Baldness is an issue that’s not easy to talk about for men or women, and yet it affects millions of people around the world. In America alone, According to the American Hair Loss Association, by the time men reach the age of 35, 2/3 of them experience significant hair loss. By 50 approximately 85% of men have significantly thinning hair.
Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
Ultimately your physical appearance should not affect the way that you are treated, how others view you or how you view and appreciate yourself, but there is evidence that baldness can have a lasting effect on us. Besides the embarrassment and self-esteem issues many face when going bald, our physical appearance can keep us from finding a date, making friends or even getting a job.
Although baldness can be particularly damaging for women, whose physical appearance may be more scrutinized and who are not expected to lose their hair, this startup focuses primarily on male baldness. The most common kind of baldness for men is male pattern baldness where thinning starts at the temple and moves to the crown of the head.
For men this is caused primarily by dihydrotestosterone (or DHT) which acts to break down testosterone, triggering the shrinking of hair follicles. This startup is hoping to tackle the problem at the root by combating DHT production. Of course whether or not baldness will affect you is about more than just DHT, it also has to do with the DNA you obtain from both parents and how early treatment starts.
Getting to the Root of the Problem
It’s easy to see how methods to cure, reverse or treat baldness are big business. One startup is hoping to put an end to the "hair today, gone tomorrow (or forever)" story. The startup, simply named Keeps, wants to help men keep their hair by providing consultation services and FDA-approved medical interventions for their baldness.
We’re on a mission to make future hair loss a thing of the past.
Subscriptions with Keeps start at ten dollars per month depending on the treatment plan a user chooses. To decide what they may need, potential customers can first answer some preliminary questions after which he will be provided a 90 day supply of their products.
What exactly is being sold?
The products, developed by two former Google employees Steven Gutentag and Demetri Karagas in tandem of their team of doctors, include their Finasteride prescription pills and Minoxidil topical solution, better known as the generic versions of Propecia and Rogaine respectively.
Finasteride is taken daily and works by blocking DHT. According to their website, the Finasteride treatment has shown proof of preventing the spread of receding hairlines and boosting hair growth. It works on the hairline, crown, and vertex and is supposed to have limited side effects. Interested users or standoffish potential customers can read the full drug facts on their website. For customers already using Finasteride, Keeps offers them the choice of ordering directly through their site and paying half the price than they would at a typical pharmacy.
The topical treatment Minoxidil has been proven effective at slowing hair loss and even promoting new growth on the crown of the head. In the end, Keeps promises a fuller head of hair after applying it twice daily with results being visible in as little as three to four months. Minoxidil can also be ordered through Keeps for customers already using the product, to save money.
The Doctor Will See You Now
So how does it work? Is it safe? Who are the doctors that prescribe these medications? Medical advice is given through the use of another communications technology you may be familiar with from our article on the telemedicine startup Doxy. That’s right, good ol’ telemedicine technology is used to connect doctors with patients anywhere in the world and to review treatment plans.
The first consultation that customers receive from their board-certified doctors is free, subsequent visits cost customers 30 dollars each. During the visit, the doctor will review the results from the information the customer has provided before and during the "meeting" to identify the best treatment plan for them. Four to six weeks following the start of treatment, the doctor will reach out to the patient through their patient portal to see how everything is going and address any issues or changes which may have come up.
Whether it’s laser helmets (yes, they exist) or gummy vitamins, there’s a lot of stuff on the market that doesn’t work and plays into our worst insecurities. Keeps only sells products proven to work (and approved by the FDA) and partners with top doctors who review each case to make sure you’re getting exactly what get you need, and nothing you don’t.
Their doctors are both talented and experienced. Their medical team includes Dr. Jerry Shapiro, an experienced dermatologist, and professor of dermatology at the NYU School of Medicine and Dr. Antonella Tosti, a hair disorders expert and professor of clinical dermatology at the University of Maryland.
In the End
Customized hygiene startups have succeeded before, and the fact that Keeps works by tackling one of the most frustrating and embarrassing problems for men worldwide in the only way medically proven (at this time) gives it an advantage over some others.
In the end, I wanted to remind readers that our self-worth should come from a source other than our physical appearance and that our appearance changes as we age. This doesn’t mean that altering your physical appearance or fighting the aging process is wrong. Bald or not, straight or shaggy-haired, who you are extends far past physical "imperfections."
So maybe give Keeps a try, or maybe not. Either way, they’re quite interesting and could help a lot of men feel better about themselves.