An unbiased review of men’s healthcare startup Hims. How does Hims hair loss, erectile dysfunction and other subscription medicine compare to what you get from your local pharmacy? What does it cost? What is it like to have a “virtual” doctor’s visit with a Hims physician? Find out more by reading on!
Is Hims right for you?
Hims is an online store/pharmacy and doctor’s office all smooshed into a single, quirky and crass website. With pictures of phallic looking cacti and happy-looking twenty and thirty something men, you could think you’d accidentally visited a website for a gay bar.
But, no joke about it, Hims is part of the future of healthcare, delivering prescription medicine to your home for a low cost. In this article, we’ll review Hims’ offerings and discuss the different medicines that they offer men. Let’s dive in!
What do they offer?
As you can probably guess from the name, Hims focuses on male “problems,” and offers treatments in the following areas:
They also offer different types of adult gummy vitamins, which may or may not actually provide any medical benefit. But they are yummy.
Why get your meds from Hims instead of going to your doctor?
This is actually a pretty good question – why not just go to your regular doctor and get your medicines at the local pharmacy? What’s the advantage of going with Hims over your doctor?
First of all, if you have any major medical conditions, you should probably organize your treatment through your primary care physician. Online telemedicine providers like Hims are really set up to treat otherwise healthy people.
That beings said, if you are otherwise healthy, Hims can be a great way to get treated for ED, hair loss, male skin issues and anxiety. Here are some of the key reasons you’d got with an online provider over your regular doctor:
- Cost: You can get started with Hims for as little as $5, including the doctor’s visit. Unless you have amazing health insurance, your physician’s visit copay is going to be way over that! And because they source low cost, generic medicine, your drug prices are going to be much lower.
- Convenience: You can get a visit with a real, licensed doctor, get a prescription and get your meds delivered directly to your house – all without leaving your couch. Unless you have endless free time, setting up a doctor’s appointment, hanging out in the doctor’s office lounge, waiting in line at the pharmacy every month… this is all a waste of time. Doing the whole process online is really a huge time saver.
- Quality medicine: There has been a lot of disturbing press recently over the quality of generic medicines manufactured overseas – do a quick Google search to see what we mean. But Hims is committed to quality testing their products, and says, “We subject the portfolio of prescription products offered by pharmacies through our platform to testing by an independent, FDA approved, ISO accredited analytical laboratory in order to confirm whether the active ingredient(s) are present and at what concentration.” You can read more here, but that’s pretty awesome. The generic drugs you get at your local pharmacy don’t have this level of oversight.
- Subscription: These are medicines you have to take regularly. If you get them from your local pharmacy, you’ll end up spending a lot of time waiting in line. It’s so much better to just have the meds show up on time every month. Personal side note: I’ve been a customer for quite a few months now, and my prescription has been at my door on time, every time.
- Less embarrassing: Some of these problems are pretty personal in nature. I’m sure we all aspire to have a totally open relationship with our primary care doctors, but the truth is that it’s embarrassing to talk about some of these problems. In most states, you don’t even have to have a live conversation with a doctor to get a prescription from Hims – it’s all done through online questions and forms. Don’t avoid getting help because of embarrassment; getting this done online is very low stress.
- Discrete. Hims ships directly to your house in discrete packaging. So your neighbor isn’t going to know that you are getting ED meds, and they also aren’t going to overhear the pharmacist telling you to seek help if you have an erection that lasts longer then four hours.
What does Hims packaging look like?
One of the key reasons to choose Hims is the convince of getting your medicine delivered directly to your home, without having to go to a pharmacy. And if we weren’t blogging about it, we probably wouldn’t be telling the world we need some of these meds. Here us opening a package so you can see what the mailing looks like. This happens to be the “Complete Hair Loss Kit,” but all their packaging is equally low-key.
Hims Hair loss Unboxing Video
Diving into Hims specific offers
Since Hims offers a number of treatments, let’s start by showing more about the hair loss offering. Then we’ll dive into the other solutions.
How to get a hair loss prescription from Hims
The basic process is that you’ll fill out some forms, which will enable you to virtually “meet” with a doctor. The doctor will likely approve you for a Finasteride prescription. Then, you’ll have to pick the subscription package that you want – just the Finasteride, or Finasteride and Minoxidil, or the whole enchilada, which includes special shampoo and vitamins.
Here are the steps to get a hair loss prescription:
- Select your package, such as the Finasteride only package, or the Complete Hair Loss Kit”
- Enter a promo code, if you have one
- Provide contact info, such as name and email address
- Enter birth date, then your name and address
- You can also get text updates on your order status, which is pretty cool
- Enter payment information – which is slightly nerve racking, since you haven’t yet gotten medical approval.
- But, it does say: “Your order will be processed immediately and products will be shipped after medical review”
- Asks for your gender – pretty easy question for me!
- Long telemedicine consent form – Next, you have a long consent form, where you agree to receive telemedicine. The form wants to make it clear that you have to pay for the service.
- Further, I understand and agree that I must pay the full amount of the costs associated with this telemedicine service, including any prescription I may receive, and I will not attempt to submit a claim to Medicare, any other federal payor, or any state or private insurer.
- Hims doctor visit – Next, the Hims doctor’s visit begins and you answer a series of questions online
- The questions are easy to answer, and basically cover things like when you started noticing hair loss, where the hair loss is happening, more on your medical history.
- Photos of your head – This was the hardest part of the Hims process, you have to take photos of your head (note that you can use your computer’s camera):
- Top of head – this wasn’t all that easy!
- Back of head
- Government ID – Then, you need a photo of your ID to confirm that it’s you requesting the medicine.
- Doctor’s visit confirmation – finally, Hims confirms that you’ve had a doctor’s visit and gets you a confirmation code.
- Wait for Doctor Review – It took about 2 days for the doctor to review my visit, but I never had to speak with her. Everything was done through the questions I submitted earlier, although she did ask via message if I had any questions.
- Shipment – I’ve gotten confirmation that the hair loss medicine is on the way!
Hims Hair Loss Pricing and Packages
One of the things to note about Hims is that they do seem to “hide” some processing fees in their price. For example, the advertised price for the non-prescription hair loss treatment is $30, but as I am signing up I see a $5 “processing fee” added in. Just be careful as you check out to make sure your total matches what you expect.
Here is the company’s hair loss pricing:
- $44.00 per month: The Complete Hair Loss Kit, with Finasteride, Minoxidil, DHT Shampoo and Biotin Gummies
- $30 per month: Non-prescription hair loss kit, with Minoxidil, DHT Shampoo and Biotin Gummies
- $28.50 per month: Finasteride subscription, only contains Finasteride
- $6 to $14 per month: Shampoo only, contains DHT shampoo in one of two sizes
- $15 per month: Minoxidil only subscription
PS: while on the topic of drug pricing, you should know that there are a number of new telemedicine startups that can help you get discounts on ALL your generic drug prescriptions, not just finasteride. We’ve reviewed many of them, including blink health, Roman, and Lemonaid, just to name a few.
Hims Promo Code
What is the main prescription medicine?
The primary prescription medicine this company offers for treating hair loss is finasteride. This drug is also called “Fin” in a lot of online forums. It was originally developed to help treat enlarged prostates, and can not be purchased without a prescription. The various startups in this space are “innovating” by allowing consumers to virtually meet with a doctor and get a prescription, and get the medicine delivered directly to the home with out having to visit a pharmacy.
Finasteride blocks DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a hormone derived from testosterone. This hormone shrinks follicles and is likely the main cause of male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). The primary use of finasteride is to maintain a man’s current hairline, not to promote regrowth after it’s already gone. The patient needs to take a pill daily. Balding is highly likely to begin again if treatment is stopped.
What non-prescription medicines are offered?
Several non-prescription treatment options are offered by the startup, with the two main ones being Minoxidil, and DHT Shampoo. We’ll ignore the Biotin Gummies since there is not a lot of clinical evidence to support that those actually do anything.
Minoxidil: Also sold under the brand name “Rogaine,” Minoxidil has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to treat and help prevent baldness.
The way that Minoxidil works is that it relaxes the blood vessels on your head, which allows more oxygen and nutrients to flow to the follicles
It is not a pill – instead, it is a fluid that gets applied to the head, usually twice daily.
DHT Blocking Shampoo: The company claims that some of the ingredients in this shampoo are known to block the DHT pathway on your head.
The company does try to be honest with it’s health claims for this DHT shampoo, saying “Saw palmetto and ketoconazole — the two DHT blocking ingredients we listed above — may be effective for stopping hair loss.
However, neither of these substances have a measurable effect on the speed and thickness at which your hair grows.”
DHT blocking shampoo – personal review
Ok, so the more I’m using their DHT blocking shampoo, the more I’m starting to like it. Not just for the anti-balding mojo, but also for the way it smells and works and makes my hair feel thicker. When I originally wrote this review, I was only focused on the science behind the hair loss claims. I didn’t really notice one of the major benefits of the shampoo, which the company lists on the back of the bottle:
“this shampoo… causes hair to appear thicker…”
Basically, one of the ingredients helps your hair seem “plumper.” I’m not sure which ingredient is doing it, but it really does “fake” make your hair seem thicker.
I also like the shampoo’s smell, which I think is eucalyptus. Him’s shampoo is maybe worth the upgrade to the complete hair loss kit, in my opinion, after having used it for a few months now.
What are men saying online?
With as much press as the company is getting, you’d expect that the internet would be buzzing with reviews. However, it’s actually a bit harder to find Hims reviews than you might think, so we’ve scoured Reddit to find what other men are saying:
What else do they offer?
Hims Erectile Dysfunction Review
Pretty much as soon as Viagra came to market, you could buy it online in “black markets.” Or at least so I’m assuming, I was too young to really know about that kind of stuff back then. But for sure you can find it on sketchy sites today. BUT, it would be much better if you could get the real generic version of Viagra from a reputable online source.
The good news is that now, with Hims, you can. They offer Sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra – through a legitimate pharmacy, prescribed by licensed physicians, all online.
How to get ED medication through Hims
The steps to get erectile dysfunction medicine through Hims is similar to how you get prescribed anti-balding treatment. You’ll have to fill out a series of online questions which get assessed by a physician. If you are a good fit for the drug, they will write you a prescription and quickly ship out Sildenafil to your home. Here is a bit more about what the online doctors visit is like for their ED meds:
- Register on the site.
- Select the medicine you are interested in (we’ll list out the pricing in a bit).
- Answer a series of simple online questions about your health and conditions.
- You’ll need to know your blood pressure, because they want to make sure that you don’t have abnormal blood pressure, which indicated that there is an underlying issue causing your ED.
- There are some more general health questions and sexual health questions – make sure you answer everything as honestly as you can. It’s way less embarrassing entering this info into an online for vs. actually talking in person to a doctor about it! And what the company is trying to do is give the doctor the information that they need to understand if your ED may be caused by a more serious health condition.
- Eventually you’ll have to take some photos of your ID and of yourself to prove to the doctor that you are who you say you are. They are going to ship legitimate prescription medication, so it’s important that they can prove who they are shipping it to!
- Enter your payment details.
- Then the doctor will review your information, and the ED medication makes sense for you, they will get the shipment processed and out to you.
That’s it. Super easy.
More on the ED drug Sildenafil
Their erectile dysfunction medication, Sildenafil, is a widely used, well-tested and FDA approved drug for the treatment of ED. This means that it is well tolerated by most men, and also that the side effects are well understood.
There are some side effects that you should be aware of and that you should watch out for. The most likely side effects you might have are muscle aches, headaches, dizziness, facial flush, nasal congestion, digestive problems or vision concerns. Very rarely, users can have an erection that won’t go down – sounds kind of funny (or perhaps a good thing if your partner is game) – but actually this could damage your penis. So if this happens, you need to get medical attention.
What does Hims ED medicine cost?
$5 for first month, then $30 per month for 10 x 20mg pills of Sildenafil. You can also get non-generic erectile dysfunction medication from Hims – but it’s a lot more expensive. Viagra for $425 a month and Stendra for $175 per month. Finally, they have generic Cialis (Tadalafil) for $240 a month. So Sildenafil is clearly the best “deal!”
Ready to get started for $5? Click here now.
About Hims, the Men's Healthcare Startup
Hims is a San Francisco based healthcare startup, focused on providing prescription and non-prescription medications to men. The company currently offers hair loss medicine, erectile dysfunction medicine, men’s skin care and anti-anxiety drugs, and is branching out into female healthcare as well with a new division. The company has raised close to $200 million in venture funding from investors such as Thrive Capital, Redpoint and Maverick Ventures.