dysfunction. Keeps’ focus on hair loss gives it an advantage in research, however, and we’ve seen the company expand in both its product offerings and its services, which have grown to include hair restoration surgery.
For most men with male pattern hair loss (androgenic alopecia), Keeps offers products that work to stop hair loss and regrow hair. Keeps offers several hair loss treatment options with multiple successful clinical studies.
According to a 10-year-long, 532-patient Japanese study on finasteride, 91% of men saw either a reversal of their hair loss or cessation of disease progression with increases in hair density within the first year.⁵ A similar German study on minoxidil with over 930 participants showed that a 5% minoxidil solution effectively reduced the size of bald spots in 62% of patients and stopped the progression of hair loss in another 35%.⁶
Evidence suggests that combining the two medications works more effectively for men than either treatment by itself.⁷
The entire process of consulting and establishing a treatment plan with Keeps happens online. Once you select a treatment plan, your medicines and products will ship straight to your home.
Keeps’ full list of services and products is as follows:
- Medical consultation and free messaging with your doctor
- Finasteride tablets (1mg) taken once a day for receding hairlines
- Minoxidil 5%, foam or solution, for hair thinning at the crown of the head
- Finasteride tablets + minoxidil as a combination treatment
- Topical finasteride combined with minoxidil
- Ketoconazole 2% shampoo for scalp health to relieve dandruff and itchiness
- Thickening shampoo you can use alternatively with the prescription shampoo
- Thickening conditioner you can use after shampoo treatment to add moisture and strength to your hair
- Thickening pomade for styling your hair
- Hair restoration surgery
There are states in which Keeps’ telehealth prescription services are not legally permitted. You can still subscribe to over-the-counter products like minoxidil and the company’s hair care products, and those prices remain among the best you’ll find. But for prescription products like finasteride, you’ll need to visit a doctor locally if you live in a state that restricts telehealth. If your doctor gives you a prescription for finasteride or a ketoconazole shampoo, you can use that prescription through Keeps to save on the cost of medications compared to going through your local pharmacy. Insurance companies won’t cover the cost of hair loss treatments, as they deem them cosmetic — even in cases of chemotherapy-induced hair loss.
Here’s a list of states and territories where Keeps can’t provide a telemedicine consultation:
- New Mexico
- Puerto Rico
- Washington D.C.
- West Virginia
Most insurers consider hair loss treatments to be cosmetic, so insurance companies or eligible for HSA/FSAs rarely cover them.
Keeps is ideal for men who are suffering from androgenetic alopecia and who want an at-home interface for getting both non-prescription and prescription hair loss treatment with established track records of success. Androgenic alopecia is hair loss that occurs when an overabundance of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) causes damage to hair follicles. If a doctor has recently mentioned to you that you have male pattern baldness, this is what’s going on. Finasteride is particularly adept at inhibiting the conversion of testosterone into DHT, and Keeps can provide you with both the prescription for finasteride and the pills themselves for a remarkably low cost. (And they have topical finasteride now, too.)
Oral finasteride and the newer topical option are two of Keeps’ offerings. Another well-studied treatment is minoxidil — a non-prescription, topical alternative to finasteride that may be good for men or women with androgenetic alopecia or other forms of hair loss.⁸ Minoxidil’s interaction with DHT is less well understood, but one of its mechanisms of action appears to be improved circulation to the scalp, while another seems to involve certain gene expressions.⁹ That’s how it can still provide benefits to people with hair loss, even when DHT isn’t involved.
Of course, there is no magic bullet against hair loss; the best way to tackle it is a combined approach, often mixing prescription and non-prescription regimens. Your free consultation with a Keeps physician is the first step toward figuring out which treatment or treatments will be right for you.
Who isn’t a good fit for Keeps?
Keeps is our testing team’s most highly recommended path for men who want to treat androgenic alopecia. It’s not right for everyone. For one thing, though minoxidil is a treatment for women as well as men, Keeps’ solution comes in a 5% strength that is only recommended for men. The 5% foam is considered suitable for women and men. (Other companies, such as Hers, offer minoxidil solution at the 2.5% strength recommended for women, with the same level of at-home convenience.)
Keeps doesn’t offer every possible treatment path for men. At this time, Keeps isn’t a good option for you if you want to explore hair restoration surgery unless you live in New York City. Keeps also doesn’t manufacture or sell laser caps for hair loss. And some men may want to explore the possibility of taking micro-doses of oral minoxidil for hair loss; this could be attractive if you hate topicals but don’t want to risk any of the side effects of finasteride, however unlikely. Oral minoxidil micro-dosing is a treatment you’d only be able to explore if you see a dermatologist in person.
Keep your expectations realistic
Fighting male pattern hair loss is a matter of maintenance, in that you will continue to stop hair loss as long as you continue with treatment but will resume losing hair if you stop or pause your treatment. It’s also important to keep in mind that both of Keeps’ most effective treatments for hair loss (finasteride and minoxidil), whether taken together or separately, require months to produce visible results. They start working to prevent further hair loss immediately, but because of how they fight hair loss or promote hair regrowth, you shouldn’t expect to see positive results until you’ve been taking the medications for 4-6 months.
To get a better sense of what you can expect from either medication, you should check out our collections of before-and-after photos for finasteride and minoxidil.
Keeps offers various treatments for hair loss, and some are safer than others. That said, most of the side effects associated with its treatments are mild and easily resolved. The most severe side effects are linked to finasteride, which can impact 2-3% of users with sexual dysfunction. That percentage is low among the worst side effects of many prescription medications, but if you’re going into treatment, it’s important to know. It’s why you have unlimited messaging access with a doctor. If you begin to notice sexual side effects from finasteride, you can reach out and get answers quickly.
Since Keeps’ other treatments are topical, they mostly share the same potential side effects, including itching, burning, or general discomfort on the scalp. Minoxidil foam is generally considered to be a bit less irritating than the solution, so you might want to start there if you’re interested in topical treatment but want to guard against potential irritation. New users also generally find the foam a little easier to apply.
Keeps is relatively new to hair restoration, which can have cosmetic side effects like scarring along the scalp, but this has become far less common over the past few decades. And since you have to show up to receive that treatment in person, you’ll have all the time you need to speak with a doctor about your concerns and even have your scalp examined before going under the knife.
Keeps has some of the most competitive prices on the market, and Innerbody Research readers get 50% off their first order with our promo code. Check out this handy chart below to see how much you can save.
|First Order Price (3 mo. supply)||Innerbody Promotional Price||Rx Needed?|
|Minoxidil 5% Solution 2 fl. oz.||$33||$17|
|Minoxidil 5%Foam 2.11 fl. oz.||$50||$25|
|Finasteride 1mg and Minoxidil Solution||$108||$54||
|Finasteride 1mg and Minoxidil Foam||$125||$63||
|Topical finasteride and minoxidil combination||$180||$90||
|Ketoconazole Shampoo 4 fl. oz.||$30||$15||
|Thickening Shampoo 8 fl. oz.||$22||$11|
|Thickening Conditioner 8 fl. oz.||$22||$11|
Finasteride is one of the most popular FDA-approved treatments for stopping male pattern baldness. At Keeps, the finasteride-only subscription includes 90 1mg tablets; you’ll take one tablet daily. Studies show that it can stop hair loss and regrow hair for many people with male pattern hair loss when taken accordingly.¹⁰ You should not expect to see any regrowth for around four months, but consistently taking it should yield results.
Better known by the brand name Propecia®, finasteride is a type of drug called a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. 5-alpha reductase is a substance that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This conversion process plays a significant role in male pattern hair loss, as excess levels of DHT are a key player in androgenetic alopecia. Finasteride and other drugs of this kind treat hair loss by preventing the conversion of testosterone into DHT in the first place.
This treatment program is the best for men over the age of 20 who have a receding hairline. But finasteride is also effective for male pattern baldness in general. Two-thirds of men with male pattern hair loss at the hairline successfully stop the hair loss using finasteride. Four out of five men with crown/vertex hair loss succeed in eliminating their hair loss with finasteride.²
Insider Tip: You may have to acknowledge a finasteride disclaimer your doctor sends you via the Keeps messaging system. If you fail to do this quickly, your doctor may claim they are unable to make a diagnosis. Don’t worry. Simply message them back as soon as you can, and you’ll have another chance to acknowledge the disclaimer.
Side effects and safety considerations
Finasteride requires a prescription because it isn’t suitable or safe for all men. You can get your prescription easily through Keeps’ medical consultation as long as the Keeps doctor concludes that you have no underlying medical conditions that make finasteride unsafe for you. That said, finasteride has a side effect profile that includes potentially significant sexual side effects in 2-3% of patients.¹¹ Those men may experience symptoms of erectile dysfunction, problems with ejaculation, or loss of libido.
It’s important to note that there is controversy around finasteride, with some studies showing more significant risk than others. Many of the studies purporting the highest risk levels — notably including sexual side effects — look at 5mg doses designed to fight benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), as opposed to the much smaller, 1mg dose used for hair loss.¹² That alone makes the results hard to compare.
Studies also don’t seem to agree on the long-term safety of the drug. At the 5mg dose, some studies purport symptoms of androgen deficiency over the course of many years.¹³ But few studies look at the long-term effects of 1mg finasteride as they pertain to healthy hormone levels.
If you notice any such side effects, you can use the Keeps messaging system to reach out to your doctor or schedule a consultation to discuss your options.
This treatment is best for those with mild to moderate hair loss or thinning around the top of their heads.
Minoxidil 5% (often sold as Rogaine) is a topical treatment that can stop hair loss and begin to regrow some hair. You apply it directly to your scalp twice a day. It can take up to three or four months before you notice any results.
Keeps offers minoxidil in two different forms: solution or foam. They’re both equally effective and require the same application frequency, so the differences are mainly practical and a matter of your preference.
Minoxidil solution. For $33 every three months, you will get three bottles containing two fluid ounces of Keeps minoxidil solution each. The solution needs to be applied using a dropper, which can be more challenging than the foam until you get the hang of it.
Minoxidil foam. For $50 every three months, you will get three cans containing 2.11 ounces of minoxidil. Some people feel that the foam is easier to apply, especially those who are new to the minoxidil routine. It also contains fewer added ingredients. If you have sensitive skin or contact allergies, the Keeps foam is a safer option.
Insider Tip: The foam, while generally more disruptive to hairstyles that need product, is faster to apply and gentler on your scalp. If you experience any itching, our tip is actually to order a set of both the foam and the solution versions of minoxidil for a total of six months of product. Then, use the foam treatment on days when your scalp is feeling itchy or at times when you don’t care about a bit of messy hair after it dries; use the solution when presentation is more important. If your scalp tends to get itchy from the solution, you’ll find relief from establishing a routine where you sometimes use foam. (Your best choice could be foam at night and solution in the morning, for example.)
How minoxidil works
Minoxidil works differently than 5-alpha reductase inhibitors like finasteride. When used topically for hair loss, only 2% of it absorbs deeper than your scalp. Minoxidil’s original purpose was blood pressure reduction as an oral medication, but early patients reported unwanted hair growth, which led to studies of its topical potential.
Precisely how minoxidil works for hair loss is still not completely clear, but it acts as a vasodilator in the scalp, widening the blood vessels there and promoting an increase in blood flow. The resulting increased delivery of oxygen and nutrients in the blood may be what helps men fight hair loss.³
Additionally, the increased blood flow seems to encourage ailing hair follicles to jump into a new hair growth phase (called the anagen phase). And some studies have found a potential link to hair growth through a change in gene expression caused by minoxidil.
Two-thirds of men can stop their male pattern hair loss using minoxidil. About half report hair regrowth at the top of the head, and 20% of those using minoxidil at the hairline see noticeable regrowth there.
Once you apply minoxidil, you have to leave it in place for four hours. That means you shouldn’t apply it too soon before showering or going to bed, as the latter action can result in a transfer to your pillowcase and then to other parts of your body where you may not want to encourage new hair growth.
This minoxidil + finasteride bundle targets men with both a receding hairline and hair loss at the crown. The shipment includes 90 tablets of finasteride 1mg, plus either three bottles of minoxidil solution or three cans of minoxidil foam.
Evidence indicates that this combination treatment yields the highest success rate. These medications work well together, treating male hair loss in different ways.
Keeps doesn’t provide any additional discount when you buy these two products together, but that’s not atypical of the industry. Hims, Keeps’ largest competitor, also gives no additional discount for pairing the two treatments unless you purchase them as part of a larger bundle that includes additional products and a higher overall price.
Topical finasteride and minoxidil combination
A more recent application for finasteride has been topical, used in the same way that minoxidil has been applied for decades. The idea that led to the research was simple: could topical application have a positive effect on hair loss and a noticeable reduction in sexual side effects enough to supplant oral finasteride? For the most part, the answer is yes. Studies have shown that topical finasteride in a combined solution with minoxidil performs about as well as the oral finasteride and topical minoxidil combination.
The best part of the topical finasteride approach is that it virtually eliminates sexual side effects, with a more than 100-fold decrease in plasma levels of finasteride compared to the oral medication.
The downside to this treatment is that it’s more expensive to manufacture and consequently costs more than the oral finasteride and minoxidil combination:
|First three months with Innerbody discount||Every three months after that|
|Topical finasteride 0.25% and minoxidil 5%||$90||$180|
|Oral finasteride 1mg and minoxidil 5% foam||$63||$125|
Given that only 2-3% of men experience sexual side effects from oral finasteride, that might be the better place to start if you’re at all budget-conscious. And if you’re one of the unlucky few to experience those side effects, you can try switching to the topical application.
Ketoconazole 2% shampoo
This is a prescription-strength antifungal shampoo. It doesn’t stop or treat hair loss directly but instead aims to combat severe dandruff or scalp itchiness that doesn’t respond to over-the-counter alternatives.
The Keeps 2% ketoconazole shampoo subscription includes a bottle of 4 fl oz of the shampoo delivered every three months.¹⁴ If you use roughly one teaspoon of it to wash your hair two or three times per week, it should last that long.
Most cases of dandruff result from a sensitivity to a common fungus called Malassezia globosa.¹⁵ This fungus is present on almost every human scalp, feeding on the natural oils there. But some people are significantly more sensitive to its presence, which can cause dryness, itchiness, and flaking.
That skin damage harms hair follicles and only gets worse when those follicles get gummed up with excess dead skin cells. By using an antifungal shampoo, you can reduce the presence of Malassezia globosa on the scalp, reducing stress on the follicles you need to protect if you want to fight hair loss.
Additionally, this study proposed that ketoconazole would help block DHT at the scalp when used in conjunction with finasteride.¹⁶ Another study showed that 2% ketoconazole yielded positive results to the same degree as 2% minoxidil in fighting hair loss (though typical minoxidil solutions have a 5% concentration).¹⁷
In testing, we found the shampoo to have a subtle smell, with its medicinal elements not too overpowering compared to other anti-dandruff shampoos. It didn’t take a lot for our testers to get their scalps covered and massage the product into place. Every one of our testers reported a significant feeling of cleanliness afterward, with one tester noticing a slight improvement in his dandruff after a few uses.
Several of Keeps’ competitors offer thickening shampoos and similar products, but Keeps is the only company we recommend that offers a prescription-strength ketoconazole shampoo.
Thickening shampoo & conditioner
If your hair loss hasn’t progressed to the point where you want prescription or intense chemical intervention — or if you want products to support your hair as you simultaneously use more aggressive treatments — you could opt for Keeps’ non-prescription shampoo and conditioner. Both products contain many natural ingredients, and they are vegan and gluten-free.
A three-month supply of either the shampoo or condition costs $22, with your first three months cut in half ($11) when you use the Innerbody promotion.
The shampoo contains a handful of ingredients that show promise as supplemental treatments for hair loss. It uses saw palmetto to reduce the presence of DHT on the scalp, albeit with far less efficacy than minoxidil. It also contains biotin to help improve the strength of your hair and caffeine and green tea to improve hair quality and stimulate hair follicles.¹⁸ ¹⁹ The extent to which any of these ingredients work is minimal at best, but they aren’t totally ineffective.
Insider Tip: If you usually use inexpensive shampoo, you may be disappointed by the thickening shampoo’s lather. Don’t be. Most shampoo lather results from harsh chemicals, and Keeps’ products only contain things that are good for your hair and head.
The conditioner contains many of the same treatment-oriented ingredients as the shampoo, but its formula aims to moisturize the hair above all else. Our testers who used minoxidil solution recommended using a conditioner like this as well. Maintaining moist and healthy hair is an integral part of keeping hair loss at bay, as it can prevent breakage that can increase the appearance of thinness.
Our testers appreciated the softness of the shampoo’s aroma, which was slightly minty. It is a little on the thin side, so pour slowly at first until you get used to its consistency.
Generally speaking, you don’t want to wash your hair more than two or three times per week. If you use the ketoconazole shampoo already, you may not need the thickening shampoo. But if you need to wash your hair more regularly due to intense workouts or work-related grit and grime, using the thickening shampoo alternatively with the prescription cleanser is a smart move. And you can and should use the thickening conditioner after the application of either shampoo.
Styling products can be a little rough on your hair, so Keeps offers a thickening pomade that contains many of the same helpful ingredients you’ll find in its shampoo and conditioner (e.g., biotin, caffeine, and saw palmetto). It’s also free from gluten, ethanol, and propylene glycol.
Keeps Thickening Pomade costs $25, which is a little steep for a pomade, but not way outside a normal price range, especially considering its beneficial components. It offers a medium hold and a matte finish, which should work for most men, but if you’re someone who needs an extremely stiff product or likes a lot of shine, it might not be for you.
Keeps recently opened a hair restoration clinic in New York City. Hair restoration — often referred to as a follicle transplant — is a surgical procedure that excises tiny patches of hair follicles from healthy areas of the scalp and grafts them in areas of hair loss. It’s an outpatient surgery that isn’t terribly painful and has a relatively quick recovery time of around 10 days, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
The biggest downside to hair restoration surgery is cost. Keeps is up-front about the fact that it can only provide cost estimates, as everyone’s surgery is unique. The number and difficulty of grafts will change from patient to patient.
Here’s how the pricing of hair restoration breaks down with Keeps:
|Price estimate||Number of grafts|
|Thinning at the crown||$9,000-$12,000||1,500-2,000|
The other downside to the process, at least for now, is access. Keeps only has a restoration facility in New York City. That means you either have to travel to New York or wait until a facility opens up closer to you to receive the treatment. There are other well-known companies that offer similar treatments, like HairClub, and you can also speak with your dermatologist about a recommendation for surgical centers near you.
Getting started with Keeps is a pretty straightforward process. In a few steps, you can have a package full of hair loss tools on its way to your door.
Insider Tip: Setting up a profile on your phone is the best way to go. It’s a lot easier to take pictures of your head (especially the back) with a cell phone than it is with a laptop or desktop computer.
Step 1: Choose a plan
The first time you visit the Keeps website, you can click on the ‘Claim my offer’ button and choose a treatment option based on the nature and progression of your hair loss:
- Finasteride alone for receding hairlines
- Minoxidil alone for hair loss at the top of your head
- Finasteride and minoxidil as a combined treatment for generalized thinning, hair loss in both locations, or severe hair loss
If you aren’t sure which one you want or how to classify your hair loss, don’t worry. You’ll be able to make adjustments throughout your consultation process and before anything ships to you.
Step 2: Complete your profile
Whichever option you choose, the site will direct you to its screening questionnaire. This questionnaire includes both the standard profile information (shipping address, contact details, and password) and a medical survey. Your answers go to one of the doctors for review, and they will prescribe medication if finasteride is needed and suitable for you to take.
The questionnaire includes:
- Information on your family history
- The onset of your hair loss symptoms
- Your lifestyle habits
It also asks about any potential allergies or pre-existing conditions. Finally, it asks you to send pictures of your hairline and the top of your head. Our testers found these questions were polite but direct, getting to the heart of the matter without making you feel judged.
If you live in a state where telemedicine is not legal, you will not be able to complete this medical questionnaire. Instead, Keeps will give you the option to send them a prescription from an external doctor. As long as the prescription is for finasteride or 2% ketoconazole shampoo, you’ll be able to join a subscription plan and get those medications shipped to you.
Step 3: A doctor reviews your information
After completing the questionnaire, your information goes to one of the doctors on staff. You may need to wait up to 24 hours, but the overwhelming majority of patients receive an answer in less than four hours. Our testers heard back after only a couple of hours.
If you choose a specific subscription plan during step 1, the doctor will ensure that the medication is indeed what you need and nothing but what you need. Then, they will send you a prescription to match these criteria.
If you choose to “Let the Doctor Decide,” they will send you a prescription based on their medical opinion.
Insider Tip: Keeps will send you an email after your doctor approves your prescription with a link to officially submit your order. Make sure you follow the link and click “Submit order,” or your prescription will not ship.
Step 4: Wait for your medication
After approval, it will take up to 5-7 days for the medication to arrive on your doorstep. Most parcels ship via USPS, but you can request a specific shipping service, and Keeps will accommodate this when possible. You can use the provided tracking number to ensure that your package has shipped and is on its way.
Keeps’ medical consultations combine an interactive online questionnaire with pictures of your scalp or problem areas and, in some states, a telephone conversation with a doctor.
Your first consultation is free of charge and gets you unlimited access to your doctor. Your follow-up consultation a year later will be $5.
Right now, these medical consultations serve four purposes:
First-time review. A licensed physician reviews each person’s information when they first sign up to ensure that their type of hair loss is a fit for the program and that they’re not at high risk for any adverse effects from finasteride or minoxidil.
“Let the doctor decide.” This type of initial visit helps patients who don’t know if they should be taking finasteride, minoxidil, both, or neither.
Follow-up consultation. This service is for people who have already started their program between six and eight weeks prior. During this consultation, a licensed physician will discuss your treatment experience and check whether everything is proceeding as it should. Our testers had their doctors reach out via email in a friendly but professional manner, and a simple reply was all that they needed. Afterward, you will need at least one $5 consultation each year so that Keeps can continue to refill your prescription.
Patient-prompted consultation. If you have any additional concerns or notice any adverse reactions, you can request a further consultation at any time. These also cost $5, and you can often speak with a doctor within 24 hours through your patient portal.
Does Keeps work for hair loss?
Keeps offers products that work for men in study after study — specifically finasteride and minoxidil. In clinical trials, these two products stopped hair loss in the majority of participants and even reversed it in around half, causing new hair to grow. Its supplemental offerings help protect your scalp while strengthening and nurturing your hair.
Is Keeps safe? Are there side effects?
Keeps’ products are safe to use under the supervision of a doctor, whether that’s your own physician or a Keeps doctor. Finasteride is the one medication it offers that has some worrying potential side effects. Some men (2-3%) will experience sexual side effects from the drug, including low libido and even erectile dysfunction.
Minoxidil and ketoconazole may produce some sensitivity in the scalp, and minoxidil may encourage hair growth on other parts of the body with regular contact. These are rare instances, however, and Keeps’ doctors are readily available to address any of your concerns.
Does Keeps protect my privacy?
Keeps takes its clients’ privacy seriously. Keeps is a part of Thirty Madison, a large medical company that offers a wide array of services. This has allowed Keeps to access better security protocols for its website, as well as a pool of HIPAA-trained employees.
Any information you send them during the consultation or questionnaire stage is encrypted. This includes any pictures of your hairline or scalp that you send to its doctors.
How fast and expensive is shipping?
Keeps sends its shipments through the USPS at a cost to you of just $5 per shipment. The company can ship anywhere in the United States (though its medical consultations are not available in every state for regulatory reasons). After you place your order, Keeps will email a shipping update with a tracking number you can use to follow the shipment to your door.
Most shipments take 5-7 business days. Shipping materials are as discreet as possible – a plain brown box. To meet legal requirements, Keeps labels individual bottles with the patient’s name, medication type, and concentration.
Does Keeps accept insurance?
Unfortunately, it’s rare to find an insurance plan that will cover hair loss treatments, as most consider them cosmetic. Keeps’ main goal is to help people attain effective hair loss treatments at the lowest cost possible.
Therefore, Keeps chose to avoid insurance claims altogether. It also doesn’t currently accept Health Savings Accounts as a form of payment, but it hopes to do so in the future.
While Keeps and Hims are similar in some important ways — and we at Innerbody Research think highly of both telemedicine companies, based on our testing — there are notable differences as well. In most cases, our pick in this face-off is Keeps. Here’s a summary of some major factors.
Both Keeps and Hims offer finasteride and minoxidil as medications for treating hair loss. Both also offer thickening shampoo and conditioner. Keeps has a prescription ketoconazole shampoo that Hims does not offer.
Hims has biotin gummies and a slew of products not related to hair loss that Keeps doesn’t offer. Ultimately, Keeps has hair loss as its sole focus, giving them an edge in targeted treatment and research. Both companies offer 24/7 messaging with a doctor and free initial consultations. Follow-ups are free from Hims; they cost $5 with Keeps.
In just about every treatment category, Keeps has slightly lower prices than Hims. Over time, these savings can add up, which is why we think Keeps has the edge here, even with its $5 shipping fee. Hims’ prices are still outstanding, but the base prices from Keeps are often the lowest. And since Innerbody readers can get 50% off their first three months from Keeps, it makes more sense to start there and see how you like the service and products.
Here’s a look at how the two companies compare for the monthly cost of prescription hair loss treatments and minoxidil over those first three months. We’ve applied the Innerbody discount to Keeps, and to be as fair to Hims as possible, we also added in Keeps’ shipping costs:
|Minoxidil 5% Foam||$10||$20|
|Minoxidil 5% Solution||$7||$15|
|Finasteride 1mg + Minoxidil Solution||$20||$37||
|Finasteride 1mg + Minoxidil Foam||$23||$42||
|Topical Finasteride + Minoxidil Spray||$32||$45||
|Rx Ketoconazole Shampoo 4 fl. oz.||$7||N/A||
Keeps and Hims are quite different in terms of the care they provide. Hims offers health care in several areas, such as sexual health, hair health, primary care, and mental health. Keeps is focused entirely on hair loss treatment. So if you are focused on hair loss, we believe you can sometimes benefit from a provider with the same goals.
Both companies honor your privacy, protect your online security, and use discreet packaging. At this time, Keeps’ medical consultations aren’t available in every state in the United States, whereas Hims can offer consultations in all 50 states.
For hair loss, as long as you live in a state where Keeps can offer consultations, we think your best choice in most cases is Keeps rather than Hims. But we have an entire page dedicated to analyzing and comparing these two providers, so you can drill deeper by visiting our Keeps vs Hims page.
Like Hims, ScalpMed offers similar non-prescription products to those seen on the Keeps website. Some key differences might make them worth your while, but as we’ll discuss, these differences come at a cost.
ScalpMed doesn’t offer finasteride, but its hair loss package does revolve around minoxidil. The key difference here is that ScalpMed claims to have a unique patented formula containing minoxidil that can outperform others. Its studies show that its additives prevent minoxidil from evaporating or absorbing too quickly into the scalp. Those studies don’t show whether this increased exposure time has any additional effect on hair loss.
ScalpMed also offers hair care products similar to those from Hims and Keeps, with biotin and other ingredients designed to inhibit DHT and care for the scalp and hair. That line includes something only ScalpMed offers: a hair-thickening spray. Combining panthenol and vitamin B5, the spray has the potential to increase elasticity and moisture retention in individual strands of hair, making them appear thicker and keeping them well-nourished. A scalp detoxifier and a supplement containing biotin and Beta-sitosterol round out its lineup.
For the most part, ScalpMed’s products are more expensive than those from either Keeps or Hims. Whether its patented formulas justify this cost is unclear. The fact that it has some original products might make it worth investigating and possibly worth the extra cost.
Like Keeps, ScalpMed focuses solely on the problem of hair loss. It offers targeted treatments toward women, however, which is something you don’t see from Keeps. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any doctor’s network to speak of, as none of its treatments are prescription-strength. A short questionnaire leads you to a recommendation, and the whole process feels decidedly less medical than that of the competition. Learn more in our full ScalpMed review.
HairClub (formerly Hair Club for Men) provides a few different approaches to fighting hair loss. It sells various hair and scalp care products, but its hallmarks include dedicated systems for regrowth, replacement, or restoration. Each involves at least one trip to a HairClub center, each of which operates as a franchise. There are a little over 100 centers in the US.
The hallmark product line that HairClub offers is its EXT system. You can get the main haircare products online, but actually going into a clinic for these regrowth treatments is the way to do it. They include salon services, scalp massages, and laser therapy.
Hairclub’s replacement services are complex, non-surgical procedures that match your hair up with real or synthetic hairs that are woven into your existing strands or added as a kind of high-tech semi-permanent hairpiece that looks incredibly real.
Finally, its restoration services are essentially the same style of hair transplant Keeps offers at its New York location. Surgeons take donor follicles from one spot on your head and move them to where you’ve already lost hair. HairClub can combine this technique with others to create an impressively full head of hair that’s all your own.
Compared to any of the other services we’ve mentioned, HairClub is the priciest. It provides in-house treatments on a subscription basis, the least expensive of which is nearly $200 per month.
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