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Essential Journal

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A Cut Above

This month, Ian Harrold considers the all-encompassing appeal of the Acumen grooming regime

For the longest time, men’s grooming regimes barely extended beyond the monthly cut and shave. As men, we convinced ourselves that we simply didn’t need them, safe in the  knowledge that we’re not scruffy, we’re just rugged; we’re not run down, we’re edgy. But let’s not kid ourselves: we have our off-days. And sometimes – just sometimes – it’s entirely possible that we look like shit.

That’s not always a bad thing. After all, looking a little rough around the edges from time to time is often a fairly good indication of a work-hard-play-hard lifestyle. But all the same, we have a nasty habit of letting things slide a little too much, choosing to ignore the little details of dry skin and oily hair.

For the most part, I think that’s because there’s just too much out there. For anyone looking to establish and maintain a solid daily grooming regime, it’s often a case of casting the net wide, buying hair products from one brand, skin care from another. When your wash bag is basically a frankenstein’s monster of a product collection, it’s easy to see how the whole thing can descend from regiment to rigmarole pretty quickly.

Over the past few months, I’ve been playing around with American Crew’s Acumen range. Acumen circumvents the product confusion with a full range covering all your shower, shave, care and style needs. Everything you need under one category. No need to mix and match. From nourishing pomades to in-shower face washes; energising hydrating gels to clay exfoliating cleansers, Acumen offers up a full suite of grooming products that cover all the bases of a man’s daily regime. 

And it makes the world of difference: Having a full grooming repertoire means you can have your cake and eat it. You can push things a little further without looking like Scarface after a weeklong bender in Miami. The signs of fatigue brought on by long-haul business trips can be undone in an instant. The weary eyes of the early start (or the late finish) can be given a fresh-faced spin with ease. Even the tell-tale signs of a well-earned hangover can be swept under the rug with the proper regimen in place.

Acumen has been in the shop for a little while now, and it’s gaining some serious traction. It’s pretty easy to see why as it represents an interesting turning point for guys; a much needed foray into everyday luxury. And it’s about time too: Male male grooming is no longer seen to be conceited or excessive, it’s simply the standard. And as far as I’m concerned, Acumen goes a long way to setting that standard. IH

Words by Ian HARROLD