The present invention relates to an accessory comprising at least two end bands which are connected with at least one connecting band.
To enhance the appealing appearance of persons having long hair, mostly women and children, or to protect or to manage long hair, it is common to arrange long hair in different hair styles, for example pigtail, ponytail or high-piled hair.
After hair styling, it may be necessary to use different kinds of accessories such as end bands, hair straps, hair pins or the like, in order to maintain the desired hair style.
For example U.S. Pat. No. 6,601,590 describes a hair strap with a number of hair loops, which is used for creating a hair style that combines a ponytail with high-piled hair.
For example US-A1-2003/0200981 describes a large semicircle-formed end band with a number of small removable end bands attached, which semicircle-formed end band is used for creating a hair style with many smaller ponytails.
For example U.S. Pat. No. 5,833,335 describes a hair slide used for creating advanced high-piled hair styles, and where it is possible to connect a number of hair slides.
For example U.S. Pat. No. 5,727,574 describes a method and an apparatus for braiding hair, and where the apparatus comprises two ties, which are connected with a connecting member, and where it is possible to braid the connecting member into a braided ponytail, hence providing a decorative hair style.
Furthermore different types of accessories are available which combine the features of creating a hair style and then maintaining the desired hair style.
Persons wanting a hair style with only one ponytail or pigtail often use an elastic end band which is wrapped tightly around a base portion of the person's hair, whereby the lose ends of the hair portion forms the ponytail or pigtail.
Persons having thin and/or light hair and who use elastic end bands may experience problems using an elastic end band to maintain the ponytail/pigtail, because the elastic end band will slowly slide off the ponytail/pigtail. This may be a source of irritation, and it is time-consuming to redo the hair; furthermore there is a risk of losing the end band.
A slightly more advanced hair style with more than one ponytail requires the use of several end bands and with them the aforementioned disadvantages.
All the aforementioned accessories are only described as used for providing simple and different kinds of hair styles.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an accessory usable for different purposes, for example:
This is obtained with an accessory described in the preamble of claim 1, wherein said end bands and/or said connecting band are provided with one or more of the following: means for decoration, means for elongating/shortening said connection band, means for treatment, and/or means for measuring.
In the following description the preferred use of the accessory according to the present invention is the use of it as an end band; however, with slight or no alteration, the same kind of accessory can be used as a shoe lace or a lace for clothing.
In the following description of the present invention and the use of it, the term “hair tail” will be used to refer to either a ponytail or a pigtail.
The accessory according to the present invention has an array of different configurations where the basic principle is having two end bands connected with a connection band that is common to all the configurations.
For example the accessory may have:
To prevent the end band of the accessory according to the present invention to slide off a hair tail, one of the elastic end bands is wrapped tightly around a base portion of the person's hair whereby the lose ends of the hair portion form the hair tail, and the other end bands can also be wrapped around this hair tail.
For example if an accessory is used that has two end bands connected with one connection band, the first elastic end band will not easily slide down the hair tail because the second elastic end band is in the way; and because the two elastic end bands are connected with a connecting piece, the second elastic end band cannot slide off the pony tail.
To make it possible to create a hair style with more than one hair tail by using the accessory according to present invention, said accessory comprises at least two elastic end bands connected with at least one connecting band. This allows making one hair tail with one of the elastic end bands and a second hair tail with the other end band(s).
Said second hair tail can be positioned over or under or to either side of said first hair tail, depending on the wanted hair style, but generally, if said first hair tail is a pony tail, said second pony tail will be positioned above under said first pony tail, and the connecting piece can be arranged around said first pony tail in order to either hide said connecting piece or to use the connecting piece to guide said first pony tail and/or decorate said first pony tail.
Said two elastic end bands are prevented from sliding off said respective pony tails, because they are connected by said connecting piece. Said first elastic end band cannot slide off because of said connecting piece linking it to said second elastic end band, and said second elastic end band cannot slide off because said connecting piece is either wrapped around said second pony tail, and it will therefore be in the way, or said elastic end bands will have different sliding motions and therefore one of the elastic end bands will always prevent the sliding off of the other elastic end band.
If said first hair tail is a pigtail, said second hair tail will typically be a pigtail positioned at the other side of the persons head and the connecting band can be arranged around the person's forehead or back head.
In a preferred embodiment of the present invention said accessory comprises at least two end bands which are connected with at least one connecting band, and where said means for elongating/shortening said connection band are provided with one or more of the following:
To enhance the look of the hair style said connecting band and/or end bands could be used as decoration elements or for the attachment of different decorations, hence said at least one connecting band and/or at least two end bands are provided with means for decoration.
Said means for decoration can be small parts of said connecting band/end bands where it is possible to attach for example brooches, flowers, pearls, figures in any colour, spangles, jewelry, stones, charms, and/or light diodes. These items can be attached using for example Velcro, snap fasteners or buttons/holes.
Alternatively, said means for decoration can be an integrated part of said connecting band/end band for example in the form of colour patterns, fixed pearls, printed/sewn/knitted designs or print and the like.
In an embodiment of the invention said at least one connecting band comprises means for longitudinal adjustment of said connecting band, which makes it possible to either arrange the end bands in predetermined positions and always with the same distance, or to arrange the end bands in different positions and then change the hair style.
Said means for elongating/shortening said connection band are one of the following:
All the above means for longitudinal adjustment allow said accessory according to the present invention to be used by any person, irrespective of hair length and hair thickness, head size etc. of the person because the connecting band can be adjusted to allow for the aforementioned differences.
In another embodiment of the present invention said means for treatment are one or more of the following:
It is then possible to use the accessory to control for example lice, nits, and fleas in a person's hair, treat a skin condition of the head, and/or limit dandruff by treating said connection and/or said end bands with a powder or by attaching pellets to said connection and/or said end bands.
In an alternative embodiment of the present invention said means for measuring are for example temperature sensors. Hence it is possible to measure and/or monitor the temperature of the person wearing the accessory. Typically said means for measuring will for example be temperature sensors arranged in connection with the connection band and having a surface in contact with the forehead of the person.
In an embodiment of the present invention said end bands and/or said connecting band are elastic, which makes it possible to arrange the elastic end bands in different positions and to compensate for the slight difference in position or size of the hair tails, or the size of the head of the individual person.
Alternatively, said connecting band is non-elastic which makes it possible to arrange the elastic end bands in predetermined positions and always with the same distance.
One connecting band connects two end bands and can be a chain, a piece of foil, a strap, a string, a band, a thread, or a combination of these. For example said connecting band may be a double string or a double strap.
The connecting band can be made of for example a fabric (for example woven cloth), a plastic material, a metal material (for example gold or silver chain links), and/or a rubber material. The important thing is that said connecting band safely connects the at least two end bands.
To ensure a safe connection between said connecting band and said end bands each of said at least one connecting band at both ends comprises means for connecting an elastic end band.
Said means for connecting an elastic end band can for example be a clasp, a fastener, a chain link, a knot or alternatively be formed by wrapping the end part of said connecting band around said end band and tying to itself.
In one embodiment of the invention the thread of the connecting band can be invisible in order to further enhance the decoration, i.e. without the thread being shown.
In an alternative embodiment of the invention said at least two elastic end bands and said at least one connecting band can be provided in one piece.
The connecting band part can be provided along the edges with either snap fasteners, zippers or Velcro bands. Thus it is possible to wrap the connecting band around the hair tail, which is arranged through the end band parts of the accessory. The one-piece accessory can be used as a head band or a sweat band.
To be able to use said end band said at least one connecting band comprises means for providing elastic end bands. These means could be for example a clasp, a slider or a knot. If the means is a slider, it is possible to change the size of the end band, and the same accessory can thus be used for different persons and/or different hair styles.
In one embodiment of the present invention said at least two elastic end bands assume the same diameters when in unstretched condition. This makes it possible to use any of said end bands as the first end band, for example by wrapping it around the base ponytail, and then making a number of equally thick ponytails with the other end bands.
If it is necessary to distinguish between the different hair tails, said at least two elastic end bands can assume different diameters when in unstretched condition. This will allow a person to create the same advanced hair style, with different sizes of hair tails, time after time.
Above, this invention has been described for use by humans, but may of course also be used for dolls and animals, for example horses, dogs, cats etc.
Furthermore the accessory according to the present invention can be used as a necklace, a bracelet for the wrist or the ankle, or as a belly chain. Especially if the connecting band and/or the end bands are provided with some kind of decoration.
Another area of use of the accessory is as a carry and/or closing device for bags and carriers, hence replacing strings in bags and carriers.
The invention is explained in more detail below with reference to the accompanying drawing, where
FIG. 1 shows an accessory with two end bands according to the invention,
FIG. 2 shows a person using said accessory in FIG. 1,
FIG. 3 shows an accessory with three end bands according to the invention,
FIG. 4 shows an accessory with a decoration band according to the invention,
FIG. 5 shows an accessory with two-string connection band according to the invention,
FIG. 6 shows a one-piece accessory according to the invention,
FIG. 7 shows a person using an accessory,
FIG. 8 shows an accessory used as a shoe lace, and
FIG. 9 shows an alternative one-piece accessory according to the invention.
FIG. 1 shows an accessory 1 for making different hair styles comprising two elastic end bands 2,3, which are connected by a connecting band 4.
FIG. 2 shows an accessory 1 used in the hair 5 of girl 6, where the first elastic end band 3 is wrapped around the first pony tail 8, and the second elastic end band 2 is wrapped around the second pony tail 7, and the connecting band 4 is wrapped around and along the pony tail 8, thereby guiding it down into the pony tail 7.
FIG. 3 shows an accessory 10 for making different hair styles comprising three elastic end bands 11,12,13, where end bands 11,12 are connected by connecting band 14, here illustrated as a two-string connecting band, and end bands 12,13 are connected by connecting band 15, here illustrated as chain-link connecting band.
FIG. 4 shows an accessory 20 with string connection band 21 having decoration in the form of pearls 22 and an ornament 23.
FIG. 5 shows an accessory 30 with strap connection band 31 having decoration in the form of patterns 32.
FIG. 6 shows a one-piece accessory 40 where connection band 41 and end bands 42,43 are formed from one string 44. To provide end bands 42,43, slider 45 and clasp 46 are provided, thereby making it possible to shorten or lengthen end band 42, while end band 43 has a fixed size. Further clasps 47 are provided to keep the double-threaded string 44 together.
FIG. 7 shows an accessory 50 used in the hair 5 of girl 6, where the first elastic end band 51 is wrapped around the first pigtail 53, and the second elastic end band 52 is wrapped around the second pigtail 54, and the connecting band 55 runs along the girl's 6 forehead and is decorated with patterns 55.
FIG. 8 shows an accessory 60 used as a shoe lace in a shoe 61, where the connecting band 64 constitutes the lace and the end bands 63 are provided with e.g. decorative charms 62 or plates with company logos.
FIG. 9 shows an alternative one-piece accessory 70, where the connecting band 71 and the end bands 72 are provided in one piece. Along its side edges, the connecting band 71 is provided with a number of snap fasteners 73, hence making it possible to wrap the connecting band 71 around a hail tail (not shown), which is arranged through the end bands 72. If the accessory 70 is not provided with snap fasteners 73, it is particularly useful as a head band.