Title:
Hairbrush Cleaning Screen
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A hair removing screen arrangement is displaceably attached to a hairbrush body. Bristles protrude from a surface of the hairbrush body through openings of a screen material of the screen arrangement. The screen material may include parallel wires or strands with rows of bristles received between neighboring strands, or a film layer with bristles protruding through holes in the film layer. The screen arrangement is attached on the clean hairbrush, and during the course of using the hairbrush, hair strands become matted among the bristles on top of the screen arrangement. By removing or moving the screen arrangement away from the brush body, the matted hair is removed from the bristles as an easily disposable hair clump on top of the screen arrangement. The displaceable attachment of the screen arrangement onto the brush body can involve e.g. a hinge, hook-and-loop fasteners, a snap-fit mechanism, or a latch arrangement.


Inventors:
Fasse, Julia L. (Hampden, ME, US)
Application Number:
12/771144
Publication Date:
11/03/2011
Filing Date:
04/30/2010
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D24/42
View Patent Images:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A hairbrush for brushing human or animal hair comprising: a hairbrush body; brush bristles protruding from a surface of said hairbrush body; a handle connected to said hairbrush body, wherein said handle is sized and configured to be graspable by a person's hand so as to hold said hairbrush; and a hair removing screen arrangement that is mounted on and displaceably attached to said hairbrush body, and that comprises screen material bounding openings through which respective ones or groups of said brush bristles extend, such that said brush bristles intersect and protrude through said screen material so that said bristles are adapted for brushing the human or animal hair with said hair removing screen arrangement mounted on said hairbrush body.

2. The hairbrush according to claim 1, wherein said screen arrangement is displaceably attached to said hairbrush body by a releasable attachment that can be released such that said screen arrangement can be moved away from said hairbrush body so that said brush bristles no longer intersect and protrude through said screen material.

3. The hairbrush according to claim 2, wherein said releasable attachment comprises a hook-and-loop fastener including a member with plural loops and a member with plural hooks adapted to releasably hook into said loops, wherein a first one of said members is secured on said screen arrangement and a second one of said members is secured on said hairbrush body at a location opposite from and in registration with said first one of said members.

4. The hairbrush according to claim 2, wherein said releasable attachment comprises an adhesive that releasably adheres said screen arrangement on said hairbrush body.

5. The hairbrush according to claim 4, wherein said adhesive is a pressure-sensitive, releasable and re-adherable adhesive.

6. The hairbrush according to claim 2, wherein said releasable attachment comprises a snap-fit combination of a first part of said screen arrangement that releasably snap-fits into engagement with a second part of said hairbrush body.

7. The hairbrush according to claim 2, wherein said releasable attachment comprises a latch member that can be selectively engaged or disengaged to secure or release said screen arrangement relative to said hairbrush body.

8. The hairbrush according to claim 2, further comprising a hinge pivotally connecting said screen arrangement to said hairbrush body, so that said screen arrangement can be pivoted about said hinge to move said screen arrangement pivotally away from said hairbrush body after release of said releasable attachment.

9. The hairbrush according to claim 2, wherein said screen arrangement is not permanently attached to said hairbrush body, so that said screen arrangement can be entirely separated and removed from said hairbrush body after release of said releasable attachment.

10. The hairbrush according to claim 1, wherein said screen arrangement has an inner surface and an outer surface facing opposite one another, and said inner surface extends closely along said surface of said hairbrush body from which said brush bristles protrude.

11. The hairbrush according to claim 1, wherein said screen material comprises at least one plastic sheet having said openings being respective individual holes perforated through said plastic sheet.

12. The hairbrush according to claim ii, wherein said at least one plastic sheet comprises a plurality of said plastic sheets layered one upon another in a stack of said sheets, wherein said holes of all of said plastic sheets are located in registration with one another, and wherein each one of said brush bristles extends through respective holes of all of said plastic sheets.

13. The hairbrush according to claim 12, further comprising a releasable adhesive on a back surface of each one of said plastic sheets, wherein a first one of said plastic sheets is releasably adhered by said releasable adhesive onto said surface of said hairbrush body from which said brush bristles protrude, whereby said screen arrangement is displaceably attached to said hairbrush body, and wherein each successive one of said plastic sheets after said first one in said stack of said sheets is releasably adhered by said releasable adhesive onto an adjacent preceding one of said plastic sheets in said stack of said sheets.

14. The hairbrush according to claim 1, wherein said openings are respective individual holes that are each receptively sized and located to have individual ones of said brush bristles respectively extending through individual ones of said holes.

15. The hairbrush according to claim 1, wherein said openings are respective individual holes that are each respectively sized, configured and located to have a respective group of said brush bristles respectively extending through each respective one of said holes.

16. The hairbrush according to claim 1, wherein said screen arrangement further comprises a perimeter frame that carries and supports said screen material, and that is displaceably attached to said hairbrush body, wherein said perimeter frame has a higher rigidity against bending than said screen material.

17. The hairbrush according to claim 16, wherein said brush bristles are arranged in rows of said brush bristles, linear blank spaces without bristles exist between adjacent ones of said rows, said screen material comprises plural strands that respectively extend longitudinally along said linear blank spaces between said rows of said brush bristles, said openings of said screen material are elongate open spaces between said strands, and said rows of said brush bristles respectively extend through said elongate open spaces.

18. The hairbrush according to claim 17, wherein said strands are metal wires.

19. The hairbrush according to claim 17, wherein said strands are plastic filaments.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a device for removing hair from a hairbrush, and to a hairbrush incorporating such a device.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Various types of hairbrushes have long been used for brushing the hair of humans and animals such as horses, dogs and cats. Such hairbrushes typically include a plurality of brush bristles protruding from a hairbrush body, and a handle allowing the hairbrush to be grasped by a person's hand, so as to use the hairbrush for brushing the person's or animal's hair. A longstanding problem with such hairbrushes is that loose strands of hair are removed from the person's head or the animal's body while brushing the hair with the hairbrush. Over the course of several uses of the hairbrush, these loose hair strands become entangled and matted in the brush bristles. The result is an unsightly and unhygienic clump or matt of hair entangled in the brush bristles, which renders the hairbrush less functional or even non-functional. Especially, the hair forms a matt directly at the base of the bristles, on the surface of the hairbrush body, where it becomes very difficult to remove.

The above described problem has long been recognized, and various approaches exist to try to address this problem, by removing the clump or matt of accumulated hair from the brush bristles. Typically, people use any available pointed implement, such as a comb, a hair pick, a pencil, a chopstick, a knife, or scissors to try to remove the matt or clump of hair from the brush bristles. Any such separate device or tool used for removing hair from a brush can easily be lost or misplaced, so that the hairbrush user is often left looking for any available pencil, chopstick, etc. for trying to dislodge the matted hair out of the brush bristles. Such a process using any available pointed tool is generally only partially successful at removing the hair, and is often difficult, time-consuming and frustrating because of its ineffectiveness. Also, the hair that is removed tends to come out of the brush in pieces or individual strands, which are cumbersome to contain and dispose of, so that such removed hair itself tends to make a mess. It would be desirable, but has previously not been achievable, to remove the matt of hair from a hairbrush as a one-piece clump that is easily disposable.

Further in the prior art, specialized machines or devices have also been developed for removing the hair from the brush bristles of hairbrushes, but such devices are complex and presumably costly, and likely only partially effective. Such machines or devices are also not as portable as the brush itself, and thus cannot be taken along with the brush at all times. Therefore, such devices have not found widespread use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the above, it is an object of the invention to provide an effective, simple, economical and portable device for removing hair from a hairbrush. It is another object of the invention to minimize the chance of losing or misplacing the hairbrush cleaning device, and to ensure that the device is always available with the brush, by attaching the device to the hairbrush. Still another object of the invention is to prevent the matting and compaction of hair strands at the base of the brush bristles in the first place, so that removal of the hair strands is facilitated. Yet a further object of the invention is to provide a device that allows hair to be removed from a hairbrush as a single compact clump or matt of hair that is easily disposable. The invention further aims to avoid or overcome the disadvantages of the prior art, and to achieve additional advantages, as apparent from the present specification. The attainment of these objects is, however, not a required limitation of the claimed invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order that the invention may be clearly understood, it will now be described in connection with example embodiments thereof, with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view of a first embodiment of a hairbrush incorporating a hairbrush cleaning device according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic perspective view of features of a snap-fit engagement arrangement connecting the hair removing screen arrangement to the hairbrush body;

FIG. 3 is a schematic perspective view of latch members connecting the hair removing screen arrangement to the hairbrush body;

FIG. 4 is a schematic perspective view showing hook-and-loop fastener strips connecting the hair removing screen arrangement to the hairbrush body; and

FIG. 5 is a schematic perspective view of a second embodiment of a hairbrush incorporating a hairbrush cleaning screen according to the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS AND OF THE BEST MODE OF THE INVENTION

According to a first embodiment of the invention as shown in FIG. 1, an inventive hairbrush 1 includes a hairbrush body 2, a handle 3 extending from an end of the hairbrush body 2, plural brush bristles 4 protruding substantially perpendicularly from an upper surface 6 of the hairbrush body 2, and a special hair removing screen arrangement 10 displaceably attached to the hairbrush body 2. “Displaceably attached” means that the screen arrangement 10 is connected temporarily or permanently to the hairbrush body 2, but the screen arrangement 10 can be selectively moved or displaced relative to the hairbrush body 2, as will be described below. This can be carried out preferably by hand without the use of any tool. Thus, “displaceably attached” includes “removably attached” and also “permanently yet movably attached”.

The hairbrush body 2, the handle 3, and the bristles 4 can have any conventionally known or future developed construction, materials, configuration, and arrangement of a hairbrush. For example, the brush body 2 and the handle 3 may be made of wood, metal, plastic or reinforced plastic composite material, while the bristles 4 may be made of plastic, metal, or natural animal bristles. The handle is generally sized and configured to be graspable by a person's hand so as to hold the hairbrush. The bristles preferably all extend with the bristle axes thereof parallel to one another, especially in the embodiments of FIGS. 1 to 4, to facilitate replacement of the screen arrangement 10 on the brush body 2 after the removal of the screen arrangement for removing hair from the brush. In FIGS. 1 to 4, the bristles 4 are arranged in parallel rows 5 on the upper surface 6 of the hairbrush body 2, with parallel blank or bristle-free strip-shaped areas 5′ between neighboring rows 5. The bristles 4 may be arranged as individual bristles respectively spaced apart from one another in each row 5, or may be arranged as a plurality of bristles, e.g. two or three bristles, respectively grouped together to form a tuft of bristles, whereby the successive groups or tufts are then spaced apart from one another along the row 5. Typically the spacing between bristles or bristle groups within the row 5 is less than the spacing between neighboring rows 5 that defines the bristle-free stip-shaped area 5′, but instead the bristles can be spaced farther apart in the rows.

The inventive features especially relate to the hair removing screen arrangement 10, as well as its combination, interaction and cooperation with the hairbrush components.

In the first embodiment of the invention as shown in FIG. 1, the hair removing screen arrangement 10 includes a perimeter frame 14, as well as screen material 11 supported by the perimeter frame 14. The perimeter frame 14 can be made of any suitable material (or material combination), such as wood, metal, plastic, or reinforced plastic composite, which is sufficiently strong and stiff to support the screen material ii. In this regard, the perimeter frame 14 is stiffer against bending than the screen material 11.

The screen material 11 in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 to 4 includes a plurality of strands 12 that extend parallel to one another and are spaced apart from one another with openings 13 therebetween. The strands 12 are preferably metal wires, or strands, fibers or filaments of plastic, fiber reinforced plastic composite, or any material that has sufficient tensile strength to maintain the substantially linear configuration of the strand 12. The strands 12 are dimensioned, oriented, and spaced apart from one another to be in registration with and fit in the blank or bristle-free strip-shaped areas 5′ between the neighboring rows 5 of bristles 4. Thus, the rows 5 of bristles 4 are in registration with and fit respectively into the openings 13 or spaces between the neighboring wires or strands 12.

While FIG. 1 merely shows two and a half rows 5 of the bristles 4, it should be understood that most of the upper surface 6 of the hairbrush body 2 (the area bounded within the perimeter frame 14) is covered with such rows 5 of bristles 4. The remaining bristles 4 have been omitted from the drawing figures for the sake of clarity and simplicity.

The strands 12 may be separate individual wires or strands. In that case, the opposite free ends of each wire or strand are secured in or on the perimeter frame 14, for example by being embedded or molded into the plastic frame 14, or by being wrapped around the frame 14 and twisted back onto the strand, or by being wrapped around an internal metal member that is embedded and molded in a plastic frame, or by being wedged in a respective hole in the frame, or any other suitable manner. Alternatively, the plural strands 12 can be portions of one continuous wire, fiber or filament that is threaded back and forth in a serpentine or zig-zag manner through holes in the ends of the perimeter frame 14, whereby only the two ends of the overall wire, fiber or filament need to be secured to the perimeter frame 14. In any event, the strands 12 are under sufficient tension to hold them substantially straight, while some amount of curving or deflection is permissible and may be desirable, for example if the upper surface 6 of the hairbrush body 2 is not a flat planar surface but rather a curved surface. The tension and the straightness or curvature of the strands 12 simply needs to be sufficient so that the strands 12 can be positioned uniformly along the base of the bristles 4 while allowing most of the length of the bristles 4 to protrude outwardly beyond the screen arrangement 10.

The screen arrangement 10 is arranged on the hairbrush body 2 preferably without any hair strands tangled or matted in the brush bristles 4, e.g. when the hairbrush is being manufactured, or before sale of the new hairbrush to the consumer, or even as a retrofit onto a used hairbrush, whereby the used hairbrush is first thoroughly cleaned by some other means before the screen arrangement 10 is arranged and mounted on the hairbrush body 2. In any event, the screen arrangement 10 is fitted down over the bristles 4 so that the rows 5 of bristles respectively align with and protrude upwardly through the openings 13 between the wires or strands 12, i.e. the strands 12 fit respectively down into the blank bristle-free areas 5′ between the neighboring rows 5 of bristles. Thus, with the screen arrangement 10 arranged on the hairbrush body 2, the brush bristles 4 intersect and protrude through the screen material 11, namely through the openings 13 between the strands 12. The screen arrangement 10 is pushed down against and extends closely along the upper surface 6 of the hairbrush body 2 (e.g. with less than 7 mm, or less than 5 mm, or less than 2 mm, or even no gap between the strands 12 and the upper surface 6 of the brush), so that most (e.g. at least 90% or at least 95%) of the length of the bristles 4 protrudes outwardly from the screen arrangement 10. Thereby the bristles are still readily adapted for brushing the hair of a human or animal with the hair removing screen arrangement 10 mounted on the hairbrush body. Also, thereby any hair strands that become entangled on the bristles cannot get matted directly at the base of the bristles on the surface of the brush.

The screen arrangement 10 is displaceably attached to the hairbrush body 2, such that the screen arrangement 10 is selectively manually displaceable or movable toward the hairbrush body 2 and away from the hairbrush body 2. This displaceable attachment is achieved in any of various different manners. In FIG. 1, the screen arrangement 10 is substantially permanently attached to the hairbrush body 2 by a hinge 15 that allows the screen arrangement 10 to be pivotally displaceable relative to the hairbrush body 2, about the pivot axis of the hinge 15. Preferably, the hinge 15 extends along one of the shorter ends of the perimeter frame 14, while the wires or strands 12 extend parallel to one another in the longer dimension direction of the perimeter frame 14. Thus, the strands 12 extend substantially perpendicularly relative to the pivot axis of the hinge 15. This facilitates removal from the brush of hair strands that tend to be oriented transversely to the longer dimension, as will be discussed below.

At its end opposite the hinge 15, the perimeter frame 14 is releasably attached to the hairbrush body 2 in any of various different ways. In FIG. 1, this end of the perimeter frame 14 is releasably attached to the hairbrush body 2 by hook-and-loop fasteners 16, such as Velcro™ brand fasteners. Preferably, the loop material strip of the hook-and-loop fastener 16 is affixed to the hairbrush body 2, while the hook material strip of the hook-and-loop fastener 16 is affixed to the screen arrangement 10. While the placement of the two parts of the hook-and-loop fastener 16 can also be reversed, then the hook material strip affixed to the hairbrush body 2 will tend to entangle hair strands therein, if the hairbrush is used without the screen arrangement 10 mounted thereon. By placing the loop material of the hook-and-loop fastener 16 on the hairbrush body 2, the hairbrush can be used without the screen arrangement 10 attached thereto, and the hairbrush is still fully functional as a normal hairbrush without any problems or impairment of its normal functioning.

FIG. 2 shows an alternative manner of displaceably attaching the screen arrangement 10 onto the hairbrush body 2. The only difference between FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 is that the hook-and-loop fastener 16 has been omitted, and instead replaced by a snap-fit mechanism 25 that includes a protrusion 26 protruding integrally and unitarily from the perimeter frame 14, and snap-engagement prongs or tabs 27 protruding from the hairbrush body 2 or the handle 3. The protrusion 26 and the snap-engagement prongs or tabs 27 are dimensioned, configured and positioned so that the protrusion 26 can be engaged with a snap-fit between the snap-engagement prongs or tabs 27, simply by pressing the perimeter frame 14 down toward the hairbrush body 2. Alternatively, to displace the screen arrangement 10 away from the hairbrush body 2, the protrusion 26 can simply be grasped or pried upwardly with a person's fingers, in order to release its snap-engagement in the prongs or tabs 27. The other end of the perimeter frame 14 is pivotally attached to the hairbrush body 2 by the hinge 15. All other features of the hairbrush according to FIG. 2 correspond to FIG. 1, but many details have been omitted from FIG. 2 for the sake of clarity and simplicity.

FIG. 3 shows a further alternative embodiment of a displaceable attachment of the hair removing screen arrangement 10 onto the hairbrush body 2. In comparison to FIG. 1, the hook-and-loop fastener 16 has been omitted, and instead this end of the perimeter frame 14 is releasably attached to the hairbrush body 2 by a latch arrangement 30 including latch members 31 that protrude from the perimeter frame 14 and selectively engage catches or hooks 32 provided on the hairbrush body 2. The latch members 31 are preferably plastic straps or tabs that protrude integrally and unitarily from the perimeter frame 14 and that each have an opening at the free end thereof. This opening is selectively engaged onto or released from the catch or hook 32 that is provided on or protrudes integrally and unitarily from the hairbrush body 2. The other end of the perimeter frame 14 is pivotally attached to the hairbrush body 2 by the hinge 15, similarly as in FIG. 1. All of the other features of the hairbrush according to FIG. 3 correspond to those of FIG. 1, but many details have been omitted from FIG. 3 for the sake of clarity and simplicity.

Still a further variant of the displaceable attachment of the hair removing screen arrangement 10 to the hairbrush 1 is shown in FIG. 4. Compared to FIG. 1, the hook-and-loop fastener 16 still releasably attaches an end of the perimeter frame 14 (near the brush handle 3) to the hairbrush body 2, but the hinge 15 has been omitted and instead replaced by another hook-and-loop fastener 16′. As mentioned above, the loop material strip of the hook-and-loop fastener 16′ is preferably affixed (for example by an adhesive backing) to the hairbrush body 2, while the hook material strip of the hook-and-loop fastener 16′ is preferably affixed onto the perimeter frame 14.

In another variant that is not illustrated in connection with the screen arrangement of FIGS. 1 to 4, the releasable attachment involves a releasable, pressure sensitive adhesive that releasably adheres the screen arrangement 10 onto the hairbrush body 2, either with or without a hinge 15. For example, two strips of adhesive replace the two hook-and-loop fasteners 16 and 16′ of FIG. 4. The pressure sensitive adhesive can be repeatedly released and repeatedly re-adhere the screen arrangement onto the hairbrush body.

In the embodiment of FIG. 1, the hair removing screen arrangement 10 is permanently attached to the hairbrush body 2 by the hinge 15, but the screen arrangement 10 is displaceable or movable relative to the hairbrush body 2 in that the screen arrangement 10 can be pivoted about the pivot axis of the hinge 15 as indicated by the pivot arrow 17. This same pivoting movability of the screen arrangement 10 relative to the hairbrush body 2 pertains in the arrangements of FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 as well. On the other hand, in the arrangement according to FIG. 4, the screen arrangement 10 is removably attached to the hairbrush body 2 by the hook-and-loop fasteners 16 and 16′, so that the screen arrangement 10 can selectively be entirely removed and moved away from the hairbrush body 2. Thus, as indicated by the motion arrows 19 in FIG. 4, the screen arrangement 10 may selectively be completely removed from the hairbrush body 2, either for cleaning the hairbrush or if it is desired to use the hairbrush without the screen arrangement.

It should also be understood that another snap-fit mechanism 25 according to FIG. 2, or another latch arrangement 30 according to FIG. 3 can additionally be provided instead of the hinge 15 at the other end of the perimeter frame 14. Thus, the releasable attachment arrangements according to FIGS. 2 and 3 can be used at both ends or at both sides of the perimeter frame 14 to achieve a completely removable attachment of the screen arrangement 10 on the hairbrush body 2, in the manner exemplified in FIG. 4. As a further alternative, the positions of the hinge and the releasable attachment can be reversed.

The screen arrangement 10 according to the invention is displaceably attached (in any manner as disclosed herein) on the hairbrush body 2, preferably when the hairbrush is entirely or substantially clean and free of hair strands, for example when the hairbrush is new or has been thoroughly cleaned. The screen arrangement 10 is mounted on the hairbrush so that the perimeter frame 10 extends closely along the upper surface 6 of the hairbrush body 2, so that the bristles 4 protrude through and outwardly from the screen material 11 of the screen arrangement 10. The hairbrush 1 can then be used normally for brushing a person's or an animal's hair in a normal manner, exactly as the hairbrush would be used without the screen arrangement 10.

Over the course of several uses of the hairbrush 1, strands of hair become matted or entangled among the bristles 4 to form a matted clump of hair 18 near the base of the bristles 4 but on top of or outwardly from the screen material 11, i.e. above or on top of the wires or strands 12 in the view orientation of FIGS. 1 to 4. When an undesired or unacceptable amount of the matted clump of hair 18 has accumulated (over the course of several hair brushings), and it is desired to remove the matted clump of hair 18 from the hairbrush, to achieve this the screen arrangement 10 simply needs to be displaced or moved away from the hairbrush body 2. Namely, the hook-and-loop fastener 16 of FIG. 1, or the snap-fit mechanism 25 of FIG. 2, or the latch arrangement 30 of FIG. 3 is simply disengaged, and then the screen arrangement 10 is pivoted as indicated by arrow 17 about the hinge 15. Alternatively, with the arrangement of FIG. 4, the two hook-and-loop fasteners 16 and 16′ are disengaged and then the screen arrangement 10 is lifted away from the hairbrush body 2 as indicated by motion arrows 19. In any event, moving the screen arrangement 10 away from the hairbrush body 2 in this manner causes the wires or strands 12 to lift up the matted clump of hair 18 and remove it from the bristles 4. The matted clump of hair 18 is removed smoothly and cleanly, and remains as a clump or matt of hair on top of the screen arrangement 10. This matt or clump of hair 18 can then be easily removed from the screen arrangement 10 with one's fingers, and discarded as a single clump of hair. If any few hair strands still remain somewhat entangled or engaged with the bristles 4, such remaining strands of hair have been combed and pulled upwardly by the screen arrangement 10 and thereby loosened from the bristles 4, so that any such remaining few strands of hair can also be easily grasped with one's fingers and pulled away from the bristles 4, and then easily disposed of.

Once the hairbrush has been cleaned of such matted or clumped hair, then the screen arrangement 10 is again mounted onto the hairbrush body 2 as described above (reversing the motion of the arrow 17 or 19), so that the bristles protrude through and outwardly from the screen arrangement 10. The brush is then ready for further use.

The inventor has constructed and tested a prototype of the hairbrush 1 with the screen arrangement 10 according to FIG. 4, and it was found to work as described above. The inventor found the cleaning effectiveness or results to be substantially improved over the prior art use of a pencil, chopstick, comb or the like for individually poking and prying hair out of the brush bristles 4. The inventor also found the cleaning results to be surprising, because the results were so good and the inventor previously did not know and could not have expected whether the inventive screen arrangement would work as hoped. The effectiveness of the inventive screen arrangement may be supported or benefitted by the fact that the hair strands accumulating in the matted clump of hair 18 are predominantly oriented transversely across the wires or strands 12, due to the typical predominant brushing direction of the hairbrush 1 stroking the hair strands in a direction transverse or substantially perpendicular to the wires or strands 12. Thereby the hair strands are aligned substantially perpendicularly to the wire strands 12. The screen arrangement 10 is then very effective at removing and lifting the matted clump of hair 18 from the bristles 4. Based on an understanding of the components of the other embodiments disclosed herein (e.g. the embodiments of FIGS. 1, 2, 3, and 5), it is expected that the other embodiments will also work and perform as effectively as the embodiment of FIG. 4.

A second embodiment of a screen arrangement 10′ according to the invention is shown in FIG. 5. This screen arrangement 10′ does not comprise a perimeter frame, but rather comprises a screen material if including plural layers 11A, 11B, 11C, 11D, 11E of a plastic film, which may be made of any sufficiently tough plastic material, or a metallized plastic such as a metallized polyester film available as Mylar™ brand film. The bottom film layer 11E is adhesively attached by an adhesive backing onto the upper surface 6 of the hairbrush body 2. Each successive film layer 11D, 11C, 11B, 11A is adhesively attached by its adhesive backing onto the preceding layer. Each layer 11A, 11B, 11C, 11D, 11E has a plurality of holes 13′ providing the openings 13 through which the brush bristles 4 protrude from the upper surface 6 of the hairbrush body 2. This screen material if must be provided on the upper surface 6 of the hairbrush body 2 during the manufacture of the hairbrush, whereby for example, the brush bristles 4 are inserted through the holes 13′ into correspondingly located holes in the hairbrush body 2 for anchoring the bristles 4 into the hairbrush body 2. Alternatively, if the bristles 4 can be held in registration with the holes 13′, then the screen material if can be arranged onto the bristles and adhesively attached onto the upper surface 6 of the hairbrush body 2 after the bristles 4 have been installed in the hairbrush body. Without such registration of the bristles 4 with the holes 13′, it would not be possible to arrange the screen material if onto the bristles 4.

Thus, the ultimate user of the hairbrush cannot conveniently place or replace the screen material if onto the hairbrush body 2. Because the screen material if comprises plural layers 11A, 11B, 11C, 11D, 11E of film material, the user of the hairbrush simply peels off one of the layers 11A, 11B, 11C, 11D, 11E when it is desired to clean the brush by removing the matted clump of hair 18 that has accumulated on top of the screen material layer over the course of several uses of the brush. In this regard, the adhesive backing of each film layer 11A, 11B, 11C, 11D and 11E is a releasable adhesive, so that the respective layer can easily be peeled up according to the arrow 20 and thereby removed from the hairbrush while removing the matted clump of hair 18 from the bristles 4. Thus, in the example embodiment shown in FIG. 5, because the screen material 11 includes five film layers 11A, 11B, 11C, 11D and 11E, the hairbrush of FIG. 5 can be cleaned, i.e. a matted clump of hair 18 can be removed, a total of five times over the life of the hairbrush by peeling up a successive film layer. After all of the film layers 11A, 11B, 11C, 11D and 11E have been peeled off and removed, thereafter the hairbrush can be used further as a normal hairbrush without the hair removal feature according to the invention. More or fewer layers of screen material 11 can be provided as desired

Although the invention has been described with reference to specific example embodiments, it will be appreciated that it is intended to cover all modifications and equivalents within the scope of the appended claims. It should also be understood that the present disclosure includes all possible combinations of any individual features recited in any of the appended claims. The abstract of the disclosure does not define or limit the claimed invention, but rather merely abstracts certain features disclosed in the application.

REFERENCE NUMBER LIST

  • 1 hairbrush
  • 2 hairbrush body
  • 3 handle
  • 4 brush bristles
  • 5 group, e.g. row of bristles 4
  • 5′ blank bristle-free strip-shaped area between rows 5
  • 6 upper surface of hairbrush body
  • 10 screen arrangement
  • 10′ second embodiment of screen arrangement
  • 11 screen material
  • 11′ second embodiment of screen material
  • 11A to E layers of plastic film
  • 12 strands, e.g. wires
  • 13 openings
  • 13′ second embodiment of openings, i.e. individual holes
  • 14 perimeter frame
  • 15 hinge
  • 16 releasable attachment, e.g. hook-and-loop fastener
  • 16′ releasable attachment, e.g. hook-and-loop fastener
  • 17 arrow, pivot motion about hinge 15
  • 18 matted clump of hair
  • 19 arrow, motion of removing screen arrangement 10
  • 20 arrow, motion of removing film layer 11A
  • 25 snap-fit mechanism
  • 26 protrusion
  • 27 snap-engagement prongs or tabs
  • 30 latch arrangement
  • 31 latch member, e.g. plastic strap
  • 32 catch or hook