Hims—Repackaging Rogaine for the Millennial Generation
It’s not clothes we’re looking at today, nor is it shoes, ties, or accessories. Nope, Hims is something of an outlier in the world of male-oriented products. The company specializes in the realm of items that many of us are embarrassed to buy in purchase—you know with that CVS clerk giving you a look.
We’re talking hair loss. Erectile dysfunction. The tough stuff.
About the Brand
Hims has gotten an awful lot of press as of late. The website, which looks like a cross between Glossier and Goop--but for men--features a diverse, attractive lineup of young men and aims to help guys get ahead of balding and erectile dysfunction with minimal effort (or embarrassment).
Hims was created by entrepreneur, Andrew Dudum, a partner at Atomic, the Silicon Valley venture capital firm backed by Peter Thiel.
The company just launched in late 2017, rolling out its first line of products: a set of direct-to-consumer hair loss products and erectile dysfunction prescriptions. The company has just introduced an oral hygiene line, and skincare is coming soon. The goal it seems is to become a one-stop men's medicine cabinet shop.
The marketing tactics are smart. There's nothing new about penis pills or hair loss treatment, but Hims works to make these issues less embarrassing by packing products into minimalist bottles and addressing things like hair loss in a frank, informal manner. Additionally, the products are geared toward younger men. They’re selling this idea that it’s normal to need some help in these areas. Often ads for hair treatments or erectile dysfunction showcase the healthy retiree types—not men in their 20s or 30s.
So, you have a couple of ways to go about this. Hims makes a few different products aimed at helping men keep more hair on their heads.
The company makes two different hair loss kits. A prescription version and a non-prescription version.
The former comes with finasteride pills, a prescription drug that prevents baldness by reducing the amount of DHT present in the scalp. You’ll also get a biotin supplement, there to strengthen hair, as well as a topical solution and a DHT shampoo.
The prescription version requires the sign off from a Hims doctor, due to the potential for adverse effects. The prescription process is pretty basic. An online doctor will ask you a few questions before you check out and you’re good to go.
Still, if you’re not cleared for the prescription or don’t want to mess with the potential for side effects, the non-prescription kit comes with the same items, minus the finasteride pills.
These items are cheaper than their drugstore counterparts and packaged in such a way that makes them look more appealing taking up space in the medicine cabinet. Minoxidil, as a point of reference, is the active ingredient in Rogaine—a product that can cost ~$35 a bottle, compared to the generic $13.00 version on the Hims website. The non-prescription kit is $30.
Okay, well the skin line hasn’t come out yet, but we’re looking forward to it. The brand stands to become a one-stop shop for all things male self-care—which is kind of exciting. The skincare line is coming soon, and the website claims that they're working on a set of products that will help men maintain a youthful appearance.
Okay, so, like the hair loss line, you'll need a prescription for generic Viagra. While Viagra requires a subscription, all you'll need to get your hands on the stuff is a quick consultation with a Hims doctor. The doctor evaluates your health history online, and from there, you'll get the green light.
Shopping Hims can save you some money--it's cheaper than getting the stuff from a traditional healthcare provider. Plus, it's a safer alternative to those shady websites have long offered an online order system for products like Viagra and Cialis, but you're ordering from international companies that aim to shield their identities from the public. That said, you may want to consult with a doctor to make sure the pills are safe. The Hims doctor will cover the bases by asking a set of questions, but you'll definitely want to get a clean bill of health, just to be safe.
The label oral care is a little misleading. At this time, all Hims offers the mouth region is a pill that treats cold sores, Valacyclovir. The drug is an antiviral suppressive approved by the FDA to treat herpes simplex--or herpes type I, the virus responsible for oral cold sores.
The prescription is $15 a month and may be prescribed through the Hims doctors at checkout. The pills do not treat genital herpes--or herpes simplex type II.
Hims isn't offering anything groundbreaking regarding products. But the accessibility and the attempt to remove some of the stigma from things like hair loss and sexual dysfunction is a big deal. Often, companies catering to these issues come off as sleazy, out of touch, or aimed at an older demographic. We’re excited to see what the skin care line brings to the table. Maybe you’ll be able to avoid shopping for personal care items IRL altogether.