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Keeps Review: Do Keeps’ Hair Loss Treatments Work?

We tested Keeps -- find out if their treatments are effective and a good deal for you

Last Updated: May 21, 2020

Keeps Review

If you’re one of the many men noticing hair loss, the good news is that there are some scientifically backed, FDA-approved treatments available. The treatments do not offer any magical fixes, but if your hair loss is due to male pattern baldness, they can help you stop hair loss, preserving the hair you still have and even regrowing hair you thought was gone for good, as long as the follicles haven’t died.

Keeps is a subscription-based alternative for hair loss treatment and prevention. They offer a narrow catalogue and buy generic medication directly from a domestic lab, and this allows them to offer significantly cheaper treatments. They’re not out to replace your family doctor, just to provide you with a stress-free, affordable and discreet way to protect the hair on your head.

So is Keeps right for you? We’ve tested their service and products, so read on to find out!

Review Summary

Pros

  • Convenience – The consultation and entire process are online and medications will be delivered straight to your home.
  • Quality – Medical staff are board-certified and registered to practice.
  • A physician reviews every consultation to ensure it follows medical guidelines, and they follow up with their patients before a refill.
  • Affordable – The total cost is less than half than the cost of buying at a traditional pharmacy.
  • The first consultation and the first month of medication are free if you purchase a three-month subscription.
  • Prompt and efficient – The entire process (from sign-up to the moment the medication reaches your home) usually takes a week or less.

Cons

  • Treatment plans are proven effective only for male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia).
  • No live video call consultations, although you can request to speak to your doctor by phone.
  • Medical consultations are not available at all states, but their medication subscription option is, as long as you get a prescription somewhere else.
  • They do not work with insurance companies and are not eligible for HSA/FSA withdrawals.
  • Medications are only available through an auto-renewed three-month subscription. There is also an additional $3 delivery fee on each shipment.

Bottom line

Keeps is a solid company that we can recommend for people with male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia). Keeps’ single focus and limited treatment options (treatments proven to be quite effective) help them lower prices and streamline their medical checks to make them as simple and unobtrusive as possible. Keeps’ treatments will be ineffective for any other cause of hair loss aside from male pattern baldness. Compared to competitors, their most bargain-priced treatment option is the minoxidil, but the most effective treatment for most men is likely to be their combination treatment of minoxidil and finasteride. The treatment recommended for you will depend on your medical history, the characteristics of your hair loss, and your personal preferences.

Why you should trust us

Innerbody Research recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary online. Over the past two decades, we have helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions involving staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.

We extensively test each health service we review, including Keeps. We try our best to give you, our readers, an unbiased exploration of at-home health services, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We evaluate the service based on our adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?

Additionally this review of Keeps, like all health-related content on this website, was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.

How Keeps works

Keeps provides access to hair loss treatments through their website. The entire process of consulting and establishing a treatment plan happens online. Once you adopt a treatment plan, your medicine(s) will be shipped straight to your home.

The team behind Keeps set out to build a long-term solution from the very start, knowing that hair loss treatments like finasteride and minoxidil work as long as patients continue to use them. Unless you seek additional consultations with a Keeps doctor about your treatment plan, most of the process is completed before you receive your first treatment in the mail. After that, it’s a very user-friendly auto-renewal process, which can continue as long as you’re happy with the results.

What types of products does Keeps offer?

All the services and subscription packages that Keeps offers are meant to treat and provide advice about male pattern baldness. Services and products include:

  • Medical consultation
  • Finasteride tablets, 1 mg, taken once a day for receding hairlines
  • Minoxidil 5%, foam or solution, for hair thinning at the crown of the head
  • Finasteride + minoxidil – a combination treatment for generalized hair loss or hair loss/thinning both at the crown and at the hairline
  • Ketoconazole 2% shampoo for dandruff and itchiness (also available as an add-on). This prescription shampoo doesn’t treat hair loss.

If you already have a prescription or live in a state where telemedicine is not yet legal, you can also order any of the medication mentioned above on a subscription basis. This will cost you half or less of what you would pay at a normal pharmacy.

As hair loss treatments are listed as cosmetic, they are rarely covered by insurance companies or eligible for HSA payments.

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’ treatments for hair loss (finasteride and minoxidil), whether taken together or separately, will require several 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 three or four months.

How to get started with Keeps

This is how their service works:

1. Choose a plan

The first time you visit the Keeps website and click on “Get Started”, you will be immediately asked to choose a treatment option. This will depend on the type of hair loss you are experiencing:

  • Finasteride alone for receding hairlines
  • Minoxidil alone for hair loss at the top of your head (often referred to as the crown or vertex)
  • Finasteride and minoxidil as a combined treatment for generalized thinning or severe hair loss

If you don’t know which one you want, or can’t decide if you count as “severe”, you will also find a “Let the Doctor Decide” option right below.

2. Complete your profile

Whichever option you choose, you will then be directed to their screening questionnaire. This includes both the standard profile information (shipping address, contact details, and password) as well as a medical questionnaire. The latter will be sent to one of their doctors for review and to prescribe a medication, if finasteride if needed and suitable for you to take. This questionnaire will include information on your family history, the onset of your hair loss symptoms, and your lifestyle habits. They will also ask about any potential allergies or pre-existing conditions. Finally, they will ask you to send pictures of your hairline and the top of your head.

NOTE: 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 will be able to join their subscription plans and get those medications shipped to you.

3. A doctor reviews your information

After completing the questionnaire, your information will be sent to one of the doctors on staff. You may need to wait up to 24 hours, but the overwhelming majority of consultations are answered in less than 4 hours. We heard back after only a couple hours.

If you chose a specific subscription plan on 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 chose to “Let the Doctor Decide”, they will send you a prescription based on their medical opinion.

4. Wait for your medication

After approval, it will take up to 5 or 7 days for the medication to arrive on your doorstep. It will be shipped by UPS to your local USPS distribution center. Then, it will be brought to you by USPS in a discreet package.

Medical consultation with Keeps

These medical consultations are usually done via an interactive online questionnaire, which includes questions about your lifestyle, family history, and medical history. It will also include pictures of your scalp or problem areas, and in some states, a telephone conversation with a doctor.

PRICE: Your first consultation is free of charge. Additional consultations will be $5 apiece.

Right now, these medical consultations serve four purposes:

  1. First-time review. A licensed physician reviews each person’s information when they first sign up, to make sure that your type of hair loss can be helped through their program, and that you are not at a high risk for any adverse effects from one or more of the possible treatments.

  2. “Let the doctor decide”. This type of initial visit is meant to help patients who don’t know if they should be taking finasteride, minoxidil, both, or neither.

  3. Follow-up consultation. This is meant for people who have already started their program between 6 and 8 weeks ago. During this consultation, a licensed physician will discuss your treatment experience and check whether everything is proceeding as it should. Afterwards, you will need at least one consultation a year so that Keeps can continue to refill your prescription.

  4. Patient-prompted consultation. If you have any additional concerns or are noticing any adverse reactions, you can request an additional consultation.

Finasteride for receding hairlines

PRICE: $75 for 3 months, though occasional deals reduce the price of your first order significantly.

This treatment program is meant for men over the age of 20 who are seeing their hairline recede (sometimes described as a “landing strip” or a “suspiciously larger forehead”).

Finasteride is better known by its brand name Propecia®, and one of the most popular FDA-approved treatments for stopping male pattern baldness. At Keeps, the finasteride-only subscription includes 90 1-mg tablets, which you are instructed to take once a day. When taken accordingly, it has been proven to stop hair loss and also regrow hair for many people with male pattern baldness. You should not expect to see any regrowth for four months.

Minoxidil 5% for hair thinning

PRICE: $30 for 3 months of dropper solution; $45 for 3 months of the foam. Watch for frequent sales on first-time orders, though.

This is meant for those who are experiencing mild to moderate hair loss or thinning around the top of their heads.

Minoxidil 5% (often sold as Rogaine®) is a topical treatment meant to help you stop losing this hair and actually regrow hair as well. You will need to 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 need to be applied with the same frequency, so the differences are mainly practical and a matter of your preference.

  1. Minoxidil solution. For $30 every three months, you will get three bottles of 2 fluid ounces of minoxidil. The solution needs to be applied using a dropper, which can be a bit harder than the foam.

  2. Minoxidil foam. For $45 every three months, you will get three cans of 2.11 ounces of minoxidil. Many people feel that the foam is easier to apply. It also contains fewer added ingredients. If you have sensitive skin or contact allergies, the foam may be a safer option.

Minoxidil + finasteride for generalized hair thinning or loss

PRICE: $105 to $120 for 3 months. The difference in pricing is due to minoxidil foam being more expensive than the minoxidil dropper solution. As with the other treatments, you can sometimes enjoy deep discounts on your first three months of treatment.

This bundle is meant for men who are experiencing both a receding hairline and losing hair from the top, or who are losing hair in general all over the head. The shipment will include 90 tablets of finasteride 1 mg, plus either three bottles of minoxidil solution or 3 cans of minoxidil foam.

Ketoconazole 2% shampoo

PRICE: $30 for 3 months.

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.

2% ketoconazole shampoo should be used 2 or 3 times a week. The subscription includes a 4 fluid ounce bottle of ketoconazole shampoo. You should use 1 teaspoon of it to wash your hair, two or three times a week. It is meant to last for three months.

Keeps and your privacy

Despite their narrow service niche, Keeps seems to take their client’s privacy seriously. They are a part of Thirty Madison, a larger medical company that offers a wider array of services. This has allowed the relatively-small Keeps to access better security protocols for their website, as well as a pool of HIPAA-trained staff.

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 their doctors.

Keeps also sends all their packages in simple brown cardboard boxes with minimal branding – only a plain crown-shaped logo is visible, but not the name of the company or any hint of its contents. To meet legal requirements, any bottles or cans inside will have individual labels with the patient’s name, medication, and concentration.

Insurance, HSA, and FSA

Hair loss interventions are often classified as cosmetic or elective. This makes it rare to find an insurance plan that would cover them effectively. Keeps’ main goal is to help people who cannot get insurance coverage for hair loss medication, but who wish to be able to purchase it conveniently and at the lowest cost possible.

Therefore, Keeps chose to avoid insurance claims altogether. They also don’t currently accept Health Savings Accounts as a form of payment, but hope to be able to do so in the future.

What criteria do we use to judge health service companies?

At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service. For Keeps and other health services and products, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:

Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) to the customer? For testing services, does the company adhere to the latest and most advanced testing technologies and achieve a very high degree of accuracy? For non-testing telehealth services, is the quality of the service high enough that we would recommend it to loved ones without hesitation? If not, why not?

User-friendly: How intuitive and user-friendly is the service? Does the device/program/app/website achieve a good degree of user-friendliness for its customers?

Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?

Privacy: If health data is stored, will your data be stored securely? Are payments secure?

Customer support: Particularly in situations where ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t make sense, how well does the company help to make the service ideal for you?