At Innerbody Research, we have extensively tested and evaluated all of the major men’s hair loss treatments – medications (OTC and prescription), devices, and supportive hair products. In particular we’ve focused on the treatments with evidence of effectiveness and a track record of success for customers. Our two favorite providers, by far, are Keeps and Hims.
Many of our readers understandably have written to us asking which company we prefer, and why. For those readers, we decided to create this analysis comparing Keeps vs. Hims head-to-head across a multitude of factors and treatment options. How do they stack up? Who offers the best prices, and for what treatments? Which company and treatment emerge as the winner for you?
Based on all of our testing and analysis, we highly recommend both providers, but we’ll suggest one over another in different circumstances. In most cases, for dollars-and-cents reasons and also subtler ones, we recommend Keeps as the better choice for men seeking effective hair loss treatments in 2020.
Keeps focuses exclusively on hair loss and, in most treatment situations, it saves you money in 2020. Take advantage of 50% off your first order!
Both Keeps and Hims are great companies with great service, but for hair loss, we recommend Keeps right now. Keeps has the better initial discount and, with one exception, the better standard prices. Discreet packaging and proven treatments. If you’re considering treatment, there’s no better day to begin than today.
But there are some notable exceptions. Let’s drill down into specific aspects of the service experience as well as specific hair loss treatment paths that Keeps and Hims offer, in order to compare and further differentiate. This way, you can decide which one should win your business. Read on!
- Why you should trust us
- What are Keeps and Hims?
- Who has the best prices, Keeps vs Hims?
- Keeps vs Hims for minoxidil
- Prescription finasteride -- Hims vs Keeps
- Keeps vs Hims for bundling hair loss treatments
- Supportive hair products
- Keeps vs Hims for good service
- How we evaluate health products and services
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 product and service we review. We try our best to give you, our readers, an unbiased exploration of at-home health products, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We evaluate the product or 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, like all health-related content on this website, was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.
2020 is a year in which many more Americans have discovered the convenience of what is called telemedicine. This is a fancy term for the process of virtually visiting a doctor online in order to access medical service and potentially get a prescribed treatment, if it’s appropriate. Hims and Keeps are both telemedicine providers – they offer convenient virtual doctor consultations and subsequent prescriptions for medications that they can deliver straight to your door, without you leaving your home at all.
How is this possible? By providing information about your medical history, current prescriptions and other details, a licensed and experienced medical doctor can review your situation and determine whether you’re a candidate for certain prescription treatments.
Keeps focuses entirely on hair loss treatments for men (you can learn more about the company at our full Keeps review), whereas Hims offers an array of men’s telemedicine services for hair loss, ED, primary care, online therapy and more. Check out our Hims review to learn all about its broader services.
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 in a few states you wouldn’t be able to get a prescription from Keeps just yet. (Even in these states, however, you’ll still be able to purchase over-the-counter treatments as well as fulfill an existing prescription.) Hims is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Both companies work exclusively with qualified, licensed U.S. physicians and abide by HIPAA laws to offer telemedicine. Both are guided by sound Medical Boards.
Keeps is already slightly less expensive than Hims for finasteride or minoxidil under normal circumstances. That slight cost savings over time does really add up, when you consider that either of these proven hair loss treatment methods requires you to use it indefinitely – month after month, year after year. (You want to keep your hair, right?) So every couple of dollars per month matters.
But our assessment of the cost of Keeps and Hims is a little different than what might be apparent when you visit the companies’ websites. This is because we have an exclusive deal to offer our readers: 50% off your first order at Keeps.
Hims and Keeps are competing mightily for the lowest prices. Hims frequently offers your first month free. Meanwhile, Keeps offers our readers 50% off your entire first order. How does all of this translate for your bottom line?
When you calculate the savings for finasteride or minoxidil from either Hims or Keeps, with these different discount opportunities, Keeps still wins. With Keeps, gradually you will create your own “Free Month” from the savings you accumulate over Hims.
Winner: Keeps with 50% discount on your first order
By this very important measure – for most men, the most important next to effectiveness – Keeps is the winner in almost every situation, in terms of normal pricing as well as the big discount offers that both companies now provide.
One exception: combination finasteride + minoxidil
Some men are able and willing to add two medications to their regimen. If this describes you, then it’s the rare moment when Hims offers a better deal than Keeps. Hims’ Hair Power Pack saves you money each month compared to a comparable combination treatment from Keeps.
And if you do invest in both, then you may enjoy the best probability of stopping hair loss, because the two drugs work differently. Neither is effective for 100% of men. Taking both simultaneously means you may somewhat improve your chances of keeping and regrowing hair.
|Keeps first 3-month price||Keeps monthly price afterward||Hims first 3-month price||Hims monthly price afterward|
|Discount deals applied||50% off your first order||First month free|
|Finasteride + Minoxidil||$52.50||$35||$46||$23|
|Hair health supplement||N/A||N/A||$32||$16|
|How to get your discount||Visit Keeps here||Here (when deal is available)|
Minoxidil is a proven OTC hair loss treatment. Researchers actually discovered the hair-growing potential of minoxidil totally by accident as an undesired side effect in studies of its potential to lower blood pressure. Minoxidil works by promoting increased blood flow, delivering more oxygenation and nutrients to your hair follicles.
Thankfully minoxidil has become a pretty large success – and an affordable option – in the fight against male pattern hair loss. Minoxidil appeals to many men for a few reasons:
- It is inexpensive compared to other effective treatments like finasteride.
- Minoxidil has been studied and used the longest and poses fewer potential side effects. And its side effects, when they do happen, tend to be less significant.
- Because it’s safer, minoxidil is available without prescription – no ongoing consultations necessary.
- It’s effective. In studies, about two-thirds of men find that minoxidil stops their hair loss. Half of men experience moderate regrowth where they apply the minoxidil, while a more modest one in five men experience significant regrowth.
As with all other hair loss treatments, your best chance of being thrilled with minoxidil is by starting treatment early in your hair loss experience. And then, you must stick with treatment for as long as you want to keep your hair.
Also – another commonality with other effective treatments – you’re likely to wonder initially whether the medication is working at all. It’s normal to experience what seems like accelerated hair loss at the outset, because minoxidil kicks hair into a different growth phase. But it does start working for you immediately and, after a couple or three months, you’ll see the benefits.
Both Keeps and Hims offer minoxidil at the 5% strength, which studies have shown is more effective than 2% strength for treating male pattern baldness. So where should you buy your minoxidil?
If minoxidil is what you want, then choose Keeps. The company offers both liquid and foam options – some men prefer one over the other – and makes them available conveniently and at lower prices than competitors, including Hims.
Doctors prescribe finasteride very widely but lots of men are more familiar with the name Propecia than finasteride, because brand-name Propecia is what’s been advertised heavily. The two are the same medicine.
Finasteride is what’s called a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. Normally, 5-alpha reductase allows your body to convert testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is the form of testosterone that fuels male pattern baldness. Finasteride’s effectiveness is thanks to the fact that it stops the increase in DHT.
Many men prefer finasteride for several major reasons:
- Taking a pill requires less effort than applying medication topically to your scalp.
- Though not as inexpensive as minoxidil, it’s much more affordable than other options like surgery.
- Finasteride works for an even broader group of men than minoxidil. Studies show it to stop hair loss in 4 out of 5 men who are experiencing hair loss at the crown. Two-thirds of men with receding hairlines see their hair loss stop completely, while two-thirds of men altogether experience good hair regrowth.
Finasteride does require a prescription, because there are more potential reasons why some men could have adverse reactions to taking the medication. Uncommon but possible side effects include lower sperm count, ED, decreased sex drive and other concerns. About 99% of men who take finasteride never experience any side effects.
Though finasteride requires a prescription, one great thing about 2020 is that you have two fantastic options for getting a virtual doctor’s consultation and finasteride prescription from the comfort of your home. So, Keeps vs. Hims – where should you buy finasteride?
Both providers offer the same kind of convenience and privacy. But Keeps is slightly more affordable. At first blush, it looks like you’ll save considerably each month with Keeps, but factoring in the modest $3 shipping charge does cut into the saving slightly. Both Keeps and Hims give you your initial doctor’s consultation for free.
It’s a close call, but because of the slightly lower price at Keeps, as well as its exclusive focus on hair loss among its physicians, Keeps has the edge for finasteride in our opinion.
Many men who want a really potent treatment opt for finasteride by itself because it’s highly effective and is so easy just to take a pill, rather than take time to apply topicals. But for men who can tolerate taking both finasteride and minoxidil, this combination of treatments can give you possibly the highest probability of success.
As mentioned in the pricing comparisons, this is the one situation in which we definitely recommend Hims rather than Keeps. While we value Keeps’ singular focus on hair loss treatment, money does matter. And when it comes to hair loss treatments, which require that you stick with treatment for as long as you want to keep your hair, a difference of $5 or $10 each month really adds up quickly.
Right now in 2020, the Hims Hair Power Pack, which delivers minoxidil and finasteride, suddenly got considerably less expensive than it used to be – about $10 cheaper in fact, at $23 per month. If you want this combination of treatments and are comparing Keeps vs. Hims, you should head to Hims and take advantage of the price reduction to save considerable money over time. Hims beats out all competitors in this instance.
When you’re trying to keep your hair and regrow some of it too, you should also turn a critical eye to your grooming habits. Do you use a harsh shampoo? How often do you wash and condition your hair? Can any ingredients in your shampoo come with clinical evidence of helping strengthen hair and nurturing the kinds of conditions that reduce hair loss or promote hair growth?
Both Hims and Keeps offer hair products for men who want to maintain great grooming habits while preventing hair loss and promoting hair regrowth. So which one’s better?
Shampoo - Hims vs Keeps?
First, the good news: both Hims and Keeps shampoos will certainly not harm you as you try to stop your hair loss. Both avoid ingredients that are harsh and potentially counterproductive for men trying to regrow hair.
When it comes to which one could play the best active supporting role in fighting hair loss, you have to pay attention to scientific evidence of active ingredients and the specific strengths of those ingredients.
Keeps 2% Ketoconazole shampoo is technically an anti-dandruff shampoo and the company doesn’t hide it. Keeps doesn’t claim that its shampoo will prevent hair loss.
Meanwhile, Hims offers a shampoo that contains topical saw palmetto, which many have hoped will help fight against hair loss by acting as a topical DHT inhibitor along the scalp.
What studies show is interesting, though. Topically, saw palmetto’s effectiveness in hair loss treatments is not as well substantiated as oral saw palmetto. The studies that show effectiveness of topical saw palmetto rely on a very concentrated form of it, rather than the much lesser amount found in this shampoo.
Meanwhile, though Keeps 2% Ketoconazole shampoo primarily treats dandruff, studies of topical 2% ketoconazole suggest it can help men prevent hair loss. It’s also almost half the cost of Hims shampoo.
In our opinion, the edge goes to Keeps 2% Ketoconazole shampoo because studies confirm the potential effectiveness of Keeps’ active ingredient in its specific strength.
Other hair products
If you’re looking for conditioner that will soothe and strengthen your hair, Keeps doesn’t offer a conditioner at all, though Hims does. Additionally, Hims sells biotin supplements in the form of gummies. So for supportive products like these, Hims is the clear choice. Are they worth it?
Hims conditioner and gummies will do no harm, and could provide some marginal benefit. Neither of them alone will stop your hair loss though.
A good conditioner nourishes your hair and protects it from damage. And when it comes to biotin – a vital nutrient for hair, nail and skin health – consider how minoxidil is believed to work in fighting hair loss: it works by improving blood flow to follicles that are being served insufficiently. The increased blood flow should bring oxygen and nutrients to nourish those follicles, restoring them to proper health. But if vital nutrients for hair health – like biotin – aren’t available in healthy amounts in your blood, then the increased blood flow may have less of an effect in stopping hair loss.
With that in mind, it’s no wonder that Hims sells biotin supplements and conditioner. But we suggest you use them in supportive roles alongside a more potent treatment method.
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. These contribute the overall benefit (or lack thereof) of opting for a telemedicine provider rather than going the traditional route of seeing a doctor in-person.
|Doctor consultation||Free; then $5 follow-up||Free; then $5 follow-up|
|Exclusive focus on hair loss|
|Available in all 50 states?|
|Private and discreet|
Respecting your privacy
When you consider working with a telemedicine service, it’s important to know whether it respects your privacy. This means:
- Abiding by all HIPAA laws when applicable
- Using discreet and nondescript packaging materials (what medications you take is nobody’s business but yours)
- Not bombarding you with third party offers or incessant emails of any kind
Our assessment of this factor: It’s a draw – both Keeps and Hims totally respect your privacy and send shipments in boxes that are discreet and nondescript. They won’t catch anybody’s eye. No one would know what you’re ordering.
Keeps and Hims are both truly legit as telemedicine companies.
How meaningful does the company make this consultation? Are the doctors thorough, efficient and really qualified? Do they do their due diligence to make sure you are a suitable candidate for treatment? If treatment isn’t as successful as you’d like, are they appropriately responsive in order to help you get a more optimal treatment?
Hims and Keeps both offer a free consultation initially, which is fantastic (others charge you for this consultation). Hims used to charge $5 for the initial consultation – it’s excellent that it now offers this free of charge.
There’s a wrinkle to consider here: Hims serves all 50 states and the District of Columbia, while Keeps doesn’t quite serve all 50 states yet.
One more wrinkle as well: Keeps’ physicians focus their attention on hair loss exclusively, while Hims serves a multitude of health concerns. We believe the exclusive focus on hair loss gives Keeps an edge, as long as you’re able to benefit from it where you live.
How fast is shipping? Does the company serve the entire U.S.? Is shipping free or expensive?
Hims offers free delivery, while shipping with Keeps costs $3 per shipment. Neither one is particularly faster (around 5 days to ship). But because of broader pricing considerations, in the end the shipping fee is something of a non-factor in our assessment. Most of Keeps’ prices are sufficiently lower to offset it and still be more affordable.
On balance, we believe Keeps wins with a narrow edge here, but with the caveat that it might not be an option for you depending on where you live. Where available, Keeps can serve you just slightly better for hair loss treatments because that’s all it does. Hair loss is Keeps’ sole focus, which means it’s also the doctors’ sole focus. You’ll definitely be in highly experienced, trustworthy hands. And if Keeps’ virtual consultations are unavailable to you where you live, you’ve got a great option with Hims.
At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service. For health-related products and services, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:
Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) and product(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 and/or product 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 product and/or service? Does it 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?