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Chen Xianyi Comb

The Magic Healing Power of Handcrafted Wooden Combs

Combing forth—meet you everday secret masseur.
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The story of Taiwanese craftsman Chen Xianyi’s relationship with the craft of wooden comb-making is nothing short of miraculous. A skilled woodworker since the age of 16, Chen suffered from a serious illness that caused facial nerve damage.

During his recovery process, he met a masseur who introduced him to the practice of using a wood comb to massage his hair and face, a ritual long known in ancient China as a healthful way to begin and end the day. Following the advice, Chen experienced a full recovery of his condition, which led him to start his own successful business of hand-making wooden combs.

The process starts with carefully selected precious woods, which are left to dry out completely over the course of several years. The comb’s minimalist silhouette is sketched on the wood and cut out with a wire saw, then each tooth is polished by hand to achieve a smooth, rounded profile.

The finished comb retains the wood’s natural colour, texture, and soothing aroma—a much-needed token for our stressful times. Three to five minutes of gentle scalp massage using the comb is recommended in the morning and before bed to invigorate, improve circulation, and relieve stressful tension in the body.

This story is from Magnifissance Issue 103

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