When it comes to men's health, there are few sorer subjects than hair loss and erectile dysfunction. This is true no matter what your age, but young people—who are statistically less likely to suffer from either—are perhaps entitled to feel slightly more wretched about it.
After all, your twenties are supposed to be a time for personal adventure and sexual exploration, not blowing hair across the bathroom floor and praying to the boner Gods when you've brought a new partner home. Unfortunately, however, 25 percent of men start losing their hair before the age of 21 and the same percentage are effected by erectile dysfunction.
The worst part is that societal stigmas around both issues make it difficult to get help or speak to friends about it. But new wellness brand hims is aiming to change all that.
The San Francisco-based startup sells a range of men’s wellness products for baldness and erectile dysfunction (more lines are set to be rolled out across 2018). It utilizes Instagram-friendly marketing and packaging that looks far more trendy boutique than grim pharmacy to normalize the treatments and make them more appealing.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, the company has rocketed to a valuation of $200 million despite only launching late last year. It has already reportedly sold more than $10 million worth of products, and given they're more affordable and easier to obtain than through the traditional routes, it's not hard to see why.
To explore further, we spoke with founder Andrew Dudum to talk about how hims works, what inspired him to launch the company, and what he thinks about stigmas attached to both issues.
What inspired you to launch hims?
The idea for the brand came after realizing that none of my friends and peers broached conversations about uncomfortable—yet common—personal care topics, like hair loss, ED, skincare, etc. After asking more pointed questions, I discovered that while many guys were eager to learn about treatment options, most felt uncomfortable speaking to these topics and were confused by the information they found randomly searching online at 3 a.m.
We launched hims to encourage more conversations around men’s wellness and provide both education and a hassle-free solution to pain points impacting men’s health and personal care.
How has it gone so far?
hims is a solution unlike anything on the market right now. We take an all-encompassing approach to men’s wellness by offering compelling and educational content, a full range of medical-grade products at an affordable price point, and hassle-free access to doctors from leading universities like Harvard and Stanford.
Why do you think the look of these products is so important?
We want to change the conversation around men's wellness and build a brand that's not only convenient and more affordable, but one that's really aesthetically pleasing.
The hims experience is special. From the moment our customers engage with the brand online, to their interaction with our medical team, and then to the product packaging itself — we're creating a more personal experience and impactful products that men don’t feel like they have to hide from friends or roommates or partners.
What do you think about the current state of conversations around tricky issues like hair loss and ED?
There's absolutely still a stigma. I've seen so many guys suffer in silence because they feel really uncomfortable broaching these topics with doctors, friends and even their partners. Their discomfort is valid—these are really personal issues—but society also tells guys that it's weird or uncommon to want to take care of themselves, adding another layer of hesitation and embarrassment.
With hims, we're trying to communicate the opposite. We want to give men the tools they need to speak up and enjoy taking care of themselves.
How does it works with doctors and prescriptions?
For our prescription products—Finasteride (to fight hair loss) and Sildenafil (to fight erectile dysfunction—customers complete a free, digital assessment on our website, and are immediately connected to one of our doctors through a secure portal.
Following this assessment, one of the doctors will share their recommended treatment plan and corresponding prescription, if applicable. hims doctors are available for questions, regular check-ins and refills after depending on the customer's specific needs.
You mentioned skincare above, but I can't see any skincare products on the store yet — what have you got planned?
I can't share too many details about skincare yet, but we plan to expand into that and other product categories this year. We want hims to be the one-stop-shop for all men’s self-care and wellness needs, so expect many more products and categories.
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