Health & Fitness | November 2, 2017 9:00 am

No, Good Branding Won’t Help Your Hair Grow Back

Hims' looks great on your counter. But does it actually work?

Denial is not just a river in northeast Africa — it’s also the way many men deal with their hair loss, choosing to ignore the reality that two out of three of us will be follically impaired by 35.

For guys who don’t want to bury their (possibly balding) heads in the sand about this issue, there are an increasing number of products available that claim to help. The latest to market: a new wellness brand called Hims making preventative care plans and products that are optimized for use before things reach the tipping point.

The ingredients, however, are not new. While you need a prescription to get the pharm-grade doses of finasteride, you don’t need one to get minoxidil which is already available over-the-counter (via Rogaine). 

So, what’s Hims then? It’s part of a larger marketing movement the beauty industry has been struggling with for awhile: how to market to men the most private of products. Look at the non-pink and powder-blue side of the toiletry aisle and you’ll see that the dominant aesthetic is built on aggressive bachelorism and hypersexual, combative naming. 

But that is in the grocery store. Now, companies are seeing the direct-to-consumer model work for home goods, style and, yes, grooming and health. In the digital space, marketing is its own beast. Hims is emoji-laden, minimal and pastel, clearly marketed to to the newly aging millenial who prizes self care and is less self-conscious about it than his forebears.

Their Hair Insurance Kit is a combination of four FDA-approved products (finasteride pills, DHT shampoo, minoxidil and biotin gummies) that are scientifically proven to stop hair loss and even help reverse it when taken daily. That FDA approval is another sign they aren’t coming in hot with a new product, just new branding.

Hims Brand (3 images)

That said, the main appeal to going this route are A) the price and B) whether you’re personally happy with the results. Hims claims to offer their products (Hair Insurance starts at $44) at up to 80% less than what customers would be paying through existing providers, andn the direct-to-consumer brand plans to expand into skincare and sexual wellness products soon.

“Thanks to science, baldness is now optional,” hims says. “ED? Optional. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, sure. But let’s work on not breaking in the first place. Prevention. More effective than denial.”

As they say, use it or lose it.