Photo by Innerbody Research
Hair loss is an issue that will touch most people’s lives at some point, even men who spend their middle-aged years with full heads of hair.1 As a result, many of our readers have written to us asking about hair loss treatments. Over the years, we’ve evaluated every major company in this space and every treatment that’s shown even a glimmer of hope, from medications and devices to complex surgeries.
Our two favorite providers of treatments we recommend, by far, are Keeps and Hims. So, we decided to create this analysis comparing Keeps vs Hims head-to-head across many factors and treatment options. How do they stack up? Who offers the best prices, and for what treatments? Which company and treatment will emerge as your solution?
Based on our testing and analysis, we highly recommend both providers, but we’ll suggest one over the other in different circumstances. In most cases, for financial and practical reasons, we recommend Keeps as the better choice for men seeking effective hair loss treatments in 2023.
But there are some notable exceptions. Let’s drill down into specific aspects of the service experience and hair loss treatment paths that Keeps and Hims offer to compare and further differentiate. This way, you can decide which one should win your business.
Keeps focuses exclusively on hair loss, and in most treatment situations, it saves you money in 2023.
Keeps gets top marks for competitive pricing, quality treatments, and customer service. Their customized solutions and low prices make Keeps our top choice when it comes to hair loss.
At Innerbody Research, we extensively test each health service we review, including Keeps and Hims. All told, our team has spent over 1,000 hours testing and researching the products and services of both Keeps and Hims and their chief competitors, poring over scientific studies looking into the safety and efficacy of their treatments, and speaking with customers and professionals about their experiences.
Not only have members of our team tried these products for themselves, but many have also continued to use one or more. We’ve also collected before and after examples of two prominent treatment paths that we’ll discuss below. 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 monitor developments from both companies and their competitors to keep this article 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.
Before we dive deeper, this handy chart gives you a quick summary of how these rivals compare.
Keeps and Hims are decidedly similar companies in terms of their respective approaches to hair loss. Perhaps the biggest difference between them is that Keeps focuses on hair loss exclusively, while Hims covers a broad range of health and wellness issues like primary care and sexual dysfunction.
For the most part, we confined our evaluation to each company’s hair loss approach, but we also made concessions where some of Hims’ products or services could clearly augment certain hair loss treatments. We also noted when and how Keeps’ focus on hair loss could give it an edge over Hims, especially in the investment toward more advanced treatment options like hair restoration.
Let’s take a quick look at each criterion, and we’ll expound on these points even more as we get further down the page.
For cost, we looked at more than just the price you see on the web page. We considered the cost per ounce of things like shampoo and conditioner and the time it would take to go through a bottle. Another factor was the availability of discounts. We also compared each company’s subscription options and how they might save you extra money when you sign up for larger or more frequent shipments.
In almost every case, Keeps came out on top for cost, with a few exceptions that tilted the savings one or two dollars in Hims’ direction after the first year. Often, subscribing to larger shipments and more spread-out billing through Keeps would eliminate this and return favor to Keeps over the course of a year and beyond. And since these are products you have to use for the foreseeable future, those years of savings add up.
While both Keeps and Hims offer minoxidil and finasteride, we found it particularly important to compare some of the offerings that one company may have and the other may not. For example, each sells a shampoo and conditioner combination meant to thicken and strengthen hair, but their recipes are significantly different, and each contains ingredients with varying levels of efficacy.
Hims offers two new volumizing products — a shampoo and conditioner — but Keeps just released a thickening pomade you can use for styling. This kind of evolution has been common between the two companies, with one coming out with a product to best the other. Keeps takes the mantle for now, thanks to its recent investment in surgical hair restoration.
We compared how the two companies provide initial and follow-up consultation services to evaluate the specific cause and stage of your hair loss and develop a comprehensive plan to fight back. Hims wins this category relatively easily thanks to unlimited free followup visits (Keeps follow-ups cost $5), as well as the company’s massive telehealth infrastructure that can address certain side effects of hair loss treatments with additional medicines, talk therapy, and more.
Winner: Keeps, with a caveat
Whether it’s a fast turnaround for shipping or a friendly voice on the phone after a short wait, both companies excel at customer service. We found it vital to dig into the nuances of each company’s offerings, though, especially regarding the things that most customers will experience. That can include how intuitive a purchasing process is or how consistently a company updates you on shipping progress or informs you about new products and services.
With so many similarities between them, one small thing went a long way toward Keeps earning our preference: live chat. With Hims, if you have a question, you can search the support database, submit an email query, or make a phone call. You can also do each of those things with Keeps, but it offers the option of a live chat with a real person, too.
The only caveat here is that Keeps’ prescription service isn’t available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia at this time. You can still get medication via Keeps if you live there, but you’d have to get your prescription from a different doctor and transfer that information into Keeps. So if you live in one of the following places, Hims provides much more convenient service:
Keeps and Hims are both telemedicine providers — they offer convenient virtual doctor consultations with prescription and non-prescription treatments they can deliver straight to your door. Receiving that kind of specialized personal care without having to leave home is more popular now than it ever has been.
The process is simple. You provide information about your symptoms (hair loss in this case) and a bit about your medical history, current prescriptions, and other details. Then, a licensed and experienced medical doctor reviews your situation and determines whether you’re a candidate for specific treatments.
Keeps focuses exclusively on hair loss treatments for men. In contrast, Hims offers an array of men’s telemedicine services for everything from hair loss and erectile dysfunction (ED) to primary care, online therapy, and more. The additional services that Hims provides are what truly separates the two companies.
Men seeking answers for more than just male pattern baldness might turn to Hims.2 Since some hair loss treatments can negatively affect sexual health and mood, access to additional medication and even therapy might be helpful.3 But we believe Keeps’ exclusive focus on hair loss treatments gives it a definite edge in hair loss specifically.
Winner: Keeps, by a hair
The cost of hair loss treatments is significant when you consider the nature of their efficacy: as long as you keep using them, they keep working. If you stop taking your finasteride or applying your minoxidil, you’ll quickly notice that regrowth stops and hair loss begins anew. So, being able to afford monthly or quarterly shipments of these treatments for years on end — uninterrupted — is critical.
When you compare Keeps’ and Hims’ prices, you’ll notice tremendous similarities. It takes a little simple math to discover that Keeps’ prices are almost always a little lower than Hims’, even if only by $1 or so. The scale tips in Hims’ direction when you realize that Hims offers free shipping and Keeps does not. Each shipment from Keeps costs $5. However, the scale tips back in Keeps’ direction when you see the availability of bi-annual and annual billing and shipping. If you pay for six or 12 months of treatment up-front, Keeps sends it all to you at once, which still costs just $5 for the whole shipment. And because Innerbody Research readers get 50% off their first three months from Keeps, you can try Keeps for a much lower price than Hims and switch to bi-annual or annual billing to save on shipping costs after those first three months.
Because Hims’ prices are so similar, after that extraordinary Keeps promotional period described above, there are a couple of ways that Hims might prove the superior option. This is especially true for men who know they’ll want regular follow-up consultations. Both companies allow for unlimited messaging between you and a provider, but actual follow-ups that fully examine your progress are a little more intensive. With Hims, these follow-ups are free. With Keeps, they cost $5 each.
Keeps only just started offering a topical finasteride and minoxidil solution, which has been in the Hims catalog for a couple of years. Hims currently has the better price for the combination, and its concentrations of each medication are slightly higher.
Hims also has more bundling options than Keeps does. Its prescription Hair Power Pack provides you with finasteride, minoxidil solution, thickening shampoo, and biotin gummies for a quarterly cost of $180, or $60/month. When purchased alone, those same treatments would cost $69/month. That’s a savings of over $100/year. Keeps lets you tack on its shampoo to an order of finasteride or minoxidil, but the process doesn’t provide added savings.
For a glance at the best possible monthly prices of either company’s products over the course of your first three months, check out the handy chart below. Bear in mind that some prices are only available with specific billing cycle options and that certain products are only available in 90-day supplies. We’ve averaged in the cost of shipping along with the 50% off promotion for Innerbody readers and rounded to the nearest dollar.
|Minoxidil 5% Solution||$7||$15|
|Minoxidil 5% Foam||$10||$20|
|Finasteride 1mg + Minoxidil Solution||$20||$37|
|Finasteride 1mg + Minoxidil Foam||$23||$42|
|Topical Finasteride + Minoxidil Spray||$30||$45|
|Ketoconazole Shampoo 4 fl. oz.||$15||N/A|
|Thickening Shampoo 8 fl. oz.||$11||$16|
Minoxidil is generic for Rogaine, a thoroughly researched OTC hair loss treatment. Researchers actually discovered the hair-growing potential of minoxidil by accident while studying its effects on blood pressure.4 Minoxidil works, in part, by increasing blood flow to the scalp, which delivers more oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles. Its complete mechanisms of action are still unknown.
Photo by Innerbody Research
Minoxidil has become a considerable success — and an affordable option — in the fight against male pattern hair loss. It appeals to men for a few notable reasons:
As with most hair loss remedies, the sooner you begin your course of treatment, the better. You’ll want to stick with it to see results, as well; though it begins its work as soon as you start using it, minoxidil commonly takes a few months to show its effects. At that point, you should continue with regular treatment for as long as you want to keep your hair.
Both Keeps and Hims offer minoxidil at 5% strength, which studies show is more effective than the 2% strength for treating male pattern baldness.5 So, where should you buy your minoxidil?
Keeps and Hims both offer liquid and foam options for minoxidil. The foam is easier to apply and contains fewer ingredients that can irritate the scalp, so if you’re prone to contact dermatitis or have generally sensitive skin, the foam is the way to go. Keeps has lower prices than Hims for both the solution and the foam, and since their concentrations are identical, we recommend Keeps for minoxidil.
Generic for Propecia, finasteride is what’s known as a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. Normally, 5-alpha reductase allows your body to convert testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is the form of testosterone that fuels male pattern baldness. By reducing the presence of the enzyme that allows for the creation of DHT, finasteride effectively removes the cause of male pattern baldness from the equation.
Photo by Innerbody Research
Many men prefer finasteride to minoxidil for several reasons:
So, what are the downsides, you ask? Finasteride does require a prescription, and the drug is known to have some unpleasant potential side effects. About 2-3% of men may experience lower sperm count, ED, decreased sex drive, and other concerns.
Keeps and Hims each offer 1mg tablets of finasteride in its prescriptions. A dose of 5mg is also common in clinical trials, but when studying the effects of finasteride on benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The scariest numbers regarding side effects and potential complications from long-term androgen deficiency come from studies evaluating the 5mg dose, which doesn’t apply to hair loss. The scientific community indicates that the 1mg dose is significantly safe for the vast majority of men.
Hims used to be alone in offering a topical finasteride spray that combines it with a 6% minoxidil solution.7 For men who are more interested in a minoxidil treatment for fears regarding oral finasteride’s side effects, this may be a way to get the best of both worlds. Keeps recently added a similar combination to its catalog, but it contains a 5% minoxidil solution — 1% less than Hims.
Studies continue to come out regarding topical finasteride use, including one which found nearly identical results to oral finasteride in several key parameters with less than 1/100th the plasma concentration. That means you can get just as much efficacy from the topical application without anywhere near as potent a risk for sexual side effects.
It is a mystery why Hims uses 6% minoxidil in this spray as opposed to the 5% concentration it uses in its foam and solution. This study looking at a 10% minoxidil solution reports significant adverse reactions compared to the 5% baseline.8 Whether 6% is enough to increase the incidence of those side effects is unclear, but it’s worth noting the difference.
To provide your prescription, both Keeps and Hims give you your initial doctor’s consultation for free. Between the two, however, Keeps has a slight price edge over Hims for oral finasteride. And since the medicines and the doses are the same, Keeps takes top honors in this category.
The one exception, in our opinion, is if you are completely new to finasteride and are particularly concerned about potential side effects. In this case, since Hims consultations are free, you might be able to consult with the prescribing doctor more freely as you begin treatment. However, since finasteride is a long-term treatment (you take the medication for as long as you want to prevent hair loss), you’d be better off switching to Keeps afterward so that you can save money over time.
Many men who want a single potent treatment opt for finasteride by itself because it’s effective and requires less effort than topical applications. But men who can tolerate taking both finasteride and minoxidil will experience the highest probability of success.
Photo by Innerbody Research
The most comprehensive bundle that Keeps offers contains finasteride and minoxidil, and for many men, that’s a great place to start. You can even choose whether you want the minoxidil in foam or solution form for the package. Hims also has a package that contains oral finasteride with minoxidil, but it only comes with minoxidil in solution form. As we mentioned earlier, some men may find that their skin is a bit too sensitive for the solution, and they should go with Keeps if they want a combo with these two products in it.
Hims still holds an advantage if you want a larger package, however, thanks to an additional pair of bundles. One bundle is the prescription-based Hair Power Pack at $65/month:
The other bundle leaves out the prescription finasteride and costs $37/month.
Proper hair care is an integral part of the fight against male pattern baldness. You can’t keep the hair you’ve got or even dream of growing more if the products you use regularly strip your hair of the nutrients it needs to thrive. Fortunately, both Keeps and Hims offer shampoos, conditioners, and styling products capable of cleaning and caring for your scalp and your hair simultaneously.
Both Keeps and Hims avoid ingredients like sulfates, which are harsh and counterproductive for men trying to regrow hair.
Keeps 2% ketoconazole shampoo is a prescription-strength antifungal shampoo. Technically, it isn’t designed to fight hair loss; it’s designed to fight dandruff. Most dandruff results from an oversensitivity to Malassezia globosa, an otherwise harmless yeast that feeds on your hair’s natural oils. It’s nothing to be ashamed of; you have no more control over your sensitivity to this yeast than you do a sensitivity to pollen or pet dander.9
The ketoconazole shampoo helps rid your scalp of yeast, resulting in less irritation and flaking, so your follicles can breathe and get to work.
Hims does not offer a comparable prescription shampoo, but both Hims and Keeps offer a shampoo that contains topical saw palmetto. Saw palmetto performs well in some studies concerning hair loss, but most of those studies look at oral saw palmetto rather than the topical form seen in these shampoos.10 Keeps takes its ingredient list a little further here, adding caffeine, green tea, and biotin to its shampoo. Again, the evidence supporting the efficacy of these ingredients is thin at best, but the shampoo itself does a fine job cleaning and protecting your hair, so it can’t hurt.
Hims also recently released a new shampoo and conditioner pair that contains Biovolume 128, a patented form of Tilia tomentosa bud extract that was engineered by Normactive, a cosmetics research company. Anecdotal evidence supports its ability to make hair look thicker, but we couldn’t find clinical evidence to support these claims. Ironically, Tilia tomentosa is better known in scientific communities as a potential sedative or anxiolytic, which is the opposite of what you might expect from a product designed to enliven your hair.11
Our testers found that the original Hims shampoo created a slightly nicer lather than either of Keeps’ offerings, and testers debated which thickening shampoo had the nicer scent (both smelled pleasant). Ultimately, two facts put Keeps ahead of Hims in the shampoo space:
A good conditioner nourishes your hair and protects it from damage. It should leave your hair feeling robust and voluminous but also manageable. Both Keeps and Hims have conditioners available that boast additives each company claims will help with hair loss. For Keeps, these additives are much the same as we saw in the shampoo: saw palmetto, biotin, green tea, and caffeine. Hims’ conditioner, however, utilizes a different ingredient: niacinamide.
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B, but it acts as an antifungal agent when employed in a product like Hims conditioner.12 Now, this conditioner doesn’t have the same power as Keeps’ ketoconazole shampoo to combat dandruff, but it’s more than enough for many users to get the job done. That means you can use Hims conditioner to eliminate an itchy, flaky scalp without the need for a prescription.
Both products cost $22 per bottle, but the inclusion of niacinamide in the Hims conditioner gives it the win.
Insider Tip: If you’re the type of guy who has never used a conditioner, we strongly encourage you to do so now that you’re pursuing hair loss treatments — especially if your plan includes minoxidil, which can cause an itchy scalp. Good conditioners like these can reduce scalp dryness.
Between the two companies, Keeps is the only one to offer styling products designed to make your hair appear thicker. Its Thickening Pomade is extremely well-priced compared to alternatives from popular companies like American Crew. And unlike many alternatives, Keeps’ pomade is free of gluten, ethanol, and propylene glycol. And like Keeps’ shampoo and conditioner, its pomade contains saw palmetto, biotin, green tea extract, and caffeine.
Biotin — a vital nutrient for hair, nail, and skin health — works by improving blood flow to your hair follicles. The increased blood flow should bring oxygen and nutrients to nourish those follicles, restoring them to proper health. This is essentially one of the same things that minoxidil does, albeit on different scales.
The only place you’ll find biotin on the Keeps website is as an ingredient in its non-prescription shampoo, conditioner, and pomade. Hims offers it as a supplement in the form of a tasty daily gummy. The gummies provide a few additional nutrients, as well, so they’re a great addition to your regimen.
Because Keeps does not offer any supplements for hair health, Hims is the clear winner here.
We think very highly of both of these at-home treatment providers. When it comes to the quality of service, there are several factors to consider.
|Doctor consultation||Free; then $5 follow-up||Free|
|Exclusive focus on hair loss|
|Available in all 50 states|
|Private and discreet|
Keeps has a live chat service on its site that features real human beings on the other end. They can field questions, provide you with in-depth product information, and more. Both companies have outstanding customer service hotlines and respond to emails quickly and thoroughly.
The ordering process is pretty seamless for each company, with multiple options to define the shipping and billing cycle that works best for you. The Hims website might be a little more challenging to navigate simply because the company covers so much medical territory. It does a good job drawing attention to its hair products but Keeps’ sole focus on hair loss allows its site to be smaller and more streamlined.
When you consider working with a telemedicine service, it’s important to know whether it respects your privacy. This means:
Our assessment of this factor: It’s a draw. Both Keeps and Hims respect your privacy and send shipments in boxes that are discreet and mostly nondescript. Keeps’ packaging contains the company’s red crown logo, but there’s not much chance of someone easily recognizing it.
Hims and Keeps both offer a free consultation initially, which is fantastic (others charge you for this consultation). Hims used to charge $5 for a consultation, and it’s excellent that it now offers this free of charge. Keeps’ initial consultation is free, but it costs $5 for follow-up consultations, whereas Hims’ follow-ups are always free. Both companies offer free unlimited messaging with a provider.
In some cases, the services of telemedicine providers aren’t yet available in all 50 states. This is the case with Keeps’ online doctor consultations, which means you wouldn’t be able to get a prescription from Keeps in a few states. However, you can still purchase over-the-counter treatments and fulfill an existing prescription from a doctor local to you.
Here’s a list of states and territories where Keeps can’t provide a telemedicine consultation:
Hims is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, plus its finasteride and sildenafil are available in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales.
Both companies work exclusively with qualified, licensed U.S. physicians and abide by HIPAA laws to offer telemedicine. Each has outstanding ongoing support. In our view, the $5 follow-up fee from Keeps cancels out the generosity of the free messaging over time, and since Hims currently can fully serve all 50 states, it takes the win.
Hims offers free delivery while shipping with Keeps costs $3 per shipment. Neither one is notably faster. Both typically take 5-7 days to ship, though each company outperformed this estimate by a day or two in testing.
Hims wins this one by a hair. Because of broader pricing considerations, Keeps’ shipping fee is a non-factor in our overall assessment. Most of Keeps’ prices are sufficiently lower to offset shipping costs and still be more affordable.
Hair restoration is an outpatient surgery in which doctors take live, healthy follicles from one area of your head and transplant them to an area where irrevocable loss has occurred. The practice has been around for a while, but it was generally considered too dangerous from a cosmetic standpoint. It could return a reasonable head of hair if there were enough follicles left to transplant, but there was a high risk of scarring in those early days.
Both the techniques around hair restoration and the tools used in its practice have advanced enough that the potential for scarring is more limited to the skill of the surgeon than anything else. If you choose to explore hair restoration, you’ll likely find yourself using minoxidil or finasteride alongside the procedure to maximize results.
Keeps is new to the hair restoration game, and the company’s only hair restoration center is in New York City. There are plans to expand this offering so more people can have access to it, but they have yet to materialize.
Hims does not offer any kind of hair restoration services at this time, which hands the win in this category to Keeps. To learn more about Keeps’ hair restoration process, you can read our complete Keeps review.
Hims runs away with the win for complementary care. Keeps’ dedicated focus on hair loss means it doesn’t offer any expanded telehealth features. Hims, on the other hand, is continuously expanding to provide new treatments and services in one place.
One of the most frightening side effects of finasteride — despite only affecting about 2% of users — is sexual dysfunction. The men who experience it report loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, inability to climax, and more. That’s where Hims ED treatments can come in. The company offers Viagra and its generic equivalent sildenafil, Cialis and its generic equivalent tadalafil, and Stendra.
Hims also offers things like primary care, dermatology, and mental health services, including talk therapy and psychiatry. If you’re specifically concerned about the potential sexual side effects of finasteride or you want to have a single place where you can satisfy multiple telehealth needs, you might want to consider Hims over Keeps.
Innerbody uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Rhodes, T., Girman, C. J., Savin, R. C., Kaufman, K. D., Guo, S., Lilly, F. R., Siervogel, R. M., & Chumlea, W. C. (1998). Prevalence of male pattern hair loss in 18-49 year old men. Dermatologic Surgery: Official Publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al.], 24(12), 1330–1332.
Ho, C.H., Sood, T., & Zito, P.M. (2022, October 16). Androgenetic Alopecia. StatPearls Publishing.
Mysore, V. (2012). Finasteride and sexual side effects. Indian Dermatology Online Journal, 3(1), 62–65.
Suchonwanit, P., Thammarucha, S., & Leerunyakul, K. (2019). Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: a review. Drug Design, Development and Therapy, 13, 2777–2786.
Olsen, E. A., Dunlap, F. E., Funicella, T., Koperski, J. A., Swinehart, J. M., Tschen, E. H., & Trancik, R. J. (2002). A randomized clinical trial of 5% topical minoxidil versus 2% topical minoxidil and placebo in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in men. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 47(3), 377–385.
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Lee, S. W., Juhasz, M., Mobasher, P., Ekelem, C., & Mesinkovska, N. A. (2018). A Systematic Review of Topical Finasteride in the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia in Men and Women. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology: JDD, 17(4), 457–463.
Ghonemy, S., Alarawi, A., & Bessar, H. (2021). Efficacy and safety of a new 10% topical minoxidil versus 5% topical minoxidil and placebo in the treatment of male androgenetic alopecia: a trichoscopic evaluation. The Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 32(2), 236–241.
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Wessagowit, V., Tangjaturonrusamee, C., Kootiratrakarn, T., Bunnag, T., Pimonrat, T., Muangdang, N., & Pichai, P. (2016). Treatment of male androgenetic alopecia with topical products containing Serenoa repens extract. The Australasian Journal of Dermatology, 57(3), e76–e82.
Allio, A., Calorio, C., Franchino, C., Gavello, D., Carbone, E., & Marcantoni, A. (2015). Bud extracts from Tilia tomentosa Moench inhibit hippocampal neuronal firing through GABAA and benzodiazepine receptors activation. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 172, 288–296.
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What’s the best treatment to regrow hair and stop hair loss? We tested products, studied trial results and assessed value. Here's our 2023 guide.
Our expert review of Keeps tells you everything you need to know about their hair loss treatments, pricing and service.