What are men hiding?

Shhh, gather round, we’ve got a secret, are you listening? Here you go: Men have physical insecurities, too. There it is. We said it. It cannot be taken back. Why? Because it’s already out there. It’s not one of those secrets that should not be repeated — it’s one that should be shared — because there are solutions out there, that, with a little time dedicated to self-care, can dramatically increase feelings of self-worth. There you go men, we’ve said it for you. And women, we’ve shared it on behalf of the men in your life.

Still, the question remains. Why is it that a man’s self-doubt surrounding his image is so hard to acknowledge?

Body image is a psychological issue fueled by factors that include receding hairlines and skin complaints, but it doesn’t stop there. The associated anxiety around appearance can have massive impacts on a man’s sex drive and can even be a catalyst for erectile dysfunction. Unfortunately, too many men are suffering in silence for fear of being labeled hyper-sensitive or weak. They are too scared to present the authentic version of themselves, the version that might be a little vulnerable. Boys are sometimes taught to hold in their emotions but then grow to become adults that feel shameful of showing them. The direct consequence is that men learn to shun anything that makes them feel inadequate or insecure.

We have access to multiple stories every day that cover the physical insecurities of women. Articles that stretch the best treatments for glossy hair, the most effective creams for perfect skin, fitness hacks, how to drop a dress size while you’re sleeping, and interestingly, how to fight back when faced with hostility and disparagement. But with men, the elephant is always in the room. Less frequently does the media address the physical insecurities of men, and less often are these self-doubts talked about.

Enter Andrew Dudum, Founder and CEO at Hims. He’s given a voice to an otherwise muted subject matter and, better than that, he’s offering multiple solutions.

Hims — Addressing the challenges and finding solutions

As a younger man, Dudum battled with finding male-oriented solutions to personal hygiene, hair care, and health. Some years ago, his opinionated sister — his words, not ours — took charge in the pursuit of suitable skincare products for Dudum when she decided that aesthetically, Dudum was not presenting the best version of himself.

She took his credit card and charged $300 worth of skincare products. In doing so, she both improved his looks and sparked a realization in Dudum’s mind: Men have been largely absent from the wellness industry because products manufactured for women have been branded in a way that excludes men.

Already successful in his own right (he’s the co-founder of productivity app and the VC fund Atomic), his challenge to find high-end health and wellness products specific to men inspired him to bridge the gap in the men’s wellness space.

With this in mind, Dudum launched Hims.

An all-inclusive approach

The straight-talking brand boasts no age exclusions and encourages wellness in teens and seniors alike. About 65% of men will suffer some level of hair loss before the age of 35, which continues beyond their 50s. Similarly, the Cleveland Clinic suggests that by the age of 40, 40% of men experience some degree of erectile dysfunction.

Dudum recognized that there was a lack of online forums geared toward men that address these areas of insecurity. This was the impetus for the Hims Journal section of the site, which provides a topical education on grooming, hair (including hair loss), lifestyle, science, and sex — all within a safe space. The site addresses some of the most common- image-based challenges in men, while providing education, encouragement and product recommendations, such as shampoo-based solutions to hair-loss and medical solutions to erectile dysfunction.

Asad R, a  talent acquisition specialist from Washington D.C, has been using Hims for 5-months after seeing an ad. “I had heard great reviews says Asad.”

With affordability high on Dudum’s priority list, shampoos are priced between $11 and $28, and pills to aid erectile dysfunction are $2 — compared to competitors such as Viagra which can run at $25 per pill.  

Asad thinks that Hims products are reasonably priced, “I spend just $20 per month to address my challenges. Using the shampoo makes my hair feel amazing, it has helped with confidence around my image and boosted my self-esteem.”

Hims is branded in a way that promotes inclusivity to men of all backgrounds and socioeconomic status. The brand name is deliberately simple and the aesthetic is memorable with a broad masculine appeal. The website design is elegant, and the product packaging is clean-lined and classy. Dudum wanted to create beautiful products that men would appreciate and invest in, both emotionally and financially, in the same way women do with their female-orientated products.

Dudum prides himself on his no-frills strategy to marketing. His communication is direct and to the point, which creates a niche offering within the $3.7 trillion wellness industry.

Men are entitled to feel good about themselves, to feel confident in who they are and what they stand for. There are ways to address the misery caused by concerns about your appearance, and there are solutions to it.

Asad says, “If you’re battling with challenges around self-image, with or without accompanying low self-esteem and anxiety, you can work on it, with baby steps, one at a time.”

And guess what, when your mind and body are properly nourished, you are more able to live in the moment, feel a greater sense of inner peace, and be physically and mentally healthier. Once you feel better about you, cultivating deeper and more meaningful relationships with others will become second nature.

Dudum’s homepage for Hims products reads, “Against staggering odds, two things happened: one, the universe, two, you. ” Let’s hold on to this thought in pursuit of self-care.