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    A.J. Murray's: High End Men's Grooming
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    In the nineteenth century a clean-shaven man was like a black cat in a coal cellar at midnight: impossible to find. By the 80s facial hair got the boot as far as style was concerned, but now we’ve come full circle into a second era of twirly Dalis, thick lumberjacks, stylish Dandys and distinguished mutton chops.  With a resurgence in facial hair as strong as Ron Swanson's 'stache, there’s also a demand for products to keep the tendrils tamed and trendy. There’s a family-owned, local business meeting that demand; so ditch the aerosol can and disposal razor, it’s time to upgrade that scruff with the natural handcrafted products of A.J. Murray's.

    In 2007 Alyssa Middleton bought a bath and body company, but eight years and an overwhelming number of requests later, Middleton launched A.J. Murray’s, an online store for high-end natural men’s grooming products. “We kept getting more and more requests for products similar to the ones we were making in the spa business, but in manly, masculine scents,” says Middleton. 

    Middleton took the knowledge she acquired from the eight years of owning her spa products company and started experimenting. “It was a lot of trial and error,” says Middleton. The hard work resulted in a line of beard oils, waxes, lotions, and bar soaps in scents that satisfy even the manliest of beard owners, scents like Sweeney Todd, Kentucky Bourbon, Hemingway, and Lincoln. A. J. Murray's most popular scent, Sweeney Todd, “is a classic barbershop scent. It’s lightly spiced with a little bit of citrus,” says Middleton.

    A.J. Murray’s products are handcrafted in Middleton’s workshop. “We make everything,” she says, “Its labor intensive, but it’s a craft that we love. We like to be able to say we make everything but one product completely from scratch by hand.” The most popular product? The beard oil. “It contains two African oils, watermelon seed oil and baobab oil, which have been used for centuries in Africa for nourishing and moisturizing dry skin and hair.” These exotic oils set A.J. Murray’s apart aside from being local, handcrafted, and smelling great.  

    There’s no face left behind either, beard or no beard; A.J. Murray’s has products for men that shave too. They’re stocked with pre-shave oil, after-shave, and shave soap thoughtfully crafted the same way.

    A.J. Murray’s traditional grooming products are the products every beard has been growing for.  They’re available online and locally at Block Party Handmade Boutique, Maple Tree Gallery, and gift shops in Shepherdsville. In addition to having to coolest beard or smoothest face in town, 5% of every purchase goes to Active Heroes.

    Share this article for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate from A.J. Murray’s. Don’t forget to tag! We'll choose a winner December 14, 2015. 

    Photos Courtesy of A.J. Murray’s 

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    About Katie Molck

    Loretta Lynn is the best country music singer of all time and if you don't like pickled foods, you can leave.

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