Last updated on October 7th, 2020 at 11:45 pm
Keeps and Propecia are two popular options for treating male hair loss. If you’re losing hair, which is the case for about 53% of American men over 40, then you’re probably researching these kinds of products and wondering what the difference is, if anything. Is one better? Does it come down to personal preference?
Let’s examine the differences between Keeps and Propecia, and compare just about every aspect of each hair loss treatment to figure out which finasteride supplement is best for you.
TLDR: Keeps and Propecia are the same drug, but different brands.
Regardless of whether you choose Keeps or Propecia, you’ll take a daily pill of the same active ingredient. Propecia and Keeps are two brand names for the generic drug finasteride, which was originally created to treat an enlarged prostate, but subsequently became popular as an effective hair loss treatment.
You can also expect the same results (and chance of side effects) regardless which you use. While both are prescription pills, the difference comes down to branding and how you acquire each.
Propecia is a conventional Rx medication requiring a visit to both your doctor and the pharmacy, including everything that goes along with this method like copays, waiting in line, and typically a higher price. Keeps is simply a different brand of finasteride, which is sold cheaper than Propecia because it’s not made by a standard pharmaceutical company bogged down by heavy R&D costs, but rather a generic directly to consumers online to be delivered straight to your door.
To get Propecia, you’ll pay your doctor’s visit price or the copay of your insurance, and then about $70 to $75 per month. You might assume it’s covered under your health insurance plan, but Propecia usually isn’t, meaning you’ll likely pay full price out of pocket.
With Keeps, you start with a free virtual doctor consultation, and each additional doctor consultation — should you want one — is just $5. They will ship you a three-month supply of finasteride for just $25 per month, but we’ve actually negotiated a steep 50% discount with Keeps to further lower the barrier and allow you to try 3 months of hair loss pills for just $37. Click here to take advantage of this exclusive offer.
Keeps vs Propecia: What’s the difference?
We put together this chart to help you compare these finasteride brands / providers and finally understand how they differ.
Keeps vs Propecia: Comparing the Best Hair Loss Treatment
|How to order||www.keeps.com||Visit a doctor in real life, get a prescription, and purchase through pharmacy|
|Active Ingredient||1 mg finasteride daily||1 mg finasteride daily|
|Backed by clinical research?||✔️||✔️|
|Other hair loss products offered||Minoxidil (Generic Rogaine) solution or foam, 5%|
Ketoconazole (Generic Nizoral) shampoo, 2%
|Cost of Finasteride & Minoxidil Bundle||$70 for 3 months initially,|
$105 for 3 months after that
|No bundle available|
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To recap, the main differences are the branding, the method of delivery, and the price. Other than that, you’re getting the same FDA-approved drug (finasteride) that’s widely used to keep hair in your head. Using the same drug means you can expect similar results. A three-month supply of Keeps costs about the same price as one month of Propecia, offering significant cost savings.
Keeps is also more convenient because you get it shipped directly to you instead of reuqiring a trip to the pharmacy every month. Of course, you could have Propecia sent to you through the mail if you order via a (sketchy?) mail-order pharmacy route. This often saves a buck compared to getting it straight from an in-person pharmacy, but nonetheless, Keeps will still likely be the best deal.
Does Keeps offer more than just finasteride for men's hair loss?
Another benefit of Keeps is that you can also purchase other tried-and-true hair loss treatments that work in parallel with finasteride. Unlike your doctor who prescribes Propecia, Keeps can also help you get minoxidil, the generic form of Rogaine, but Keeps. With Ketoconazole shampoo as well, Keeps is much more of a one-stop-shop for all things men’s hair loss.
Speaking of minoxidil: Keeps sells both the solution and the foam options. A study in the medical journal Dermatologic Therapy found that using both minoxidil and finasteride showed improvement in 94.1% of men compared to 80.5% of men using finasteride alone. So it’s definitely worth considering using both medications. You might see better results if you apply minoxidil to your scalp twice a day along with a 1mg finasteride pill once per day.
Plus, you can purchase ketoconazole shampoo, the generic form of Nizoral, from Keeps. The ketoconazole shampoo helps with dandruff flakes and itchiness so that when you keep as much hair as possible with the other products, you keep it looking great too.
How does Propecia or finasteride in general work to stop hair loss?
You probably want to make sure finasteride actually works at all before you wonder how it works. Yes, it works. Finasteride was a drug created for a prostate condition, and then it was discovered that it could also keep hair on a man’s head. The FDA ended up approving it for this side effect in 1998 at a lower dose.
This drug has been backed by clinical studies for its effectiveness. A long-term study in the European Journal of Dermatology looked at the use of finasteride 1mg over five years of use. The participants using a placebo showed progressive hair loss during this time, while those who used finasteride had slowed hair loss and even showed improvement in hair growth. Plus, the drug was well tolerated and the study didn’t find new safety issues.
Now that we’ve covered that finasteride does work, let’s get into how it works.
A male sex hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), helps develop body hair and other “male” characteristics, but ironically this same hormone contributes to hair loss in time. The finasteride in Keeps and Propecia combats the hair loss process by cutting down on the amount of DHT you have in your bloodstream.
When you add minoxidil to your finasteride routine, you combat hair loss from another angle. Minoxidil works by dilating the blood vessels on your scalp when you apply it to the skin. This means that you get better circulation of blood and nutrients to the hair follicles to improve the chances of keeping them healthier and intact for as long as possible.
What are the potential side effects of finasteride?
Since finasteride is a drug you take orally, it’s a good idea to question whether it could cause side effects. Basically, every kind of drug may cause some side effects in certain people. In this case, finasteride has been generally well tolerated and the drug is commonly used and studied.
Nonetheless, finasteride does come with the risk of side effects, which it’s always good to be aware of. Unfortunately, some people have experienced sexual side effects that have included erectile dysfunction, decreased libido and ejaculatory disorders.
The good news is that it’s not very common—a long-term study found that these side effects happened in less than two percent of the men studied. It’s also possible to experience other rare side effects such as weakness, dizziness or hand/feet/breast swelling. Of course, if you experience any side effects, talk to a doctor about it immediately before continuing to take finasteride.
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The Verdict: So which do we recommend, Keeps finasteride or Propecia?
It’s probably pretty clear by this point that we highly prefer Keeps over Propecia. The reason? Doctor consultations are cheaper and easier with Keeps, plus you get your prescription conveniently delivered to your home for significantly less—what’s not to like? With Keeps, you get the same type of generic drug with the same results, through a better business model.
Bear in mind that neither Keeps nor Propecia is a magic elixir that will fully regrow all your hair. Finasteride, whether generic from Keeps or branded Propecia from your doctor, merely stops you from losing the hair you still have and hopefully restore some of the hair follicles that are on the verge of dying. But it’s unlikely to regrow hair that you’ve already lost. Thus the sooner you start, the better, because this treatment is more about preventing further loss of hair than about bringing back lost hair. So starting now is your best bet.
Also, we recommend that you use both finasteride and minoxidil together because they’ve been shown to work better together in studies. Keeps makes it easy to buy both through the service, whereas you would have to purchase minoxidil separately if you get a Propecia prescription.
If you’re looking for the best way to get finasteride to stop your hair loss, we highly recommend you take advantage of the 50% discount we negotiated (you’re welcome!), and try Keeps today. FYI, there are a few other companies offering inexpensive Rx hair loss meds online that you may want to be aware of as well. Check out this comparison of Hims and Roman as well to see how they stack up to Keeps.