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If you’re dealing with hair loss, you may be curious about how you can treat this issue at home. While it’s possible to get over-the-counter products like minoxidil (Rogaine) at your local drugstore, there are also online subscription services designed to help you save time and money.
Let’s take a look at one service, Keeps, and explore what they offer and how their treatments compare with competitors.
Keeps is one of several online services that make it possible to get Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatments to minimize hair loss, all from the comfort of home.
Daily supplies are shipped to your door every 3 months, at a significant discount over pharmacy pricing. Plus, you’ll have access to a team of physicians and trained care specialists if you have questions or need support.
Finasteride from Keeps
Finasteride is a 1-milligram pill that’s taken daily and is only available with a prescription. It’s the generic version of Propecia. It contains the same amount of active ingredient as Propecia and finasteride from Hims, another competitor.
Minoxidil from Keeps
Keeps sells minoxidil as a solution that you apply to your scalp with a dropper or as a foam that you apply with your hands. Both contain 5 percent of the active ingredient, which is the same dosage as competitors like Hims, Rogaine, Target Hair Regrowth Treatment, and Walgreens Hair Regrowth Treatment.
Minoxidil is the generic version of Rogaine. You don’t need a prescription to use it.
The FDA has approved minoxidil for male and female pattern baldness. It works best on the crown of the head.
Ketoconazole from Keeps
Keeps sells shampoo with 2 percent topical ketoconazole, which is a generic version of Nizoral. Ketoconazole is an antifungal medication that can be used off-label for hair loss.
Nizoral and Walgreens both sell shampoo with 1 percent ketoconazole.
How finasteride works
Finasteride blocks dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that causes male pattern baldness. Taking finasteride slows down hair loss. In some people, it can even stop hair loss.
It takes up to 3 months of daily use to see effects from finasteride. If you stop taking it daily, the effects can reverse themselves within about 1 year.
How minoxidil works
Minoxidil works directly on your hair follicles to slow down hair loss and help regrow the hair at the crown of your head. Specifically, it has been shown to increase follicle size and the number of follicles. It also increases blood flow to follicles to encourage growth.
It can take 3 to 4 months for the minoxidil solution or foam to start working. If you stop using minoxidil daily, regrown hair usually starts to fall out within 3 months.
How ketoconazole works
You can start with Keeps in two ways:
- If you know what you want, you can choose your plan: finasteride and minoxidil, finasteride only, or minoxidil only. You’ll then take a short online quiz so a doctor can double-check that you’ve selected the right plan.
- If you’re not sure which product you’d like, you can fill out a questionnaire that asks you about your hair loss, lifestyle, and medical history. It will also ask you for photos of your hair loss. A doctor will review your questionnaire and pictures and suggest a treatment plan for you.
For either method, you’ll also need to provide a copy of your driver’s license or other government-issued ID. Because you need a prescription to use Keeps, the ID is necessary so the doctor knows who you are before prescribing.
A doctor will review your information within 24 hours. In some states, you’ll need to have a phone call with a doctor before you get a prescription. But in others, the doctor can prescribe a treatment for you after just reviewing your information.
Keeps is a subscription service, so they’ll automatically send products to you every 3 months unless you cancel.
If you have questions or experience side effects once starting treatment, you can message a doctor through Keeps. You can speak with one of their doctors over the phone if you prefer, but Keeps will need to set up the call.
Your initial consultation with a doctor is free. After that first visit, you can message the doctor for free for 1 year.
Keeps also recommends an annual telehealth consultation, which costs $5.
Keeps is a subscription model, and you pay for 3 months at a time. Your options are:
- Finasteride and minoxidil foam: $78 for the first 3 months, then $120 every 3 months.
- Finasteride and minoxidil solution: $68.25 for the first 3 months, then $105 every 3 months.
- Finasteride only: $48.75 for the first 3 months, then $75 every 3 months.
- Minoxidil foam only: $29.25 for the first 3 months, then $45 every 3 months.
- Minoxidil solution only: $19.50 for the first 3 months, then $30 every 3 months.
Ketoconazole is sold as an add-on to any treatment plan. It costs $30 for 3 months.
Keeps also offers a thickening shampoo and conditioner to complement their treatment plans. It’s $29.34 for the first order, then $44 every 3 months.
Most negative reviews mention poor customer service and people being charged after they tried to cancel, or having other difficulties with canceling. Once an order is processed for a billing cycle, you can’t return or cancel it. Keeps has responded to all reviews on the Better Business Bureau site. On the Trustpilot site, there was no response from Keeps on positive or negative reviews.
Reviews on other sites state that Keeps has prompt customer service. Reviews of the products themselves are generally positive across sites.
The Keeps website provides options to text, call, chat with, or email their customer service team.
The side effects of each medication are different.
Finasteride side effects
For finasteride, potential side effects include:
- decreased libido
- erectile dysfunction, which may be permanent
- decrease in ejaculate volume
- breast enlargement
- breast tenderness
- testicular pain
Experts point out that finasteride shouldn’t be used by anyone with a family history of prostate cancer.
Topical minoxidil side effects
Potential side effects of topical minoxidil include:
- unusual growth of facial and body hair
- scalp itching, dryness, or irritation
Some potential side effects are serious.
Check in with a doctor
Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following while using minoxidil:
Topical ketoconazole side effects
Potential side effects of topical ketoconazole include:
- scalp irritation or dryness
- changes in hair texture
- blisters on your scalp
Ketoconazole can also cause serious side effects. Contact your doctor if you have redness, pain, swelling, or tenderness where you applied the medication.
All types of treatment can cause an allergic reaction.
Check in with a doctor
Seek emergency medical attention if you experience any of the following right after using any product:
Although Keeps has doctors who can prescribe medication for you, it may be helpful to talk with an independent doctor who knows your medical history before using a subscription service for hair loss. They can help make sure your hair loss isn’t caused by an underlying issue.
Even if your doctor gives you a prescription, you can get your medication through Keeps, sometimes for less than what it costs at your local pharmacy. Keep in mind that while finasteride requires a prescription, minoxidil and ketoconazole don’t.
Ultimately, it’s important to learn what’s causing your hair loss, since it may or may not respond to the medications offered by Keeps and may need another type of treatment.
Keeps says that their products are only for male pattern baldness. If this description doesn’t fit you, talk with your doctor about the best treatment for you. Rogaine and Hims/Hers both make treatments specifically for women with hair loss.
✓ ketoconazole shampoo
✓ thickening shampoo and conditioner
✓ thickening shampoo
✓ gummies for thicker-looking hair
|Prescription needed?||for finasteride only||for finasteride only||for finasteride only|
|Pricing||starting at $10 per month depending on plan||starting at $15 per month depending on plan||starting at $20 per month depending on plan|
|Doctor consultations||free, then $5 annually||free||free|
|Subscription or one-time purchase?||subscription only||subscription; over-the-counter products can be purchased without a subscription||subscription; over-the-counter products can be purchased without a subscription|
|Subscription frequency||every 3 months||depends on the product||monthly, quarterly, or on-demand|
|Return policy||all sales are final and returns are not accepted||90-day money-back guarantee||all sales are final and returns are not accepted|
|Cancellation policy||plans can be canceled at any time||plans can be canceled, postponed, or snoozed at any time||plans can be canceled or paused at any time|
Is Keeps legit?
Yes. Keeps is a legitimate online service offering health consultations and hair loss treatment plans for male pattern baldness.
Does Keeps really work?
The products Keeps offers have been shown to minimize hair loss. The company offers a subscription model because these products should be used continuously to maintain results.
Does insurance cover Keeps hair loss treatments?
No. Both finasteride and minoxidil are considered cosmetic, which mean they aren’t covered by most insurance plans. Keeps is a self-pay service, and insurance can’t be used for products or medical consultations.
Keeps is one of many options for hair loss treatment, with some advantages. Their subscription model helps keep you consistent, while the telehealth they provide can be a good option if you don’t have a primary care physician or another way to access care.
If you’re not sure what’s right for you, talk with your doctor to help you decide.