I realise I’ve done a few grooming reviews in a row over the past fortnight but it’s mainly because I’ve been so caught with the fashion side of things, that I completely forgot to maintain that area of the site. So, today I wanted to talk about one of the most prominent suppliers in men’s grooming and haircare, American Crew. With the tagline of “Official Suppliers to Men”, they can be found across most of the Western world in barbershops, salons and men’s spas with a variety of haircare, shower and styling products designed specifically for men. Indeed, one of the first hair styling purchases I ever made (at the tender age of 11) was a pot of styling cream from the local barbers. To this day they are still a brand I regularly return to as well as one that I always recommend to friends and followers.
For those of you who read the blog regularly, you know that I believe that grooming ranges created with men in mind so I was looking forward to putting it through its paces. With that in mind, here’s a collection of my thoughts on some products they sent me as well as how they performed over the past 2 weeks and whether they are value for money.
Quality – 5/5
Using any of these products, it becomes immediately obvious why they’re used by barbers around the UK and the US. The range is a prime example of straight-forward grooming and classic style with each product feeling as though it is specifically tailored to its purpose. The hair styling products use different textures and thicknesses to suit the styles they are designed for, for example the Fiber has a light mousse feel to it that works wonderfully for matte styles whilst the styling cream is thicker and a tad more viscous to create a signature shine.
Their shampoo and conditioner are further examples of their expertise and heritage, providing a salon-level clean whilst nourishing and strengthening the hair and scalp. One product I had never used before was their 24 hour deodorant bodywash, designed to help fight body odour for the day without requiring a spray or roll-on deodorant after showering. During summer this is something of a miracle as it left my skin clean and clear with a subtly masculine fragrance to it, and fragrance is where American Crew really show their strength…
Fragrance – 5/5
I’m a real critic when it comes to fragrance in men’s grooming, finding the right balance between mature and masculine whilst maintaining a fresh, clean feel is difficult and often where brands stumble. However, American Crew have been something of a leader in this field for years now. Their products are immediately recognisable by scent, with most utilizing citrus, woods, tea tree or mint notes to form natural fragrances individual to each item in the range.
The use of tea tree in their shampoo and conditioner heightens the whole experience of using the product from simple task in your regime to luxurious and natural indulgence. Often tea tree shampoos (particularly bigger brands) can smell a little like fairy liquid, but with American Crew it is a great compromise between sweet and fresh. Similarly, the fiber uses lemon notes to great effect ultimately creating a clean scent that lingers on the hair well after application. These are but a few examples of what this brand has tried so hard to do but each product has its own character which also complements other items in the collection nicely.
Packaging – 5/5
I’ve already used this phrase in the review but it is just as true here. These are instantly recognisable products and the very definition of great branding through minimalist design. Their signature dark brown packaging with thin, colour-coded font is one that is incredibly understated but speaks volumes about how confident American Crew are in their products. There’s no flashy logos, excessive colours or use of excessively masculine imagery/wording, instead the design is sleek, sophisticated and stylish.
I am serious when I say that I think these products almost work as interior design elements when added to a bathroom and you’ll know what I mean the first time you use someone’s bathroom who has this collection on their shelf.
Pricing – 4.5/5
Despite the fact that this is a salon-quality brand, it is by no means a range that will break the bank every time you need to re-stock it. The entire collection here falls betwee the £8-£15 mark with the hair styling items often being the more expensive. Having said that, what you get for your money goes a long way and will last considerably longer than a lot of cheaper brands so the value is fairly evident.
For those still a little unsure of handing over large sums of money, but looking to test the brand’s offerings, I’d recommend purchasing the fiber, shampoo or styling cream to trial. Each of these on their own are long-standing favourites of mine, will cover most hairstyles and give you an idea of what you’re investing in. I assure you, you’ll be back for more once you do.
Overall – 4.5/5
I said from the beginning that this collection was one of my favourites and this review will probably only serve to prove that. This is an essential brand for any man who enjoys his grooming or is keen to up the quality of the products he buys. Classic themes mixed with contemporary elements, American Crew definitely deliver on their promise of being the official supplier to men.
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