Hims is a new American ‘ personal wellness’ brand entering the UK market. ’You should look and feel your best all the time. Men now have easier access to the care they need - because men trust hims with the things they find hard to talk about.’ or so the company blurb says. The Founder and CEO is Andrew Dudum who is a serial backer of start-ups.
TheChicGeek says, “Hims is more than a grooming brand, and goes deep into the wellness area for men. Covering hair, skin, mouth, sex and health, hims is trying to broaden the grooming scope and make these new areas cuddly and sexy. The branding is great. The phallic images of the flaccid cacti feels more like a premonition when you get to my age… (On that note, they could make the information on the bottles a little bit bigger for those us actually losing our hair and of that age).
I tried the ‘dht shampoo’, ‘morning glow serum’ and ‘immunity’ supplements, all achingly cool lower case. It’s a very Helvetica type brand, - it looks a bit like an underwear brand - but I like its modern approach and tone. It’s an open platform and makes more sensitive subjects feel just as easy and fixable as buying a new moisturiser.
Hims offers erectile dysfunction and hair loss treatments, but you have to go through a consultation and an online doctor will prescribe these. The company works with a large network of doctors to prescribe Finasteride - a proven-to-work hairloss treatment - and Sildenafil - the active ingredient in Viagra - through their website - customers will be assessed by an online consultation with one of the team. If they pass the assessment (in the US an average around 10% of patients are refused), an online prescription will be drawn up by a pharmacist and mailed in a discreet manila envelope. There is a huge emphasis on aftercare and customers will be able to follow up with the same doctor to monitor use.
As for the more traditional products I tried: the blue shampoo blocks DHT to help prevent hair-loss, the serum focuses on vitamin C for its collagen benefits and cute gummy bear shaped supplements support a healthy immune system. I have tried ‘Beauty Candy’ before. (Not quite a replacement for Haribo!)
These are all fairly long term products and need a longer of period of time if you’re going to see and assess any benefits. I did want a bit more ‘glow’ from the serum though.
Hims feels like an inclusive brand rather than one trying to rinse people’s insecurities. I just kinda wish they sold the penis cacti too!”
Because the non-prescription products haven’t launched in the UK yet, they haven’t released prices, but looking at the American website they look pretty keenly priced. The prescription products are: Hair Loss (Finasteride): £35 for a month’s treatment, Sildenafil (50 mg pill): £33 for 8 pills or a months supply. There is also a £10 consultation fee on top - www.forhims.co.uk
Disclosure - The products were gifted by Hims to review
Like with anything that becomes more common it doesn’t take long before you know a friend of a friend or someone closer who takes the plunge and has it done. You have lots of questions and you just want somebody you trust to give you the honest lowdown and then you can decide whether it’s something to seriously consider or dismiss and move on.
I’ve been thinking about hair transplants recently. They are becoming much more common, more affordable and are a physical solution to the "problem" of male baldness. There are so many products and supplements targeting the Achilles’ heel of men losing their hair and prey on the desperation to find a solution, but, to me, a physical solution seems the most logical and reasonable answer.
I’m not hung up on my hairloss, but, if somebody said you could have a full head of hair, of course, I would say “yes”. I’ve asked two friends who recently have had the procedure, completely anonymously, their honest thoughts and whether they would recommend it. Here’s what they had to say:
CG: How did the procedure work in practise? Was it painful? Sore?
1) “The procedure took part over the course of two days. Eight hours per day, four hours extracting the hairs from the donor area at the back of the head and four hours implanting the new hairs to the front of the head. Unfortunately, I didn't take well from the meds on the first day so I did feel a level of soreness (they can only put a certain amount of local anaesthetic in the head as it has an adverse effect if they add too much). Discomfort came from laying in the same position for eight hours.”
2) “I had a hair transplant, so the ‘roots’ of my hair were transplanted from one area – called ‘the donor area’ – to the places where hair was missing. The donor area is around the side and back of your head, and the missing areas for me were quite common in many men, the crown and the top of my hairline at the left and right.
They shave the donor area down, they extract the hairs one by one and place them on a petri dish. Incisions are made in the areas that will be receiving the hairs. Obviously you’re under anaesthetic – that is, arguably, the most painful part – so you can’t feel anything, but you can most certainly hear it. It sounds like a knife cutting a raw carrot. So it’s not that it’s painful, really, it’s just that you have a rush of adrenaline because you’re expecting it to be painful. Obviously it can be quite bloody, so it’s not for the faint-hearted…
Don’t forget that each hair was transplanted individually in my case – I felt this would look better than transplanting sections of hair (grafting rather than transplant).”
CG: Was it how you expected? Did you get the results you wanted?
1) “When you have a surgery like this, you don't believe that you can get amazing results as it seems too good to be true. But, a year on I am thrilled with my results and have certainly grown in confidence.”
2) “I think it was exactly how I expected it to be, perhaps a little quicker. I was expecting it to take about eight hours and I was probably done in six, including lunch. The thing with this procedure is it takes up to eight months to really show properly, so you get a bit impatient waiting to see results. It’s also good to go into it knowing that you may need a second and third transplant for it to really take, or to get the kind of density you want.
“But now, almost nine months on, I actually have hair growing in what were previously bald spots. And not just fuzzy little hairs, we’re talking long actual comb-aside hairs. It makes me laugh because obviously you’re not sat there watching it, and suddenly one day you go ‘hang on, I don’t actually have bald spots any more’.
“I think the most telling thing is that I always, always used to wear a hat. It was kind of my ‘thing’. But I don’t anymore. I didn’t make a conscious decision, I just kind of stopped. And I realised that it had really affected my confidence and this transplant had changed all that.
In fact, I’m growing my hair long now. Just to see. Because I can!”
CG: What has been - if any - the biggest disappointment(s)?
1) “After the donor hair is implanted and it starts to go back, after about two months your hair sheds to the same as it looked before. You have to be really patient to see growth, which happens at a slow pace.”
2) "The only disappointment I can say, and this is nothing to do with the actual procedure and everything to do with my age, is that the new hair – i.e. the hair from the back of my head – is growing in grey and wiry! I suppose I could dye it, but I’m going to embrace being a silver fox.”
“I suppose you could add one thing about disappointments. I had hoped it might be a bit thicker, but I guess that’s down to my age and hair being thinner – and obviously being forewarned that I might need a second transplant to get the desired effect. But having said that, I have hair where previously I had none and that’s pretty amazing!”
CG: Would you say it was worth the money?
1) “I was lucky enough to be in a position where I was a case study for the clinic, so did not pay - however, the surgery was valued at 8.5K and I feel it would be worth the money if I was in a position where I had to pay for it.”
2) “It’s costly, but not something that you want to do on the cheap - you’ve got to get it done properly. So I would say, personally in my case, it was worth the money.”
CG: Would you recommend it?
1) “Absolutely, it's improved my confidence beyond belief.”
2) “I would definitely recommend it to anyone bothered by hair loss that can afford the procedure.”
CG: Is there any on-going maintenance or follow ups?
1) “You have the opportunity to start again with your hair, so it's important to use good shampoos (Aveda), wash hair daily, hair masks and hair oils to keep it in top condition.”
2) “The first week is slightly odd, as you have to sleep as though you’re sitting up in a plane – you can’t lay flat on your back. And it’s your natural instinct to do that. You have to spray the transplants all through the day, and you can’t wash it for the first few days. A minor inconvenience for what you’re ultimately going to get though. And it’s quite gratifying after a week or so to be able to knock off the tiny scabs… Too much information? Well, you are having multiple incisions made into your scalp!”
So, overall, it seems very positive. It does feel like a big commitment as the operation is lengthy and I would like to be reassured I could stick it out. The prices are still fairly high, but from these testimonies it seems to be worth it.
The scalp often gets overlooked, and, much like a plant, healthy roots equals a strong and vigorous plant.
“Your scalp is simply an extension of your facial skin. And just like your face, your scalp needs cleansing, balancing, and protection. Once you think of it that way, it shouldn’t be hard to understand why you might need to be giving it a little extra care,” says, Justina Mejia-Montane, Vice President, Global Product Development at Aveda.
The Pramāsana collection is formulated with an exclusive blend of ingredients including: seaweed extract, helps control and balance sebum levels on the scalp. Lactobacillus, patented ferment helps preserve the scalp’s natural protective barrier and Tamanu Oil, a known anti-oxidant that helps to protect the scalp from pollution and other free radicals. The fragrance is a clean, fresh ‘Pure-Fume’ aroma featuring grapefruit, neroli, and cypress.
Left - Aveda - Pramasana Purifying Scalp Cleanser - £23.50, Pramasana Protective Scalp Concentrate - £35
TheChicGeek says, “A product will come along and you’ll think why haven’t I thought about my hair like this before. Now, put your hands together, bend forward and say “Pramāsana”, it’s a combination of the Sanskrit words, ‘Prama’ (foundation) and ‘Asana’ (position in yoga). Now, uncross your legs!
You always feel like you’re in good hands with Aveda hair products. There’s an optional brush, which I didn't try, but having short hair. I don’t think I really needed it.
The first of the two products is the cleanser. You massage into the scalp, before shampooing and on wet hair, to instantly balance sebum levels creating a clean scalp foundation.
This has that satisfying, two-handed massaging texture that really makes you feel like you’re really cleaning your hair. You then shampoo and rinse as usual.
Then, while the hair is still damp, it’s time for the 'Scalp Concentrate'. I found it was best to pipette it into your hand then rub it into the scalp. Aveda say to think about this like the serum step in skincare. It’s suppose to help protect from pollution and other free radicals which should go to some way in combating the excesses Oxford Street!
I like both of these products and I think it’ll be particularly good for those with thick hair and those who use a lot of product. My mum actually said my hair looked nice, which she hasn't said for a while and didn't know I had used anything new.
My only negative, there needs to be more information on how often to use it. I wasn't sure if it was a weekly or daily thing, but I’ve been told “it’s as often as you wash your hair, so, yes, daily is good!”.
Toby Rundle, Senior Stylist at Jo Hansford
How To Get Great Hair
A clean scalp is essential – no flaking or dandruff. There are numerous products on the market to help cure or aid these problems. If you have a flaky or dry scalp, use a nutritious shampoo like Kérastase Bain Satin. If you have an itchy, flaky scalp or dandruff, use Kérastase Bain Gommage. In both cases, Kérastase Lait Vital can be massage in to the scalp to moisturise after shampooing. If either of these systems persist – take professional advice. Remember guys; rinse the hair very well to get all of the shampoo and conditioner out.
The same applies with greasy scalps- regular shampooing with a suitable shampoo will help to alleviate this problem.
If you have persistent scalp problems, take advice from your hairdresser or in extreme cases, a tricologist or doctor. Scalp problems can be caused by too much product used in the hair or not shampooing the product out sufficiently
If you use a lot or products such as gels and waxes etc, it is a good idea to shampoo them out daily, normally one light shampoo in the shower will do. But – with waxes or very heavy products, shampoo can be applied to the hair before the water and massaged in well, and then add warm water and lather. Sometimes a second shampoo is necessary.
For guys that are worried about losing their hair – I'm sorry – but baldness is quite a common issue in men and it's hereditary so you can blame your parents! If you are experiencing this problem, you just need to accept it – keep your hair cut short and neat, and go with it.
If you are lucky enough to have a clear scalp and good hair but you are starting to go grey, things can be done! You can subtly cover a few stray greys with a vegetable colour or a technique we use at Jo Hansford called a smudge, which is longer lasting and a very effective covering on a more permanent basis. If time is not a problem, and your hair is short, high and lowlights are the way forward! But take advice from the colourist in your salon. Grey roots and a definite dark line is not a good look. There are products in your local chemist but still take advice from a professional.
Now that we are past all the major problems we can move on to Styling!
Wear something that suits, following fashion is cool, but have your own image and look. Wear a style that suits you and your hair. Find a product you can work with and do not be embarrassed to go for a new look. Men tend to follow the female trend and our female clients like to have a style they can change, something casual in the day time and a change of image for a party or night out.
Situated on Mayfair's fashionable Mount Street, Jo Hansford is the leading hair colour salon in the U.K. and is renowned for the creation of the perfect hair colour and expert colour correction.
When Jo opened her specialist colour salon in 1993, her team consisted of just eight staff. Today, Jo Hansford boasts a team of over forty highly skilled colourists, stylists and assistants, all personally trained by Jo herself.
There is nothing wrong with growing old gracefully and there’s also nothing wrong with trying to disguise the grey in your hair or beard, if that’s what you prefer. I’m not really bothered either way. I was once told red hair didn’t go grey, well that was a load of rubbish as my beard is now full of grey hairs. ‘Salt and paprika’, I once saw it described as, the guy even had TM - trademark - next to it!
Root Vanish by KAZUMI - £30
Anyway, dying hair can be a tricky one, as it can look too deep and flat and obviously dyed or the thought of something permanent can be a little scary. Men don’t want to look obviously dyed if they’re going for a natural colour.
The brainchild of Hollywood master colourist Kazumi Morton and championed by pioneering Japanese beauty brand KIWABI, Root Vanish by KAZUMI is firmly rooted in both Japanese heritage and innovation.
Right - TheChicGeek using 'Copper' - Before (left) & After (right)
"I wanted to create colours that didn’t end up looking dull, flat or gloopy once applied and couldn’t find them anywhere in the U.S. During one of my trips back to Japan, I found a unique gel formula that effectively covered greys without leaving any residue or drying the hair and scalp.
"To this, I added the extracts and oils of 22 botanical ingredients known in Japan to hydrate and promote healthy hair such as yuzu, ginger root, persimmon fruit and Japanese black seaweed,“ says Kazumi.
TheChicGeek says, “I like the idea of this and also the wand and brush feels like a quality product. You press the button at the bottom - it did take a few presses - to release the dye, then apply to the chosen area. I think because my beard is longer I could blend with the brush, rather than use my finger, which I've heard you need to clean quickly after, or it will discolour.
The product has no fragrance, which is good and when dry it doesn't rub off.
Results - It did remove the majority of the grey and did give my beard a depth of colour which looked natural. It's easy and quick to use and could be included in a morning grooming regime. All I would say is, just make sure you thoroughly wash your beard/face at the end of the day to remove the dye and stop it staining you towels and pillows".
Available at Boots & CultBeauty.com