Andrew Dudum is tired of the way people talk — and don’t talk — about men’s hair loss.
“The products are usually marketed to white men in their 50s or 60s, who are walking on the beach in linen pants, with gray hair,” he said. This is despite the fact that 66 percent of men experience hair loss by age 35, with a quarter of those men noticing hair loss before age 21, according to The American Hair Loss Association.
Dudum, a partner at the incubator Atomic, created the new men’s wellness brand Hims in an effort to reframe this conversation: Directing it toward a younger (20s and 30s), more diverse cohort, while also removing what he sees as the topic’s ingrained stigma. The goal is to reassure guys that hair loss is normal, he said, and that “the only weird part is how no one talks about it.”
Hims Biotin gummies
Launched on Wednesday, Hims’ initial product both prevents hair loss and promotes its growth. Sold only on the Hims website, individual products top out at $25, while a kit of all four products retails for $44. (Products geared toward skin care and sexual wellness will be available down the line.)
Reasonable pricing was important to Dudum, who said that he and his friends began looking to ward off their own hair loss in college, but found products on the market tough to afford. According to Hims’ research, most products out there hover somewhere between $80 and $200 for a few months supply, with the oft-referenced Rogaine treatment foams averaging around $50.
Not that he and his buddies were talking openly about the issue back then: “We were all suffering in silence, because none of us had the courage to recognize that we were in it together and could help each other,” he said. The problem persists today, with Hims finding that less than 10 percent of men feel comfortable enough to voice these concerns with a physician.
Hims marketing imagery
Customers can take a 10-15 question survey that will then connect them to a doctor who can consult, direct them to the best products and write prescriptions when necessary (the only current Hims product to require one).
Dudum hopes this opportunity will wean men off having to self-diagnose via Google, where they can discover “a lot of terrifying shit,” he said.
One way they’ll target the younger cohort they’re after is by designing their products in the minimalist fashion that has become the standard for young brands today, including two of Dudum’s references: Goop and Glossier. Like them, Hims’ branding is all muted colors and bold type, a stark difference from the medicinal, cluttered boxes the category is known for.
Hims DHT-blocking shampoo
Dudums describes the voice of the brand as blunt and witty, and that seems about right. The website, for example, reads: “Prevention. More effective than denial.”
“We’re talking to guys the way they want to be talked to, which is direct. No bullshit,” he said.
The brand’s blog, dubbed Savoir Faire, will also attempt to reach customers by operating as an encyclopedia of sorts for men wanting to know more about hair loss, skin care and sex. Current articles include “DHT and Male Hair Loss, Explained” and “The Best Men’s Skin-Care Routine for Fall.”
Hims marketing imagery
As is common these days, Dudum and his team want to bill the company as more than just an online pharmacy. “It’s first and foremost a lifestyle brand,” he said. “It’s about being the best version of yourself and is a brand that will grow with you.”