Tappermade Hair聽
Tappermade products

About Tappermade

Tappermade is the one-woman handmade soap and shampoo brand of Dr Sophia Tapper, using local ingredients and her extensive knowledge in chemistry to create a range of products with minimal waste.聽
We were fortunate to work with Dr Tapper through the Plymouth Materials Characterisation Network (PMCN). PMCN provides free access to PEMC facilities to Devon-based businesses, supporting small and medium enterprises with techniques and instrumentation that might otherwise be out of reach.

Not all shampoo bars are created equal

Common complaints from people trying out solid shampoo bars is that it leaves a build-up, makes the hair feel very dry, or doesn鈥檛 leave the hair feeling clean for very long. Dr Tapper鈥檚 background in chemistry means that she is able to identify the ingredients of many of the market-leading products as a high-pH soap rather than shampoo which can cause damage to the hair. Validating this through electron microscopy is highly beneficial for her business and provides more information on these products for the general public.聽

Setting up the experiment

Dr Tapper was particularly interested in seeing the effects of her solid shampoo bars on a range of hair types and how they compare to some of the market-leading products. She kindly prepared over 20 hair samples from her customer-base, encompassing straight, curly, dyed, treated, and damaged hair, and treated them with her products and those of a market-leading brand before joining the team at Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre for the analysis. 聽

Tappermade Solid Shampoo Bar

Comparative analysis of Tappermade products and a competitor鈥檚 allows for quick conclusions to be drawn, and in this case the differences between the two were dramatic.聽
This is a secondary electron image of hair that has been washed with the Tappermade solid shampoo bar. The follicles show no visible signs of damage or lifting of the cuticle compared to an unwashed sample from the same person. There's also no observable residue left by the shampoo bar.
Tappermade hair

Market-Leading Shampoo Bar

In contrast, the hair washed with a market-leading solid shampoo bar showed significant changes; the cuticle had lifted and had a very rough texture, entire sections of the hair strand split, and the shampoo left large deposits on the follicle.聽
Seeing these differences so easily (and so quickly) means that we were able to verify the damage caused by more caustic products, as well as confirming that Tappermade shampoo bars do not disrupt the hair follicle and should leave people with clean, soft hair.