At Innerbody Research, we have extensively tested and evaluated all major men’s hair loss treatments — medications (OTC and prescription), devices, and supportive hair products. In particular, we focused on treatments with proven track records in both clinical trials and customer experience. Our two favorite providers, by far, are Keeps and Hims.
Many of our readers have written to us asking which company we prefer, and why. 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 another 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 2021.
Keeps focuses exclusively on hair loss, and in most treatment situations, it saves you money in 2021. Take advantage of 50% off your first order!
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.
But there are some notable exceptions. Let’s drill down into specific aspects of the service experience and specific 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.
- Why you should trust us
- How we evaluated Keeps and Hims
- What are Keeps and Hims?
- Keeps vs Hims at a glance
- Who has the best prices, Keeps or Hims?
- Keeps vs Hims for minoxidil
- Prescription finasteride: Keeps vs Hims
- Keeps vs Hims for bundling hair loss treatments
- Supportive hair products
- Keeps vs Hims for good service
At Innerbody Research, we extensively test each health service we review, including Keeps and Hims. All told, our team has spent over 165 hours testing and researching the products and services of both companies and their chief competitors in order to provide an accurate, unbiased analysis of how the products and services compare, free of marketing jargon and gimmicks.
Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions to live healthier lifestyles. We evaluate the service based on 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, 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.
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.
Available treatments and efficacy
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.
Quality of medical care
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.
Customer service and convenience
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.
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. Since some hair loss treatments can negatively affect sexual health and mood, access to additional medication and even therapy might be helpful. But we believe Keeps’ laser focus on hair loss treatments gives them a definite edge in hair loss specifically.
Before we dive deeper, this handy chart gives you a quick summary of how these rivals compare.
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, the savings on the Keeps side are obvious. Even though Keeps charges a $3 shipping fee per order, that’s not enough to offset the difference in cost, giving them the consistent edge in prices.
For added savings, Innerbody Research readers get 50% off their first order from Keeps, so you can experience pretty intense savings up front, especially if your first order contains a handful of products.
Hims does have some small advantages in certain cost areas, though. Their consultations are always free, and they don’t charge anything for shipping.
Hims also has more bundling options than Keeps does. Their prescription Hair Power Pack provides you with finasteride, minoxidil solution, thickening shampoo, and biotin gummies for a quarterly cost of $195, or $65/month. Purchased alone, those same treatments would cost $82/month. That’s a savings of over $200/year. Keeps lets you tack on their shampoo to an order of finasteride or minoxidil, but the process doesn’t provide added savings.
For a glance at the effective monthly prices of either company’s products, 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. For more detailed price information, check out our complete Keeps and Hims reviews.
|Minoxidil 5% Solution||$10||$15||No|
|Minoxidil 5% Foam||$15||$20||No|
|Finasteride 1mg + Minoxidil Solution||$35||$47||Yes|
|Finasteride 1mg + Minoxidil Foam||$40||N/A||Yes|
|Topical Finasteride + Minoxidil Spray||N/A||$50||Yes|
|Ketoconazole Shampoo 4 fl. oz.||$10||N/A||Yes|
|Thickening Shampoo 8 fl. oz.||$22||$19||No|
Minoxidil is generic for Rogaine, a proven OTC hair loss treatment. Researchers actually discovered the hair-growing potential of minoxidil by accident while studying its effects on blood pressure. Minoxidil works by increasing blood flow to the scalp, which delivers more oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles.
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:
- It’s inexpensive compared to other effective treatments like finasteride.
- It poses few potential side effects, and the most common reactions are mild.
- It’s available without a prescription, thanks to the lack of serious side effects.
- 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, and a more modest one in five experience significant regrowth.
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 2% strength for treating male pattern baldness. 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 DHT (dihydrotestosterone). 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.
Many men prefer finasteride for several major reasons:
- Taking a pill requires less effort than applying a medication topically to your scalp.
- Though more expensive than minoxidil, it’s still more affordable than other options like surgery.
- Finasteride works for an even broader group of men than minoxidil. Studies show it stops hair loss in four out of five men 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, 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 their prescriptions. A dose of 5mg is also common in clinical trials, but these study 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 also offers a topical finasteride spray that comes combined with a 6% minoxidil solution. 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. There haven’t been many studies on the efficacy of topical finasteride, but the few that exist indicate increased efficacy over minoxidil alone.
It is also a mystery why Hims uses 6% minoxidil in this spray as opposed to the 5% concentration they use in their foam and solution. This study looking at a 10% minoxidil solution reports significant adverse reactions compared to the 5% baseline. 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. 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 highly 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.
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.
Unlike Keeps, Hims offers the combined minoxidil and finasteride spray mentioned above. Compounding topical minoxidil is an expensive process, though. That’s why the Hims combination spray costs $50/month (billed quarterly at $150), compared to the $47 monthly cost for the oral finasteride and minoxidil bundle.
Hims still holds an advantage here, however, thanks to an additional pair of bundles. One bundle is the prescription-based Hair Power Pack at $65/month:
- Finasteride 1mg
- Minoxidil solution
- Thickening shampoo
- Biotin gummies
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 they need to thrive. Fortunately, both Keeps and Hims offer shampoos and conditioners capable of cleaning and caring for your scalp and your hair at the same time.
Shampoo - Hims vs Keeps?
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 anti-fungal 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.
The Ketoconazole shampoo helps rid your scalp of the yeast and reduce the irritation it causes. That means 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. Keeps takes their ingredient list a little further here, adding caffeine, green tea, and biotin to their 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.
Our testers found that the 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:
- Keeps has both prescription and non-prescription options for their shampoos
- The prescription option has clinical studies backing up its value
Conditioner: Keeps or Hims?
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. 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.
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 the same thing 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 and conditioner. 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||Yes|
|Available in all 50 states||Yes|
|Private and discreet||Yes||Yes|
It’s worth noting that Keeps also provides you with unlimited messaging with your doctor for a year, so you don’t necessarily have to make a follow-up appointment if you have a simple question or a need that isn’t too pressing.
Keeps also has a superior live chat service on their site that is much easier to access than the chat system on Hims. Both chats feature 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. They do a good job drawing attention to their hair products, but Keeps’ sole focus on hair loss allows their site to be smaller and more streamlined.
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 respect your privacy and send shipments in boxes that are discreet and nondescript. They won’t catch anybody’s eye, and no one would know what you’re ordering.
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 they now offer this free of charge. Keeps’ initial consultation is free, and it comes with a free year of unlimited messaging to keep you on track and informed. But Keeps charges $5 for follow-up consultations, where Hims’ follow-ups are always free.
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. 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:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- Puerto Rico
- Washington D.C.
- West Virginia
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, they take 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.