Title:
Hair styling devices and methods
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hair styling and holding device is provided which includes a pair of elongated tapered members joined together by an elastic element connected to two members at or near the top thereof. In one embodiment, a tubular sleeve at least partially encloses the elastic element. In an important implementation, detachable end caps are removably affixed to the tops of the tapered members. The end caps are joined together by the elastic element so that the end caps and the elastic element (and the sleeve, if present) can be removed as a unit from the tapered members. Different shapes and forms of the tapered members are provided, and different methods are provided for using the device in styling and holding hair styles such as a bun, French twist, and the like.



Inventors:
Moore, Melanie E. (Maiden-On-Hudson, NY, US)
Schurian, Michael M. (Maiden-On-Hudson, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/654005
Publication Date:
03/10/2005
Filing Date:
09/04/2003
Assignee:
MOORE MELANIE E.
SCHURIAN MICHAEL M.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D8/00; A45D8/02; A45D8/10; A45D8/12; A45D8/34; (IPC1-7): A45D8/00
View Patent Images:
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20090317432FELT-TIP PEN FOR MAKING UP OR CARING FOR NAILS, SKIN, LIPS EYELASHES OR TEETHDecember, 2009Kergosien
20080210252Vibrating hair brush with curvilinear planar movement for enhanced detangling of hairSeptember, 2008Taggart et al.
20090071497METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR VOLUMIZING HAIRMarch, 2009Szlanfucht et al.
20090263766STYLING HANDSOctober, 2009Ozuna et al.
20100077559APPLICATOR BRUSHApril, 2010Mink
20080279805USE OF NON-FILM-FORMING CATIONIC LATICES FOR INCREASING THE VOLUME OF THE HAIRNovember, 2008Giroud
20090044823HAIR IRONSFebruary, 2009Overend et al.
20030140934Wig for decorating hairJuly, 2003Sugai et al.
20070056603Self-erecting structure for rod-shaped member and method of producing rod-shaped member having self-erecting structureMarch, 2007Huh



Primary Examiner:
DOAN, ROBYN KIEU
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STITES & HARBISON PLLC (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A hair styling device comprising: first and second elongate members each including a first end portion of smaller diameter that an opposite end portion; an elastic element connected to the opposite end portion of said first and second members for joining said first and second members together; and a tubular sleeve at least partially enclosing said elastic element.

2. A device according to claim 1 wherein said first and second members include detachable end caps removably affixed thereto at said opposite end portions thereof, said end caps being joined together by said elastic element so that said end caps and said elastic element and said sleeve can be removed as a unit from first and second members.

3. A device according to claim 2 wherein said end caps each include a recess in an end surface thereof and wherein the opposite end portions of said first and second members each include a head part received in the recess of the corresponding end cap.

4. A device according to claim 3 wherein each said head part is received as a snap-fit in the corresponding recess.

5. A device according to claim 3 wherein each said head part includes external screw threading which mates with internal screw threading of the corresponding recess.

6. A device according to claim 3 wherein each said head part includes a spring-biased pushbutton for, when released, securing the corresponding elongate member to its associated end cap and for, when depressed, enabling separation of the corresponding elongate member from its associated end cap.

7. A device according to claim 3 wherein each said end cap includes a slot in a wall thereof which defines said recess and wherein each of said first and second members includes an outwardly projecting part received in said slot so as to secure the corresponding elongate member to its associated end cap.

8. A device according to claim 7 wherein said slot extends from a lower edge of said wall, is of an inverted L-shape and includes catch means for releasably securing the projecting part of the corresponding elongate member in said slot.

9. A device according to claim 8 wherein said catch means comprises oppositely projecting portions of the corresponding end cap that form a transverse leg of said L-shaped slot, said oppositely projecting portions defining a narrowed passage therebetween.

10. A device according to claim 1 further comprising at least one separate element secured by said elastic element to at least one member of said first and second members at said opposite portion therefor.

11. A device according to claim 10 wherein said at least one separate element is secured by said elastic element so as to abut an end surface of said at least one member.

12. A device according to claim 11 wherein said at least one member includes a throughhole therein extending between said end surface and a side wall surface of said at least one member and said elastic element is received in said throughhole.

13. A device according to claim 12 wherein said at least one separate element includes a further separate element secured by said elastic element in abutment with said side wall surface.

14. A device according to claim 10 wherein said at least one separate element is secured by said elastic element so as to abut a side wall surface of said at least one member.

15. A device according to claim 14 wherein said at least one member includes a transverse throughhole therein and said elastic element extends through said throughhole.

16. A device according to claim 15 wherein said at least one separate element comprises a further separate element secured by elastic element to at least one member at an opposite side wall surface thereof.

17. A device according to claim 2 further comprising at least one separate element secured by said elastic element to the end cap of at least one of said first and second members.

18. A device according to claim 17 wherein said at least one separate element is secured by said elastic element so as to abut an end surface of the end cap of said at least one member.

19. A device according to claim 18 wherein said at least one member includes a throughhole therein extending between said end surface and a side wall surface of the end cap of said at least one member and said elastic element is received in said throughhole.

20. A device according to claim 19 wherein said at least one separate element includes a further separate element secured by said elastic element in abutment with said side wall surface.

21. A device according to claim 17 wherein said at least one separate element is secured by said elastic element so as to abut a side wall surface of the end cap of said at least one member.

22. A device according to claim 21 wherein said at least one member includes a transverse throughhole therein and said elastic element extends through said throughhole.

23. A device according to claim 22 wherein said at least one separate element comprises a further separate element secured by elastic element to at least one member at an opposite side wall surface thereof.

24. A device according to claim 1 wherein at least one of said elongate members includes external ridges.

25. A device according to claim 24 wherein said ridges form screw-like threads.

26. A device according to claim 1 wherein at least one of said elongate members comprises a plurality of outwardly projecting protuberances thereon.

27. A device according to claim 1 wherein at least one of said elongate members includes a plurality of undulations along the length thereof.

28. A hair styling device for holding the hair of a user in place, said device comprising an elongate member including a first end portion of smaller diameter than that of an opposite end portion, said elongate member having a center line and including a plurality of portions projecting outwardly different distances from the center line thereof on opposite sides of said centerline for enhancing holding of the hair of a user.

29. A device according to claim 28 wherein said projecting portions comprise external ridges.

30. A device according to claim 29 wherein said ridges form screw-like threads.

31. A device according to claim 28 wherein said projecting portions comprise a plurality of outwardly projecting protuberances.

32. A device according to claim 28 wherein said projecting portions are formed by a plurality of undulations along the length of said elongate member.

33. A device according to claim 28 further comprising a further said elongate member, and a connecting element for connecting the first mentioned elongate member to the further said elongate member.

34. A hair styling device for holding the hair of a user in place, said device comprising an elongate member including a first end portion of smaller diameter than that of an opposite end portion, and a removable end cap detachably secured to said opposite end portion of said elongate member.

35. A device according to claim 34 wherein said end cap includes a recess in an end surface thereof and wherein the opposite end portion of said elongate member includes a head part received in the recess of the end cap.

36. A device according to claim 35 wherein said head part is received as a snap-fit in the recess.

37. A device according to claim 35 wherein said head part includes external screw threading which mates with internal screw threading of the recess.

38. A device according to claim 35 wherein said head part includes a spring-biased pushbutton for, when released, securing the elongate member to the end cap and for, when depressed, enabling separation of the elongate member from the end cap.

39. A device according to claim 35 wherein said end cap includes a slot in a wall thereof defining said recess and wherein said elongate member includes an outwardly projecting part received in said slot so as to secure the elongate member to the end cap.

40. A device according to claim 39 wherein said slot extends from a lower edge of said wall, is of an inverted L-shape and includes catch means for releasably securing the projecting part of the elongate member in said slot.

41. A device according to claim 40 wherein said catch means comprises oppositely projecting portions of the end cap that form a transverse leg of said L-shaped slot, said oppositely projecting portions defining a narrowed passage therebetween.

42. A device according to claim 34 further comprising a further elongate member including a further end cap and a connecting element for connecting the first mentioned end cap to said further end cap.

43. A method of styling and holding hair using a device comprising first and second elongate members joined together at locations therealong at least near one end thereof by an elongate connecting element, said method comprising: arranging hair on the back of the head so that a portion of the hair is gathered together into a gathered mass in the form of a roll or a bun; inserting the first elongate member into the gathered mass of hair so that an end portion thereof opposite said one end is disposed against the head; while keeping the first elongate member disposed against the head, pivoting said one end of said first elongate member in a direction away from an initial position assumed thereby when the first member is inserted into the gathered mass of hair; disposing the connecting element relative to the hair so as to secure at least a portion of the connecting element in place on the head; and inserting the second elongate member into the gathered mass of hair to hold the gathered mass of hair in place.

44. A method according to claim 43 wherein the gathered mass comprises a hair bun and the connecting element is wrapped around the bun so as to pass under portions of the first elongate member extending outwardly from the bun on opposite sides thereof, prior to inserting the second elongate member.

45. A method according to claim 43 wherein the gathered mass comprises a hair roll and the connecting member is hooked below an outwardly extending portion of the first elongate member, prior to the insertion of the second elongate member.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to devices, such as so-called hair sticks and the like, used in the styling of hair and/or in holding styled hair in place, and to hair styling methods using such devices.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many, many different devices have been developed for styling and holding the hair, ranging from common items such as bobby pins, pony elastics, combs, individual hair sticks, barrettes, hair clamps and the like to less commonplace or more unusual items or devices such as some of those described in the patented cited art.

Patented hair styling and/or holding devices include those described in the following U.S. patents and applications: U.S. application Ser. No. 2002/0195116 A1 to Lloyd; U.S. Pat. No. 6,484,729 B1 to Silva; U.S. Pat. No. 6,311,697 B1 to Gibson; U.S. Pat. No. 6,263,884 B1 to Minnelli; U.S. Pat. No. 5,979,465 to Marrese et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,954,065 to Silva; U.S. Pat. No. 5,873,376 to Howley; U.S. Pat. No. 5,826,593 to Haubrich; U.S. Pat. No. 5,806,538 to Keltner; U.S. Pat. No. 5,787,904 to Michaud; U.S. Pat. No. 5,778,904 to Elsner; U.S. Pat. No. 5,249,589 to Moore; U.S. Pat. No. 5,499,638 to Ripley; U.S. Pat. No. 5,293,884 to Chapman et al; U.S. Pat. No. 5,289,834 to Lawrence; U.S. Pat. No. 5,097,854 to Smith; U.S. Pat. No. 4,667,860 to Feuerman; U.S. Pat. No. 763,597 to Daughters; U.S. Pat. No. 66,599 to Lavis et al; U.S. Pat. No. 1,707,392 to Fulton; U.S. Pat. No. 2,630,810 to Solomon; and U.S. Pat. No. DE 292,030 to Revson.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with one aspect of the invention, there is provided a hair styling or hair holding device which eliminates the necessity for conventional hair holding devices such as those mentioned above, e.g., bobby pins, pony elastics, combs, individual hair sticks, barrettes, hair clamps and the like. According to a further aspect of the invention, methods are provided which use the device of the invention in styling and holding the hair in various different hair styles such as a bun, a “French twist,” and a “Gibson Girl” style.

In accordance with a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a hair styling device comprising: first and second elongate members each including a first end portion of smaller diameter that an opposite end portion; an elastic element connected to the opposite end portion of said first and second members for joining said first and second members together; and a tubular sleeve at least partially enclosing said elastic element.

In an important implementation, the first and second members include detachable end caps removably affixed thereto at said opposite end portions thereof, said end caps being joined together by said elastic element so that said end caps and said elastic element and said sleeve can be removed as a unit from first and second members. Preferably, the end caps each include a recess in an end surface thereof and wherein the opposite end portions of said first and second members each include a head part received in the recess of the corresponding end cap.

In one embodiment, each said head part is received as a snap-fit in the corresponding recess. In another embodiment, each said head part includes external screw threading which mates with internal screw threading of the corresponding recess. In yet another embodiment, each said head part includes a spring-biased pushbutton for, when released, securing the corresponding elongate member to its associated end cap and for, when depressed, enabling separation of the corresponding elongate member from its associated end cap. In a further embodiment, each said end cap includes a slot in a wall thereof which defines said recess and wherein each of said first and second members includes an outwardly projecting part received in said slot so as to secure the corresponding elongate member to its associated end cap. Advantageously, the slot extends from a lower edge of said wall, is of an inverted L-shape and includes catch means for releasably securing the projecting part of the corresponding elongate member in said slot. Preferably, the catch means comprises oppositely projecting portions of the corresponding end cap that form a transverse leg of said L-shaped slot, said oppositely projecting portions defining a narrowed passage therebetween.

In a further important implementation, the device further comprises at least one separate element secured by said elastic element to at least one member of said first and second members at said opposite portion therefor. Preferably, the at least one separate element is secured by said elastic element so as to abut an end surface of said at least one member. Advantageously, the at least one member includes a throughhole therein extending between said end surface and a side wall surface of said at least one member and said elastic element is received in said throughhole. In another embodiment, the at least one separate element includes a further separate element secured by said elastic element in abutment with said side wall surface. In a further embodiment, the at least one separate element is secured by said elastic element so as to abut a side wall surface of said at least one member. Advantageously, the said at least one member includes a transverse throughhole therein and said elastic element extends through said throughhole. Preferably, the at least one separate element comprises a further separate element secured by elastic element to at least one member at an opposite side wall surface thereof.

In another important implementation employing an end cap, the device further comprises at least one separate element secured by said elastic element to the end cap of at least one of said first and second members. Preferably, the at least one separate element is secured by said elastic element so as to abut an end surface of the end cap of said at least one member. Advantageously, the at least one member includes a throughhole therein extending between said end surface and a side wall surface of the end cap of said at least one member and said elastic element is received in said throughhole. Preferably, the at least one separate element includes a further separate element secured by said elastic element in abutment with said side wall surface. Advantageously, the at least one separate element is secured by said elastic element so as to abut a side wall surface of the end cap of said at least one member. Further, the at least one member preferably includes a transverse throughhole therein and said elastic element extends through said throughhole. In another embodiment, the at least one separate element comprises a further separate element secured by elastic element to at least one member at an opposite side wall surface thereof.

In one embodiment, at least one of said elongate members includes external ridges. In one advantageous implementation of this embodiment, the ridges form screw-like threads.

In another embodiment, at least one of said elongate members comprises a plurality of outwardly projecting protuberances thereon.

In yet another embodiment, at least one of said elongate members includes a plurality of undulations along the length thereof.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, there is provided a hair styling device for holding the hair of a user in place, said device comprising an elongate member including a first end portion of smaller diameter than that of an opposite end portion, said elongate member having a center line and including a plurality of portions projecting outwardly different distances from the center line thereof on opposite sides of said centerline for enhancing holding of the hair of a user.

In one preferred embodiment, the projecting portions comprise external ridges. In an advantageous implementation of this embodiment, the ridges form screw-like threads. In another preferred embodiment, the projecting portions comprise a plurality of outwardly projecting protuberances. In a further preferred embodiment, the projecting portions are formed by a plurality of undulations along the length of said elongate member.

In a preferred embodiment of this aspect of the invention, the device further comprises a further said elongate member, and a connecting element for connecting the first mentioned elongate member to the further said elongate member.

In accordance with yet another aspect of the invention, there is provided a hair styling device for holding the hair of a user in place, said device comprising an elongate member including a first end portion of smaller diameter than that of an opposite end portion, and a removable end cap detachably secured to said opposite end portion of said elongate member.

Preferably, the end cap includes a recess in an end surface thereof and wherein the opposite end portion of said elongate member includes a head part received in the recess of the end cap. Advantageously, the head part is received as a snap-fit in the recess. In another preferred embodiment, the head part includes external screw threading which mates with internal screw threading of the recess. In yet another preferred embodiment, the head part includes a spring-biased pushbutton for, when released, securing the elongate member to the end cap and for, when depressed, enabling separation of the elongate member from the end cap. In a further preferred embodiment, the end cap includes a slot in a wall thereof defining said recess wherein said elongate member includes an outwardly projecting part received in said slot so as to secure the elongate member to the end cap. Advantageously, the slot extends from a lower edge of said wall, is of an inverted L-shape and includes catch means for releasably securing the projecting part of the elongate member in said slot. Preferably, the catch means comprises oppositely projecting portions of the end cap that form a transverse leg of said L-shaped slot, said oppositely projecting portions defining a narrowed passage therebetween.

In a preferred embodiment of this aspect of the invention, the device further comprises a further elongate member including a further end cap and a connecting element for connecting the first mentioned end cap to said further end cap.

According to yet another aspect of the invention, there is provided a

    • method of styling and holding hair using a device comprising first and second elongate members joined together at locations therealong at least near one end thereof by an elongate connecting element, said method comprising:
      • arranging hair on the back of the head so that a portion of the hair is gathered together into a gathered mass in the form of a roll or a bun;
      • inserting the first elongate member into the gathered mass of hair so that an end portion thereof opposite said one end is disposed against the head;
      • while keeping the first elongate member disposed against the head, pivoting said one end of said first elongate member in a direction away from an initial position assumed thereby when the first member is inserted into the gathered mass of hair;
      • disposing the connecting element relative to the hair so as to secure at least a portion of the connecting element in place on the head; and
      • inserting the second elongate member into the gathered mass of hair to hold the gathered mass of hair in place.

In one preferred embodiment, the gathered mass comprises a hair bun and the connecting element is wrapped around the bun so as to pass under portions of the first elongate member extending outwardly from the bun on opposite sides thereof, prior to inserting the second elongate member.

In another preferred embodiment, the gathered mass comprises a hair roll and the connecting member is hooked below an outwardly extending portion of the first elongate member, prior to the insertion of the second elongate member.

Further features and advantages of the present invention will be set forth in, or apparent from, the detailed description of preferred embodiments thereof which follows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a hair styling and/or holding device in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 2 to 8 are perspective views of different embodiments of one of the elongate styling members of FIG. 1, it being understood that the second elongate member can also be one of those shown and that some embodiments also have separate, individual utility;

FIG. 9 is a front elevational view, partially broken away, of a hair styling and/or holding device in accordance with a further embodiment of the invention, also showing different implementations of the interconnecting arrangement between styling members;

FIGS. 10, 11 and 12 are cross sectional views, partially broken away, of three different embodiments of interconnecting arrangements for the device of the invention;

FIG. 13 is a front elevational view of a detachable end cap assemblies for the device of the invention, in accordance with yet another embodiment of the device;

FIGS. 14 to 16 are front end elevational views, partially in section, of three different embodiments of an attachment arrangement for the end caps of the assembly of FIG. 12;

FIG. 17 is an exploded front elevational view of a further preferred embodiment;

FIG. 18 is an exploded front elevational view of yet another preferred embodiment;

FIG. 19 is a perspective view of a styling element incorporating a further embodiment of an end cap attachment arrangement;

FIG. 20 is a front elevational view of the end of FIG. 19;

FIG. 21 is a detail, drawn to enlarged scale and partially broken away, of the end cap attachment arrangement of FIG. 19;

FIGS. 22 to 24 are front elevational views of an end cap corresponding to that of FIGS. 19 to 21, showing three different interconnecting arrangements for the end cap;

FIGS. 25(a) to 25(f) are rear elevational views of the head of a user of the device of FIG. 1, showing use of the device in styling and holding a bun, and depicting different steps in the styling process or method;

FIGS. 26(a) to 26(f) are rear elevation views of the head of a user of the device of FIG. 1, showing use of the device in styling and holding a French twist hair style; and

FIGS. 27(a) to 27(f) are rear elevation views of the head of a user of the device of FIG. 1, showing use of the device in styling and holding a “Gibson Girl” hair style.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a first embodiment of the hair styling and holding device of the invention. The device, which is generally denoted 10, comprises a pair of relatively rigid, elongate, shaped elements 12 and 14 joined by an elasticized member 16 comprising a fabric tube or sleeve 18 which surrounds an elongate elastic element 20.

The elements 12 and 14 are, in this embodiment, generally in the form of hair sticks and are preferably of a larger diameter at one end, i.e., the upper end as viewed in FIG. 1, at which an elasticized member 16 is attached, than the other end, i.e., the lower end. Although elasticized member 16 is shown as being attached to points on elements 12 and 14 spaced from the upper ends thereof, it will be appreciated that the member 16 can be attached directly at the upper ends as well. As discussed below, elements 12 and 14, which are also referred to herein as sticks, can be made of many different materials and can be made of many different shapes or forms, some of which are illustrated in FIGS. 2 to 8.

Referring to FIGS. 2 to 8, as illustrated therein for stick 12, sticks 12 and 14 can be rectangular or square as shown in FIG. 2, round as shown in FIG. 3 or triangular, with a tapered lower end, as shown in FIG. 4.

Other shapes of special importance include round (or other shapes) with spiral or screw shaped ridges 24 as shown in FIG. 5 or with corresponding recesses or notches (shown in FIG. 8 discussed below). Further, the ridges 24 can also be separate spaced circumferential ridges rather than part of a spiral, and the spaced notches or recesses can be similar. Both the embodiments with notches and with a screw or spiral ridge design are inserted in the same way as the sticks of FIGS. 1 to 3 but must be turned when pulled out of the hair.

As shown in another embodiment in FIG. 6, stick 12 includes bumps or protuberances 26. In yet another embodiment stick 12 has an undulating or wavy shape as shown in FIG. 7. In a further embodiment illustrated in FIG. 8, stick 12 includes a plurality of notches 25 along the length thereof. It is to be understood that all of these embodiments (FIGS. 5 to 8 and the variations thereon) provide additional holding power and are of separate utility apart from device 10, i.e., the elements of these embodiments can be used singly or separately as hair sticks per se.

As indicated above, sticks 12 and 14 can be made of many different materials including wood, metals (including precious metals), plastics, bone, horn, glass and other compositions such as cellulose acetate, as well as various combinations of these materials. Further, the sticks 12 and 14 as well as the elasticized member 16 can be embellished by the addition of various decorative items such as glass items (including beads), plastic items (including beads), false or natural hair, springs, metal, wood, bone, semi-precious stone, coral, shells, feathers or other decorative elements.

Referring again to FIG. 1, in this embodiment, elastic element 20 is secured to hair sticks 12 and 14 by drilling, or otherwise providing, transverse holes 12a and 14a in sticks 12 and 14 and threading the opposite ends of elastic element 20 through the holes 12a and 14a. These ends are then simply knotted, crimped or the like to secure elasticized member 16 in place. Other securing methods are discussed below.

Sleeve or tube 18 is shown as being transparent in FIG. 1 so that elastic element 20 can be seen therethrough in FIG. 1 but would normally be opaque so that element 20 would not be visible. Sleeve 18 is stitched at 22 along the length thereof so as to produce its tubular shape.

Although an embodiment employing the elasticized member 16 comprised of fabric sleeve or tube 18 and elastic element 20 is particularly advantageous, and is preferred in a number of applications, the device 10 can, as shown in FIG. 8, also employ a simple elastic element 28 (corresponding to elastic element 20 shown in FIG. 1). It will be appreciated that other elasticized members or elements can be used alone or in combination with other materials, and that, further, other non-elastic materials can also be used alone. For example, these materials include elastic of any type or style (braided, thick, woven, latex or the like), vinyl (including vinyl plastisol), leather, fabric, metals including precious metals, rubber, neoprene, cord (including cord with battery operated lights), day-glo plastic, bendable and rigid wire, twisted wire, plastic and the like. In embodiments using a combination of elastic and non-elastic materials, the fabric, leather or other non-elastic material can be attached to an elastic element by sewing, crimping, knotting or the like.

FIG. 9 also shows two further methods of attachment of elastic element 28. As shown for stick 12, and is also shown, to an enlarged scale, in FIG. 10, elastic element 28 can be connected, through an angled hole 12b drilled from the top of stick 12 to a side wall thereof, to a bead 30 located on the top of stick 12. As best seen in FIG. 10, elastic element 28 is knotted, at 28a, at the terminus thereof and is also knotted, at 28b, at the front where elastic element 28 exits from hole 12b.

FIG. 9 also shows a second attachment approach for attaching elastic element 28 to stick 14 which is illustrated more clearly in FIG. 11 for stick 12. As shown in FIG. 11, a transverse hole 12c is drilled in stick 12 and a bead 32 is attached by elastic element 28 by knots provided at 28c, adjacent bead 32, and at 28d, adjacent stick 12. A related attachment approach is shown in FIG. 12 in which a second bead, denoted 34, is used. This embodiment is otherwise similar to that of FIG. 11.

It will be appreciated that the various beads 30, 32 and 34 described above can take a number of different decorative shapes and forms, and can also be made of many different materials.

In accordance with an important implementation of the invention, the sticks 12 and 14 are provided with removable caps or tops and, in accordance with a particularly important embodiment, the caps for both sticks 12 and 14 are attached to an elasticized member or element (such as that shown at 16 in FIG. 1 and at 28 in FIG. 9) so that the elasticized member can be removed and replaced by a different member similarly attached to a pair of caps. Such an arrangement or assembly is shown in FIG. 13, wherein the caps or tops are indicated at 36 and the elasticized member at 40. The elasticized member 40 is of a lesser diameter than that of FIG. 1, and this is, of course, only one of many differences that the different sets of caps with a joining elasticized member can exhibit.

The caps can be removably attached to the corresponding sticks in a number of different ways. For example, as shown in FIG. 14, cap 36, with associated elasticized member 40, can be attached to a stick 42 by a snap-fit connection indicated at 44, between the shaped head 42a of stick 42 and the internal walls of cap 36 which define a recess 36a.

In another embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 15, the cap 36 is screwed onto the head 42a of stick 42 by mating screw threads indicated at 46.

In yet another embodiment shown in FIG. 16, the head 42a of stick 42 includes a transverse recess 48 that receives a pushbutton 50 biased by a spring 52. Pushbutton 50 extends through an opening 54 in cap 36 to secure cap 36 in place. Pushbutton 50 is depressed inwardly, against the force of spring 52, into recess 48 to release cap 36.

It will be appreciated that the sticks 12 and 14 can be joined or attached together by elasticized member 16 in other ways, without caps. For example, as shown in FIG. 17, screws 49 received in screw threaded holes 51 in sticks 13 and 14 can be used, or, as shown in FIG. 18, dowels 53 received in respective holes 55 can also be used. In addition, other methods of attachment include the use of hooks and loops (VELCRO®) fasteners (not shown) or a loop and cord lock (not shown) which would be attached to a notch (not shown) in the corresponding stick 12 or 14.

Referring to FIGS. 19 to 21, a further cap attachment embodiment is shown wherein a cap 36 includes an inverted L-shaped slot 56 therein extending from the lower edge of cap 36. The transverse or horizontal leg of slot 56 includes oppositely projecting catch elements or protuberances 56a, as shown in FIG. 21, which define a narrowed portion of the leg. As shown in FIG. 19, and also in FIG. 21, stick 42 includes a projecting cam element or protuberance 58 which is of a size adapted to be received in slot 56 and to form a snap-fit with catch elements or protuberances 56a. Thus, cap 36 can be secured to stick 42 by lining up the axial or vertical leg of slot 56 with projecting element 58, pressing cap 36 down so that element 58 moves up the axial or vertical leg of slot 56 until element 58 encounters the top of slot 56, and then rotating cap 36 so that element 58 moves along the transverse or horizontal leg of slot 56 until element 58 snaps in place in slot 56 beyond catch elements 52a.

Although a simple attachment for attaching the elastic element 40 to the corresponding cap 36 (or 38) is shown in the embodiments of FIGS. 14, 15, 16 and 19 to 21, other attachments can, of course, be used including those described above. Exemplary attachments are shown in FIGS. 22 to 24 for the embodiment of FIGS. 19 to 21, although it will, of course, be understood that these and other different attachments, can be used for the embodiments of FIGS. 14, 15 and 16. In FIG. 22, an attachment for cap 36 is shown which is similar to that of FIG. 10 and in which a bead 60 is used. The attachment of FIG. 23 is similar to that of FIG. 11 although a bead 62 is provided on the exit side of cap 36. As illustrated, the embodiment of FIG. 24 uses aspects of both of the embodiments of FIGS. 10 and 12 and employs two beads 64 and 66.

As indicated above, the styling and holding device of the invention can be used in styling and holding a number of different, distinct hair styles. Referring to FIGS. 25(a) to 25(f), there are illustrated exemplary steps in a method of using the hair styling device of the invention in securing and holding a hair bun in place. As shown in FIGS. 25(a) to 25(f), the device used in the illustrated method generally corresponds to device 10 of FIG. 1 and includes first and second elongate styling elements or hair sticks 12 and 14 joined by elasticized member 16 comprised of an elongate elastic element (not shown in FIGS. 25(a) to 25(f)) which is covered by a tubular sleeve 18.

FIG. 25(a) shows a completed bun B being held tightly in place by one hand of a user, denoted H1. The bun B is preferably pre-prepared by initially pulling back the hair as if to make a ponytail, then holding the hair in the hand and twisting it up once, and holding the loose hanging hair securely with the opposite hand, and then wrapping the hanging hair around and under the first section of hair. It will be appreciated that long hair requires extra wrapping in this manner. In the next step, the remaining hair is tucked tightly under the wrapped hair to form a bun. It is important to pull the hair taut and to keep pressure on the bun to keep it from getting becoming loose. If the bun is formed in another manner, the method of the invention begins holding the bun securely in place with the hand H1 as shown in FIG. 25(a).

Referring to FIG. 25(b), in the next step, the other hand, denoted H2, is used to insert one of the sticks, stick 12 in the illustrated embodiment, into top right quadrant of bun B at an angle of approximately 45° to the head. Although an angle of approximately 45° is used in a preferred embodiment illustrated in FIG. 25(b), in general, this angle can be an angle between about 15° and 85°. (It will, of course, be appreciated that the top left quadrant can also be used, with the pivoting of the stick described below then being in the opposite direction.) The stick 12 must be pushed through the bun B so as to come into contact with the head.

In the next step, which is illustrated in FIG. 25(c), and while hair stick 12 is still touching the head, the uppermost portion of stick 12 is pivoted in the opposite direction, as shown by arrow A1, from the position shown in dashed lines, so that stick 12 is positioned out and away from the other side of the head. The stick 12 is then pushed at an angle of, preferably, approximately 45° (and, more generally, between about 15° and 85°) through the bun, as indicated by arrow A2, while keeping the stick 12 against the head. Thus, the opposite end of stick 12 will project through the bun B as shown. Although not illustrated in FIG. 25(c) for purposes of clarity, the bun B is still gripped tightly by the first hand, hand H1, during the entire process.

In the next step, which is illustrated in FIG. 25(d), while still securely gripping the bun with the first hand H1, the elasticized member 18 is pulled taut with the other hand (not shown) and is wrapped around the bun B, as indicated by arrow A3, while making certain that elasticized member 18 passes under the stick 12 that has been inserted into the bun B as indicated above.

Referring to FIG. 25(e), after wrapping the elasticized member tightly around the bun B, the second hair stick 14 is inserted into the opposite quadrant into which the first stick 12 was inserted, as shown. As before with the first hair stick 12, the second stick 14 is inserted at an angle of, preferably, approximately 45° (and, more generally, between about 15° and 85°), and with stick 14 still touching the head, the uppermost portion thereof is pivoted in the opposite direction as indicated by arrow A4 from the position shown in solid lines to a position, shown in dashed lines, out and away from the other side of the head.

The hair stick 14 is then pushed through the bun B while keeping the stick 14 against the head so that stick 14 projects through bun B as shown in FIG. 25(f). This arrangement of sticks 12 and 14 and joining elasticized member 22 will then hold the bun in a very secure bun hair style as shown. It is noted that very long hair can be first braided and then styled in the manner just described. Further, a styling device such as that of FIG. 9, i.e., without the external elasticized sleeve or tube, can also be used in this method.

Referring to FIGS. 26(a) to 26(f), there are shown exemplary steps in another method of using the hair styling device of the invention to produce a different hair style, in this case, a French twist. As shown in FIG. 26(a), in a first step, the hair is held tight with one hand, H1, at the nape of the neck with the back of the hand against the neck.

Next, as shown in FIG. 26(b), the hand H1 is turned upwardly, twisting the hair against the head.

In the following steps, using both hands, the hair is twisted two or three more times up the back of the head following the curve of the head, towards the head, to form a roll R (see FIG. 26(c)), and, with the roll R so formed held securely in one hand and the loose hair in the other hand, the loose hair is folded down and pushed under the roll R as shown in FIG. 26(c). It is noted that all or part of the loose hair can be left out on the top or bottom, as desired.

In the next step, one of the hair sticks 12 is inserted through the middle of the French twist roll R at an angle of approximately 45° (and, more generally, between about 15° and 85°), so as to extend past the edge of the roll R and touch the head. This position of the stick is indicated in dashed lines in FIG. 26(e). Then, as discussed above in connection with FIG. 25(c), and is also illustrated in FIG. 26(e), with the stick 12 still touching the head, the topmost portion of the stick 12 is pivoted in the opposite direction so that the stick is positioned out and away from the other side as shown in solid lines in FIG. 26(e).

As shown in FIGS. 26(d) and 26(e), the stick 12 is then pushed through the roll R at approximately a 45° angle (and, more generally, an angle of between about 15° and 85°) so as to extend through the roll R past the edge thereof, as illustrated, and so as to touch the head.

In a further step, as is also shown in FIG. 26(d), while stick 12 still touches the head, the other stick 14 is used to hook the elasticized member 16 below the tip of the first stick 12 that is holding the roll R.

In the next step, the second stick 14 is inserted into the roll R above or below stick 12, (a position below stick 12 is illustrated in FIG. 26(f)) so that stick 14 is positioned adjacent the first stick 12, at angle of approximately 45° (and, more generally, between about 15° and 85°). The sticks 12 and 14 and member 16 then securely hold the hair, as shown in FIG. 26(f). As indicated above, loose hair can be left out of the roll R if desired.

It is also noted that the method of FIGS. 26(a) to 26(f) is effective irrespective of the direction in which the hair is twisted. More specifically, although the hair is shown as being twisted in a counter-clockwise direction, and the roll R is “open” on the right side (as viewed in the drawings) at which the hair is tucked in, and at which the sticks 12 and 14 are inserted, the hair can be twisted in the opposite direction so that the roll would be open on the left and the sticks 12 and 14 would be inserted from the left.

Referring to FIGS. 27(a) to 27(f), there are shown exemplary steps in yet another method of using the hair styling device of the invention to produce a different hair style, in this case, a “Gibson Girl” style. As shown in FIG. 27(a), the method begins with lifting a section of the hair over one ear, and, using the hands H1 and H2, in twisting the hair up and over to begin a roll. More sections of hair are added as twisting of the hair up and over in the manner described above is continued, with the hands being moved across the back of the head towards the other ear. This continues until an area close to the other ear is reached.

After a final section of hair is taken into the hand and when one last turn is made, the loose hair is pulled down and tucked under the roll R, while holding the hair securely, as illustrated in FIG. 27(b).

At this point, as illustrated in FIG. 27(c), one of the sticks, stick 12, is inserted into the thick part of the roll R and is caused to touch the head. Next, while keeping stick 12 against the head, the uppermost part of stick 12 is pivoted in the opposite direction, as indicated, so that the stick 12 is positioned out and away from the other side of the head. The stick 12 is then pushed through the roll R towards the nape of the neck, with care being taken that the stick 12 is kept close to the head.

Next, as illustrated in FIG. 27(d), the elasticized member 16 is wrapped under the tip of the first stick 12.

In the following step, which is illustrated, in part, in FIG. 27(e), the second stick 14 is inserted through the roll R and touched to the head, and, while keeping the tip of the stick 14 against the head, the uppermost portion of the stick 14 is pivoted in the opposite direction so that the stick 14 is positioned out and away from the other side of the head. The second stick 14 is then pushed into the roll R next to the first stick 12 as shown in FIG. 27(f). The second stick 14 can go over or under the elasticized member 16. The resultant configuration, shown in FIG. 27(f), holds the hair in a very secure manner in this hair style.

Although the invention has been described above in relation to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that variations and modifications can be effected in these preferred embodiments without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention.