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1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to hand held hair styling devices and, more particularly, to hair styling devices having heated plates.
2. Description of Related Art
Various known hair styling irons have heated, flat plates. Certain flat irons have non-flat heated surfaces comprising one or more of raised contours, grooves, pins, and channels. While each has a specialized purpose, such as shaping hair in a particular way, or detangling hair, none provide optimal performance for simultaneously straightening hair, detangling hair, and delivering maximum heat transfer. For example, designs that have mere pins or bristle-like protrusions effectively comb through hair, and in some instances detangle the hair, yet the pins are poor heat conductors and, therefore, do little to transfer heat. The result is that the heat transfer is almost entirely limited to surfaces of the flat iron surfaces that directly contact the hair. Furthermore, pins, particularly if a relatively large number are employed, have a tendency to get stuck in tangled hair and are difficult to pull through, particularly without causing discomfort.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a heated styling iron that achieves straightening, detangling, and optimum heat transfer in a manner that overcomes the shortcomings described above.
These and other objects are achieved by the present invention.
According to the present invention, a heated styling iron having two opposed heated surfaces hingedly connected achieves straightening, detangling, and optimum heat transfer by utilizing on one flat heated surface a row of fin-like raised ridges that are spaced apart longitudinally in a single row and that are oriented so that the longer dimension of the fin-like ridges are aligned generally transverse to the longitudinal axis. Thus, as the iron is pulled through the hair the ridges guide the hair along their longer dimensions. The opposing flat heated surface has a channel or groove that extends longitudinally in a manner so that it complementarily receives the row of ridges when the heated surfaces are closed against each other. The sizing and shape of the groove is optimized to receive the ridges while the heated surfaces are closing around a lock of hair.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a heated iron according to the present invention, including additional partial views showing various components.
A heated flat iron 1 according to the present invention includes a first member 2 and a second member 3 joined by a hinge 4. An electrical cord 5 extends therefrom for providing electrical energy from an external source. An upper plate 6 is attached to the first member 2, and a lower plate 7 is attached to the second member 3. The upper plate comprises a groove 8 that extends generally longitudinally. The lower plate 7 includes a set of raised ridges 9, each ridge 9 having a length L, a thickness T, and a height H, where L is greater than T. The ridges 9 are aligned in a longitudinally extending row along the lower plate 7 so that the row is aligned with the groove 8. Each ridge 9 is oriented so that its length L is transverse to the longitudinally extending row. The row of ridges may be made on a secondary plate that is inlaid into the lower plate 7, or the ridges may be integrally formed therewith.
Conventional electric heat elements provide heat to either or both plates 6, 7. Conventional control buttons and dials are used to control settings including heat settings. Various surfaces may be treated, coated or comprised of ceramics, tourmaline, non-metals and other materials. Ion generators and far infra red generators may be included. The iron 1 may be vented for wet and dry applications, it may have a steam generator and fluid reservoir, and it may be fitted with a fan for blowing air.
While a preferred embodiment of the present invention has been shown and described herein, various modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention.