Tan Mujiang is a luxury hair care store in Scarborough Town Centre selling traditional Chinese combs and hairbrushes.
Given the expensive wooden wares being sold here, this small shop is easy to miss: you'll find it tucked in a quiet corridor next to a Peoples Jewellers on the second floor of the mall.
Since launching in 1996, this Chongqing-based brand—which only sells hair de-tanglers made from non-plastic materials—has opened more than 1,500 stores worldwide.
The importance of hair care in Chinese culture goes back to ancient times, even extending to the medicinal realm with practices like gua sha therapy, which involves massaging the scalp with a brush to enhance beauty and health.
As such, Tan Mujiang offers more than 2,000 types of wieldy (and expensive) combs and brushes in hopes of spreading the importance of follicle health, and the healing properties of wood.
This STC shop is Tan Mujiang's first foray into Canada, where it offers a smaller selection of the full stock, with around 300 types of hair de-tanglers.
Hand-painted combs, hand-engraved brushes, mandarin duck-shaped brushes, combs made from sandalwood, red lacquer boxwood, yutan wood—there's no shortage of natural materials to manage your hair with.
Prices range from just over $30 to the most expensive item in the store: a hand-engraved comb made from ebony sandalwood that'll set you back a whopping $500.
To be honest, it's hard to tell the true value of the comb at first sight.
While the promise of a life-time warranty and unlimited tooth replacements are cool, if you're constantly breaking your brushes and combs, it's hard to justify these costly products without persuasion.
Some definitely stand out, like the boar hair brushes made from Rosewood ($139-$189) or sweet-smelling Palo Santo wood imported from Latin America.
A few non-hair related items include a back scratcher or brush with a buffalo horn gua sha scrubber embedded in the back.
For something more wearable, there are also traditional wooden bead bracelets ($49.90-$95.20) made from red sandalwood or palo santo.
If you want to get creative with your own brush, the store also runs DIY comb painting sessions, for the fee of the brush.
If you're trying to justify dropping a few bills on a hairbrush, it helps to think of it as an investment, so you'll likely be using it every day. If not, it's cool to visit Tan Mujiang for the education alone: who knew boxwood combs could help eliminate dandruff?