Title:
Heat shield protective device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A heat shield protecting the face, forehead, ears, and neck and to promote medical safety for users of hooded hair dryers and other heated hair appliances. The shield includes a face shield holder being generally unshaped in construction and adapted to from around the front and side of the user's face. The holder has a pair of retainer elements adapted for holding said face shield around said user's head. A face visor is attached to the face shield and generally extending downward to cover the user's face when said face shield holder is held around the user's head. A forehead protector shield also is attached to the face shield holder. for shielding the user's forehead from air blown by said hooded hair dryer. A neck shield cape has a pair of handles for attaching in front of a user's neck and the ends of the cape rests on a user's shoulders or are attachable to the sides and rear of a hooded hair dryer.



Inventors:
Evans, Elsie C. (Forestville, MD, US)
Application Number:
10/160249
Publication Date:
12/05/2002
Filing Date:
06/04/2002
Assignee:
EVANS ELSIE C.
Primary Class:
2/9
International Classes:
A45D44/12; A61F9/04; (IPC1-7): A42B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MOHANTY, BIBHU R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BANNER & WITCOFF, LTD. (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A face shield device for protecting a user's face from heat blown from a hooded hair dryer, said face shield comprising: a face shield holder being generally unshaped in construction and adapted to frame around the front and side of the user's face, said face shield holder having retainer elements adapted for holding said face shield around said user's head; a face visor attached to said face shield and generally extending downward to cover the user's face when said face shield holder is held around the user's head and being adapted to shield the user's face from air blown by said hooded hair dryer; and a forehead protector shield attached to face shield holder for shielding the user's forehead from air blown by said hooded hair dryer.

2. The face shield device of claim 1, wherein said retainer elements are adapted to fit around the ears of the user.

3. The face shield device of claim 2, further including ear shields attached to said retainer elements and are adapted for shielding the user's ears from air blown by said hooded hair dryer.

4. The face shield device of claim 3, further including a fastening device for attaching said ear shields to said retainer elements.

5. The face shield device of claim 4, wherein said fastening device is formed with Velcro.

6. The face shield device of claim 1, further including a fastening device for attaching said forehead protector shield to said face shield holder.

7. The face shield device of claim 6, wherein said fastening device is formed with Velcro.

8. The face shield device of claim 3, further including a fastening device for attaching said ear shields to said retainer elements.

9. The face shield device of claim 1, wherein said fastening device is formed with Velcro.

10. The face shield device of claim 8, wherein said face visor is formed of a transparent material.

11. The face shield device of claim 1, further including a fastening device for attaching said face visor to said face shield holder.

12. The face shield device of claim 11, wherein said fastening device is formed with Velcro.

13. The face shield device of claim 11, wherein said fastening device is formed of a plurality of protrusions formed on said face shield holder which interferingly fit into corresponding holds formed in said face shield visor.

14. The face shield device of claim 11, wherein said fastening device is formed of a plurality of holes formed in said face shield holder which interferingly receive corresponding protrusions formed in said face shield visor.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention generally relates to the field of hair care products and more particularly, is directed to a novel heat shield protective device for comfort and medical safety for the face, forehead, ears and neck to be worn by someone using a hooded hair dryer for drying and styling hair.

[0002] The present invention reduces health risks associated with hot air blown from hooded hair dryers. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has documented illnesses and accidents directly attributable to the use of hooded hair dryers. Adverse health effects to excessive heat from the use of hooded hair dryers include hot air burns and an illness called syncope which is a loss of consciousness that sometimes require hospitalization. Individuals vulnerable to syncope include those with seizure history, headaches, migraines, hypertension, sinus, and epilepsy. Other “at risk” individuals that will benefit from use of the present invention include children, the elderly, pregnant and menopausal women, cataract sufferers, contact lens wearers, people who suffer from respiratory problems and those whose skin is sensitive to excessive heat.

[0003] While efforts have been made in the past to solve the problem of excessive heat being blown onto the face, forehead, ears, and neck of users of hair dryers, prior art approaches have not been able to shield the vulnerable areas and allow the level of styling versatility, level of comfort and level of protection found in the present invention.

[0004] Prior art devices suffer a number of drawbacks, including the following:

[0005] 1. Some of the devices are cumbersome to mount onto a user's head and they interfere with some hair styles by obstructing hairline areas. For example, they have circular or semi-circular headbands whereas their parts are connected in the rear of a user's head or neck, at a user's forehead and on the side of the neck. Such construction make it difficult to process some hair styles.

[0006] 2. Some of the devices are obstructive to the heat required for drying a user's hair. For example, the devices have straps or head harnesses that rest on the user's hair.

[0007] 3. Some of the devices provide only partial protection for a user's face, forehead, ears and neck, thus leaving one or more of these areas vulnerable to excessive heat from the hair dryer.

[0008] Specifically with respect to the prior art, U.S. Pat. No. 5,023,954 to Lyons discloses a circular band with notched portions to cover the forehead and ears, however, the face is left vulnerable to excessive heat because it has no face visor.

[0009] U.S Pat. No. 3,235,882 to Coleman discloses a head garment that extends from a circular headband. The drape-like device fits over the head, leaves an opening to expose the hair, has ear covers for the ears, curves up to form side wing sections on each side of the face and connects above the forehead. The drawback is that the eyes, nose and face are left vulnerable to excessive heat because there is no face visor.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 2,296,078 to Young discloses a horseshoe shaped brim type of visor. A neck apron extends across the rear at the neck hairline. The drawback is that a harness is used to support the device and to hold up the ear covers causing it to be obstructive and cumbersome to various hairstyles.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 2,136,039 to Clancy discloses a one-piece circular device constructed with a paper-like material. The device covers the forehead and ears and has a wide face visor. It is attached to the rear at the neck hairline with a clip. Drawbacks include limited neck protection and the face visor, which is not transparent, prevents the user from being able to see the surroundings.

[0012] U.S. Pat. No. 2,060,553 to Burleigh discloses a band containing an eye shield or bill that(is held onto the head by placing the ends of the band into pockets in the ear guards. The drawbacks include limited eye protection, no face protection and no neck protection.

[0013] U.S. Pat. No. 4,704,444 to Myer discloses a circular headband that fits over the head and is held above the forehead and ears with a head harness. The band extends outward about four inches around the head and connects in the rear below the hairline. The drawback is that the straps of the head harness is obstructive and cumbersome for modern hair styles and the face and neck protection is limited.

[0014] U.S. Pat. No. 4,133,052 to Hodgman discloses a form of protection for all vulnerable areas and adds a receptacle for water draining from the user's head. The drawbacks include obstruction to the hairline areas because the device is a one-piece circular band containing the face visor, forehead protection, and the ear flaps and it connects in the rear of the head. A second circular band connects above the forehead when the neck cape is being used for neck protection. A user cannot comfortably wear eyeglasses when utilizing this device because the transparent visor fits closely to the wearer's eyes and nose. The space between the face visor and the earflaps of the Hodgman's device leaves a portion of the user's face vulnerable to hot air when using the hooded hair dryer.

[0015] Accordingly, there is a great need in the art for an effective heat shield protective device for the face, forehead, ears and neck which overcomes the above noted short comings of prior art devices.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0016] The present invention promotes medical safety for users of hooded hair dryers and shields the face, forehead, ears and neck from excessive heat caused by the hooded hair dryer and some other heated appliances such as the curling iron, blow dryer, flat iron, etc.

[0017] As pointed out above, the U. S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has documented cases of syncope, a brief loss of consciousness, and hot air burn accidents directly attributable to the use of hooded hair dryers. In spite of such problems, the hooded hair dryer's intensive blown heat has proven to be most effective in producing hairstyles (especially for wavy hair) that lasts for a long period of time. Therefore, a compromise affecting health and comfort takes place regularly for many individuals in exchange for beautiful hair and lasting styles.

[0018] The overall object of the present invention is to provide an easy to use heat shielding device that provides a face shield with an extended transparent face visor that can be used alone for protection or in conjunction with other easily attachable components of the present invention for protecting the forehead, face, ears, and neck against excessive heat from hair dryers.

[0019] Another object of the present invention is to provide a novel face shield with handles that slide on above a user's ears and have an extended transparent face visor for allowing good visibility and allowing a user to wear eyeglasses.

[0020] The novel features of the present invention include a face shield with an extended transparent face visor that slides onto a user's head having connective mechanisms for attaching a forehead protective device, ear shields and the straps of a neck shield cape of the invention. The face shield is a horseshoe shaped device that curves around the front of a user's face having ends or handles that hug the head and rest above a user's ears. An extended transparent face visor connects to and extends from the front and sides of the face shield device and fans out wide to direct heat away from a user's face. A strip of Velcro is attached to the outer handles and extends down the length of the extended transparent face visor for attaching to other heat shielding devices. Velcro is attached under the front portion of the face shield for receiving a forehead protective device.

[0021] Another object of the current invention is to provide a novel forehead protective device that is easily attachable to the face shield, which can be adjusted up or down and is washable and/or economically disposable. The invention provides a forehead protective device which includes a soft forehead protective cushion having a top portion that is contoured or shaped and elasticized to shield the average forehead and temple areas and having Velcro strips attached across the front lower portion for attaching to the Velcro under the front portion of the face shield.

[0022] Another object of the present invention is to provide an easy to clean and sanitary ear shield that slaps onto the handles of the face shield and attaches flush against one edge of the extended transparent face visor to further shield heat from a user's face and ears. The ear shields of the invention has cushioned heat resistive fabric. A Velcro strip stretches across the top inner portion and down the front side for connecting to the face shield handle and the extended transparent face visor. A narrow elastic strip stretches horizontally near the inner top of ear shields for hanging or attaching disposable tissues.

[0023] Another object of the present invention is to provide a neck shield cape that can be draped over a user's shoulders or attached to the hair dryer hood and has a mechanisms for connecting in front of a user's neck, and having means of connecting to the hood of a hair dryer. The invention includes a neck shield cape having elasticized boarders. Two elastic handles with Velcro along the inner portions are provided for connecting to each other in front of a user's neck. Velcro strips along the sides and rear portion of the elastic bordered cape can be attached to receiving connectors on the hair dryer hood for funneling and directing the hot air. A reinforced rear slit for adapting to a hooded hair dryer with or without an arm that extends from under the hood.

[0024] Another object of the current invention is to provide an elastic hood band with Velcro connectors for receiving the outer edges of the neck shield cape. The current invention's hood band is an elastic hood band having a sleeve of fabric with Velcro connectors attached to the sides and rear portions of the sleeve for receiving the outer edges of the neck shield cape.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0025] The novel features of the present invention are set out with particularity in the appended claims, but the invention will be understood more fully and clearly from the following detailed description of the invention as set forth in the accompanying drawings in which:

[0026] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of Applicant's heat shield with its component parts in accordance with the present invention;

[0027] FIG. 2 is dis-assembly view of Applicant's heat shield showing the extended transparent face visor prior to being connected in accordance with the present invention;

[0028] FIG. 3 is another dis-assembly view of Applicant's heat shield showing the face shield with an extended transparent face visor before and after attaching an ear shield; and

[0029] FIG. 4 illustrates a neck shield cape with all borders elasticized and having Velcro strips dispersed along the sides and rear boarders in accordance with the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0030] A preferred embodiment of the present invention will now be described with reference to FIGS. 1-4.

[0031] As shown in FIG. 1, the present invention provides a face shield with handles for sliding above a user's ears; a soft cushioned forehead protective device that connects under the face shield; a wide transparent extended face visor that connects to the face shield; ear shields that connect to the handles of the face shield and connects flush along the sides of the extended transparent face visor; a neck shield cape with two elasticized straps for connecting to each other in front of a user's neck; and a hair dryer hood band for fitting over the hood of a hair dryer to receive the Velcro connectors along the sides and rear of the neck shield cape.

[0032] FIG. 2 shows a face shield 2 with handles 8 that slides onto a wearer's head. A transparent extended face visor 12 fans outward from the face and provides visibility and protection. Face shield Velcro connectors 4 under the face shield 2 for connecting to a forehead protective device 18, which contours along the upper edges for protecting the forehead and temples. Velcro connectors 20, along the lower end of the extended forehead protective device 18, attaches to a face shield's Velcro connectors 4. Face shield slots for connecting extended transparent face visor 12 corresponds to extended transparent face visor sockets 16 for a flush connection of the face shield 2 and the extended transparent face visor 12. Sockets 15 receive protrusions 6 as shown in FIG. 2.

[0033] FIG. 3 shows the outer view of soft padded ear shields 22. An inner view of the ear shield 24 shows Velcro connectors 24 along the top edge for connecting onto the handles of the face shield 8. Velcro connectors stretch along the front inner portions 26 for connecting to the corresponding Velcro connectors on the sides of the transparent extended face shield 14. An elastic strap 28 is located near the top of the inner ear shield for holding disposable tissue.

[0034] FIG. 4 shows a view of a neck shield cape 30 having elastic borders and having a rear reinforced slit 40 for adapting to hooded hair dryers with the arm that extends from under the hood. The front portion has two elasticized handles 35 with Velcro along the inner portions for interlocking or attaching in the front of a user's neck. The neck shield cape is designed to rest on the shoulders of a user or when desirable a user can lift the ends of the neck shield cape and press Velcro connectors 38 against corresponding hair dryer hood band Velcro connectors 44 on the hair dryer hood band 42 having a sleeve of fabric 46 on which the hood band Velcro connectors 44 are attached. Note: Individual Velcro “stick on” strips can be mounted to the hair dryer hood for receiving the Velcro connectors on the neck shield cape 38.

[0035] It should be obvious from the above-discussed apparatus embodiment that numerous other variations and modifications of the apparatus of this invention are possible, and such will readily occur to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the scope of this invention is not to be limited to the embodiment disclosed, but is to include any such embodiments as may be encompassed within the scope of the claims appended hereto.