Business

How the Female Leaders of Hims Got Men to Happily Talk About Hair Loss and Erectile Dysfunction

Rahul Jain Rahul Jain

Founder Andrew Dudum knew that in order to build a company that would help men get honest about health, he'd need to do one thing: hire a lot of women.

It’s been a big year for Hims. Since launching in November 2017, the men’s health and wellness brand -- you may know it for its ads that somehow make you laugh while talking about erectile dysfunction -- has become a fast-growing operation. It brings in millions in revenue each week, has a network of 124 physicians to consult its customers and has raised nearly $100 million in funding.

Ask founder and CEO Andrew Dudum why the brand has seen such growth in less than a year, and he won’t tell you it’s because of his vision. He won’t tell you that it’s because men are hungry for products that help them lead better lives. (Though it is that, in part.) He’ll tell you that it’s because he hired a team largely made up of women.

“The majority of the brand has been created by women,” Dudum said. “We have to educate guys about the normalcy of these issues and encourage them in a loving yet direct tone -- truly direct, which is very much inspired by the women in my life.”

In fact, if not for Dudum’s younger sister, Hims may not exist at all. “She yelled at me a few years ago,” he recalled, laughing. “She told me I looked wrinkly and tired, took my credit card and bought me $200 worth of products.” He resisted at first, but soon fell in love with his new routine -- and his friends took notice. “I’d tell my guy friends this story and they’d kind of laugh at me, and then a week later I’d get a text: ‘Would you mind sending me the name of that anti-wrinkle cream?’”

That experience stayed top of mind as Dudum laid the groundwork for Hims. (And he eventually hired his sister.) Getting men to have open conversations about skin care, hair loss, erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation would require a certain level of finesse. “Diversity of thought would be critical,” he said. “The fact that we’re talking about stigmatized issues, getting the opinion of women who have spouses and partners and best friends and dads, that will help normalize these issues in a way that gets people to act.”