Title:
Hair weaving and braiding apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Hair holding apparatus comprises means for holding and positioning hair to be woven or braided onto the existing hair on a person's head. The apparatus includes a base member with at least one row of a plurality of prongs attached thereto and extending up therefrom. A back plate, perpendicular to the base plate is positioned a distance from the row of prongs. An accessory includes another base plate having a spindle extending in an upward direction.



Inventors:
Johnson, Carolyn (North Lauderdale, FL, US)
Application Number:
10/209235
Publication Date:
02/05/2004
Filing Date:
07/31/2002
Assignee:
JOHNSON CAROLYN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D44/04; A45D44/14; A45D2/00; (IPC1-7): A45D2/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DOAN, ROBYN KIEU
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard M. Saccocio (Ft. Lauderdale, FL, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. Hair holding apparatus adapted to hold and position hair that is to be woven or braided onto the existing hair on a person's head comprising: An elongated base plate, said base plate being removably attachable to another surface, at least one plurality of prongs attached to a top surface of said elongated base plate and extending therefrom in a direction substantially perpendicular to said top surface of said elongated base plate, said prongs being arranged spaced from each other and in a generally straight line along said elongated base plate, and means to removably attach said hair holding apparatus to another surface.

2. The hair holding apparatus of claim 1, including a back plate attached to said base plate along a back edge of said elongated base plate, said back plate extending in a direction parallel to the line of said prongs and spaced therefrom.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said another surface is a horizontal surface.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said another surface is a vertical surface.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said prongs each comprise a generally elongated cylindrical member that tapers slightly in the direction away from said elongated base plate and terminates in a slightly pointed top end.

6. The apparatus of claim 1 including another base plate separate and apart from said elongated base plate, said another base plate having at least one prong thereon extending in a direction perpendicular to a top surface of said another base plate.

7. The apparatus of claim 6 including a magnetic pad located on said top surface of said another base plate.

8. Hair holding apparatus adapted to hold and position hair that is to be woven or braided onto the existing hair on a person's head comprising: An elongated backing plate, at least one plurality of prongs attached to a top surface of said elongated backing plate and extending therefrom in a first direction substantially perpendicular to said top surface of said elongated backing plate, and in a second direction substantially perpendicular to said first direction, said prongs being arranged in a spaced relationship from each other and in a generally straight line along said elongated backing plate, and means to attach said holding apparatus to a vertical surface.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention pertains in general to the field of hair weaving and braiding tools and accessories and in particular to the field of apparatus for holding hair to be applied onto a person's existing hair during the process of weaving or braiding the hair onto a person's head.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] One method of changing the appearance of a person's hair is to add real hair to the existing hair on a person's head. This procedure can be used to give the appearance that a person has more hair than he or she actually has. This procedure can also be used to give the appearance that a person has longer hair than he or she actually has. This procedure can also be used to change the texture of a person's hair. For example, a person's naturally curly hair can be made to appear straight or wavy by applying such straight or wavy hair to the person's naturally curly hair. The opposite is also possible, i.e., a person can be given the appearance of having naturally curly hair when, in fact, the person's hair is straight. Another example is the addition of braids to a persons hair. Of course, these are just some of the possible reasons to explain why a person desires to add hair to his or her existing hair.

[0005] One prior art method used to add additional hair to a person's head is to weave the additional hair onto the existing hair of the person. The weaving process provides the means to connect the hair to be added to the person's existing hair. Weaving provides a secure connection that withstands the effects of wind, rain, or washing in preventing the woven hair from becoming dislodged from the person's natural hair. The actual technique of weaving is not material to the present invention.

[0006] Hair to be woven is generally supplied in a form where the hair is attached to a long, thin strip of material. Individual strands of hair are attached at one end to the long, thin strip of material, such that the individual strands extend away from the strip of material in a somewhat perpendicular fashion, with the plurality of strands being parallel to each other along the entire length of the strip of material. In using this arrangement of supplied hair, the operator begins at one end of the array and sequentially weaves each individual strand on to the person's existing hair. In so doing, the operator must contend with remaining long length of hairs attached to the strip of material. Usually, the operator simply allows the remaining long length of hairs to hang from the person's head and onto the floor. This is not at all satisfactory because the weight of the hanging length is constantly pulling away from the operator at the location on the person's head where the hair is being woven. Thus, the operator is continually having to contend with the pulling force which is most inconvenient and cumbersome in that the pulling force opposes the operator's attempt to attach the hair

[0007] When a person's hair is to be braided, the additional hair is used to form the braids which are then caused to be attached in rows along a person's head. In this application the hair to be braided onto a person's existing hair is usually provided in a bundle of individual hairs arranged parallel to each other. It is the operator's task to select and separate a plurality of hairs from the original large bundle of hair, form the separated hairs into a small bundle of parallel hairs and braid the smaller bundle onto a person's existing hair. In so doing, the operator must carefully remove the selected hairs from the bundle while making certain that the bundle does not get tangled or otherwise disarranged so that the operator can sequentially continue the process of selecting and removing hairs from the bundle. In the prior art, this process is also most cumbersome and inconvenient. The result is usually that the bundle becomes so entangled that removal of additional hairs can not be accomplished in an orderly manner.

[0008] Accordingly, means and apparatus are needed to assist an operator in controlling the hair to be attached to a person's head during weaving or braiding procedures. The present invention supplies this need.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] FIG. 1 Isometrically illustrates one embodiment of the present invention; and

[0010] FIG. 2 illustrates an accessory which can be used with the apparatus of FIG. 1;

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0011] As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure. Further, the terms and phrases used herein are not intended to be limiting; but rather, to provide an understandable description of the invention.

[0012] FIG. 1 illustrates one embodiment of the inventive hair holder 10 which solves the above-stated problems. A support member 15 comprises two elongated plates, a base plate 16 and a backing plate 17 arranged at ninety (90°) degrees to each other. The overall length of each plate may be of the order of 8-16 inches. Base plate member 16 may have a depth of approximately 2½ inches and a thickness of approximately {fraction (3/16)} to ⅞ of an inch. Backing plate member 17 may have a depth of approximately 2½ inches and a thickness of {fraction (3/16)} to ⅞ of an inch. Plate members 16 and 17 can be but need not be individual members; for example, they may comprise a single piece of bent or formed or cast plastic.

[0013] A plurality of prongs 18 approximately two inches long are provided, in an approximate straight line and along the length of plate member 16 at an approximate interval of one to two inches between adjacent prongs 18. One end of prongs 18 is attached to base plate member 16 and extends upwardly therefrom. The other end of prongs 18 is somewhat pointed or rounded. The space between prongs 18 and plate member 17 may be of the order of approximately one to two inches. The invention is not limited to the number of prongs shown nor the spacing therebetween or to the spacing from plate member 17. The dimensions are approximate and may be varied from those stated. Moreover, the use of the word “prongs” is not intended to be limiting. The same can also be referred to as pegs. Regardless of nomenclature, the pegs or prongs 18 can be completely cylindrical or tapered. Additionally, the taper can progress in an upward or downward direction, or both such that they taper outwardly from their attachment to base plate 16, then at some midlength point, the taper progresses inwardly until the top is reached.

[0014] As noted above, hair to be woven onto a person's existing hair is supplied in a long strip of hairs that individually hang from a thin long piece of material This parallel arranged length of hairs arrives in a rolled up form. In using the inventive apparatus, the operator begins to unroll the hair and simultaneously places the beginning of the long thin strip of material over a prong 18 and between the inside surface of the upright backing plate 17 and flat against the base plate 16. As more hair is unrolled, the strip of long thin material is placed over successive prongs 18 while assuring that the individual strands of hair extend away from the prongs and substantially perpendicular to the long outside edge of the plate 16. Of course, the extending hair will drape downwardly over the leading edge of the base plate 16. When the last prong is reached, the operator reverses the direction of laying the hair over the prongs and extending away from the long outside edge of plate 16. In this manner, the rolled supply of hair is unrolled and applied to the inventive apparatus 10 first in one direction and then in a reversed direction and then back in the first direction and so on until all of the supplied hair is unrolled and removably attached to the prongs of the inventive apparatus 10 and against the base plate 16. The hair to be woven onto a person's existing hair is now arranged in a manner that allows an operator to conveniently and controllably weave the hair onto a person's head.

[0015] In applying the hair now arranged on the inventive apparatus 10, the operator takes hold of the uppermost end of the unrolled hair on the inventive apparatus, brings it up to the location of a person's head where the weaving is to start and begins to weave the hair onto a person's existing hair. A threaded weaving needle can be used for this purpose. At this time, a relatively short working length of the long thin strip of material (having the hairs attached thereto) is removed from the inventive apparatus 10 while a substantial portion of the same is still attached to the inventive apparatus 10. Since a substantial portion of the hair is being held by holder 10, the full weight of the long length of parallel hairs is not working against the operator so that the operator can concentrate on the weaving and not have to deal with a long length of hair extending away from the point of weaving.

[0016] As the weaving continues, the remaining portion of hair on the holder 10 is incrementally removed to reestablish the relatively short working length of hairs. This procedure continues until all of the hair is removed from the holder 10 and is woven onto the person's head.

[0017] The prongs 18 are preferably provided with a smooth outer surface and tip so that the hairs attached to the long thin strip of material easily slide over the prongs and easily slide off of the prongs. The contact surfaces of the holder, i.e. the inside surfaces of plates 16 and 17 are preferably also provided with a smooth surface so that the hairs do not unduly catch on the same.

[0018] The holder itself 10, is configured to be able to be placed flat on a working table, or attached to a back side of a seat In either case, the holder should be relative secure against movement. The prior art contains a number of options in this regard. The holder 10 can be screw attached to a working table, or attached thereto by a hook and loop type of attachment. Additionally the slots 24 in the upright backing plate 17 can be used to attach the holder 10, by the use of straps, to the back of the chair of the person whose hair is to be woven. Other prior art means of attaching the hair holding device 10 to either a horizontal or a vertical surface can be readily envisioned and are intended to be included within the breadth and scope of the present invention.

[0019] As stated above, hair to be braided onto a person's existing hair comes in a substantially round bundle of hairs arranged coextensive and parallel to each other and not connected together or to another object. In applying a bundle of hair to be braided, the bundle is removed from its packaging and straightened as necessary. One end of the bundle is placed between the first and second prongs starting from one side end of the holder 10. Then, the bundle is placed around the outside of the second prong 18 and in between the second and third prongs 18. The bundle is then wrapped around the inside of the third prong 18 and out between the third and forth prong 18. In aiding the practicing of the invention, this method of arranging the braiding hair to the holder 10 can be envisioned as forming a serpentine in and between adjacent prongs 18. The placement of the hair bundle in the manner described, continues until the last prong 18 is reached, or the entire length of the hair bundle is applied to the holder 10. If the hair bundle is longer than the holder, an appropriate length of the bundle can be left overhanging one or both side edges of the holder 10. Of course, other in and out arrangements can be used to secure the braided type of hair to the holder 10.

[0020] Once the braided hair bundle is applied to the holder and the operator is ready to begin braiding, the operator may then grasp a plurality of individual strands of hair from hair bundle and sequentially pull the selected strands away from the prongs 18 until a full length of a plurality of hairs are free of the hair bundle The serpentine arrangement of the hair bundle maintains the remaining hair bundle in position and untangled on the holder. The operator then braids the first plurality of hairs onto the person's existing hair. Then, the operator selects additional strands of hair, removes them from the bundle still remaining on the holder 10, and braids these selected hairs onto the person's head. This process continues until the braiding is complete and/or all of the hairs in the bundle have been removed and used.

[0021] To further assist an operator while weaving hair onto a person's head, the invention contemplates the use of a thread holder 19 as shown in FIG. 2. Thread holder 19 includes a base member 20 with one or more spindles 21 extending therefrom. Spindles 21 are configured to allow a spool of thread to be placed thereover and to be free to rotate when the operator is using the thread to threadingly weave the hair onto a person's head. A notch 22 on the top end of spindle 21 is provided to secure a loose thread end therewithin. A magnetic plate 23 may be provided on base member 20 to magnetically hold one or more threading needles thereon for the convenience of the operator. Thus, an operator can have ready e access to the needles he or she will use during the hair weaving or braiding procedures. When the operator finishes using a needle, the magnet pad provides a place to lay the needle for future use.

[0022] While the invention has been described, disclosed, illustrated and shown in certain terms or certain embodiments or modifications which it has assumed in practice, the scope of the invention is not intended to be nor should it be deemed to be limited thereby and such other modifications or embodiments as may be suggested by the teachings herein are particularly reserved. For example, the equivalent of the base plate 16 can comprise the prongs themselves by providing them with a bent shape. One bottom portion of the prongs can be attached to the backing plate and extend horizontally therefrom. A second upper portion of the prongs can extend at a 90 degree angle from the bottom portion and in an upward vertical direction. In this manner, the bottom horizontal portion of the prongs would substitute for the base plate 16.