Title:
Hair styling tool
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
There is provided a hair styling tool suitable for styling hair. The hair styling tool has a handle portion with a pair of pivotally connected arms. The hair styling tool also has a hair engaging portion with one or more hair contacting elements. The hair contacting elements provide a hair styling effect. Hair contacting elements have apertures and/or perforated grooves disposed therein. The hair contacting elements can be removably connected to the styling tool to selectively accomplish various hair styling techniques and/or effects in an efficient and versatile manner to reduce the duration and/or degree to which hair is exposed to styling damage.



Inventors:
Rizzuto Jr., Leandro (Sheridan, WY, US)
Application Number:
10/691131
Publication Date:
04/28/2005
Filing Date:
10/22/2003
Assignee:
CONAIR CORPORATION
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D1/04; A45D1/06; (IPC1-7): A45D6/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
DOAN, ROBYN KIEU
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lawrence Cruz (STAMFORD, CT, US)
Claims:
1. A hair styling tool comprising: a handle portion having a pair of pivotally connected arms, each arm having a hair contacting element, wherein said hair contacting element with one or more apertures therein.

2. The hair styling tool of claim 1, wherein said one or more apertures are in the form of perforated grooves.

3. The hair styling tool of claim 1, wherein said arms are pivotally connected at a proximal end thereof.

4. The hair styling tool of claim 1, wherein said hair contacting element is operatively located at a distal end thereof.

5. The hair styling tool of claim 1, wherein said hair contacting element is a heat conductive plate and thermally interactive with the hair styling tool to effectively apply heat to selected portions of hair as desired.

6. The hair styling tool of claim 1, wherein said hair contacting element has a hair contacting surface.

7. The hair styling tool of claim 6, wherein said hair contacting surface is at least substantially planar.

8. The hair styling tool of claim 6, wherein said hair contacting surface is corrugated.

9. The hair styling tool of claim 1, wherein said one or more apertures are in communication with one or more vents of the hair styling tool to vent moisture, heat and/or pressure.

10. The hair styling tool of claim 9, wherein said one or more vents are in said distal end of said arms.

11. A hair contacting element of a hair styling tool comprising: a heatable hair contacting surface having a plurality of recessed apertures, wherein said plurality of recessed apertures are in communication with a corresponding number of vents in said hair styling tool to vent moisture, heat and/or pressure.

12. The hair contacting element of claim 11, further comprising a groove for connection to a tongue of said hair styling tool.

13. The hair contacting element of claim 12, wherein said groove is thermally interactive with said hair styling tool so that heat generated by said hair styling tool can be selectively transferred to said heatable hair contacting surface via said tongue.

14. The hair contacting element of claim 11, wherein said heatable hair contacting surface is substantially planer.

15. The hair contacting element of claim 11, wherein said plurality of recessed apertures and said vents of said hair styling tool align with each other.

16. The hair contacting element of claim 11, wherein said plurality of recessed apertures are located throughout said heatable hair contacting surface in a random manner.

17. The hair contacting element of claim 11, wherein said plurality of recessed apertures are located in a predefined pattern.

18. The hair contacting element of claim 11, wherein said heatable hair contacting surface is corrugated.

19. The hair contacting element of claim 18, wherein said plurality of recessed apertures and said vents of said hair styling tool align with each other.

20. The hair contacting element of claim 18, wherein said plurality of recessed apertures are located in a predefined pattern.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a hair styling tool. More particularly, the present invention relates to a flat hair crimping and/or straightening iron.

2. Description of the Related Art

Flat iron hair straighteners and/or crimpers are well known. Typically, these devices have two pivoting arms with at least one arm having a heating surface suitable for making direct contact with the hair of a user. These devices can provide a variety of different styling effects to the hair. For example, the hair can be straightened, curled or crimped depending on the configuration of the heating surface as locks of hair are gripped between the two arms.

A drawback associated with these conventional hair crimpers and/or straighteners is found in the operating and/or styling inefficiency associated with styling damp or wet hair.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide an effective and versatile hair styling tool that is capable of efficiently styling damp or wet hair.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a hair styling tool that has vent system.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a hair styling tool that operatively cooperates with a variety of vented hair contacting elements.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a hair styling tool and complementary hair contacting elements that provide for different hair styling effects.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention are achieved by a hair styling tool with a handle portion having at least two arms pivotally connected at a proximal end thereof. The hair styling tool has a hair engaging portion and one or more hair contacting elements. The hair contacting elements can provide a predetermined hair styling effect. Hair contacting elements preferably have one or more apertures and/or perforated grooves disposed therein. The hair contacting elements can be removably connected to the styling tool to selectively accomplish various hair styling techniques and/or effects.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a hair styling tool in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a hair engaging portion of the hair styling tool of FIG. 1 in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a side section view of the hair engaging portion of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a plan view of a hair engaging portion of the hair styling tool of FIG. 1 in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a side section view of the hair engaging portion of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of a hair engaging portion of the hair styling tool of FIG. 1 in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a side section view of the hair engaging portion of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a top plan view of a contacting element in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a side section view of the contacting element of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is an end section view of the contacting element of FIG. 8;

FIG. 11 is a top plan view of a contacting element in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a side section view of the contacting element of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is an end section view of the contacting element of FIG. 11;

FIG. 14 is a top plan view of a contacting element in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 15 is a side section view of the contacting element of FIG. 14; and

FIG. 16 is an end section view of the contacting element of FIG. 14.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the drawings and, in particular, FIG. 1, a hair styling tool in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention is shown and generally represented by reference numeral 1. Preferably, a hair styling tool 1 has at least a pair of pivotally connected arms 10. Each arm 10 has a handle portion 12 and a hair engaging portion 14. Each hair engaging portion 14 has a hair contacting element 16.

Each arm 10 preferably has a proximal end 18 and a distal end 20. Arms 10 are pivotally connected preferably at a proximal end 18 thereof via a hinge 22. Hair engaging portion 14 is preferably at a distal end 20 of arms 10 spaced a distance from handle portion 12 and/or hinge 22.

However, arms 10 may also, or alternatively, be otherwise connected and/or arranged. For example, arms 10 can be pivotally connected at an intermediate portion of each arm. Hinge 22 preferably operates to bias arms 10 apart from each other. The hinge bias may be selectively overcome via a user interaction. For example, handle portion 12 can enable a user to selectively overcome the bias of hinge 22, such as, for example, by a squeezing action of the user's hand. That is, arms 10 can be manipulated via handle portions 12 thereof to cause arms 10 to pivot relative to each other, about hinge 22. The pivotal movement allows hair engaging portions 14 to move hair engaging portions 14 between a closed, relatively parallel hair engaging state, and an open, relatively separate hair disengaging state. Hair engaging portions 14 are preferably suitable to operatively accommodate hair contacting elements 16.

Arms 10 can preferably be made of any suitable material and/or combination of materials for providing safe and effective handling. Also, arms 10 may have any appropriate shape or configuration sufficient to accommodate a variety of different applications in use.

Hair engaging portion 14 of arms 10 can have any of a variety of shapes, sizes and/or configurations. For example, in the aspect of the invention reflected in FIG. 1, each hair engaging portion 14 can be in the form of a paddle with a substantially planar surface 24 suitable for mechanically and/or thermally cooperating with contacting elements 16. One or more hair engaging portions 14 can house a heater 26 (see FIGS. 3, 5, and 7) directly or indirectly connected to hair engaging portion 14 and a power source (not shown). One or both hair engaging portion 14 can have any of a variety of other aspects, some of which will now be discussed.

Referring to FIGS. 2 through 6, in a preferred aspect of the present invention, each hair engaging portion 14 cooperates with its respective hair contacting element 16 to provide a venting feature. For example, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, hair engaging portion 14 can have one or more vents 28 for allowing heat, pressure and/or moisture resulting during operative use of styling tool 1 to escape. Preferably, this venting feature reduces or eliminates the need for otherwise drying the hair (e.g., via a blow dryer) depending on the styling effect desired.

Vents 28 can have any of a variety of shapes, sizes and/or configurations as appropriate for accomplishing an intended purpose of the present invention. For example, referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, in one aspect of the present invention, at least some vents 28 may have a larger cross-sectional area than others. At least some vents 28 may be recessed and/or connected to a chamber 30, see FIGS. 5 and 7. Chamber 30 can operate to direct the heat and/or moisture as desired. Chamber 30 may cooperate with an actuator 32 such as that shown in FIG. 5. Actuator 32 may selectively control the extents to which vents 28 are open and/or closed. As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, Chamber 30 preferably allows for a first side 34 of at least one hair engaging portion 14 to have vents 28 of a first shape, size, number or arrangement and a second side 36, opposite first side 34, to have a second shape, size, number and arrangement. Vents 28 can be randomly arranged in any of a variety of patterns suitable for accomplishing intended purposes, aesthetic and/or functional, of the present invention.

In another preferred aspect of the present invention, one or more hair contacting elements 16 may selectively cooperate with their respective hair engaging portions 14 to provide additional and/or alternative hair styling options. Each hair contacting element 16 is preferably formed of a suitable heat conductive material such as, for example, a metallic material and/or a ceramic material. Hair contacting elements 16 can be fixed and/or removable with respect to hair engaging portion 14, and can have any shape, size and/or configuration appropriate for an intended use. For example, hair contacting elements 16 can have an upper surface 38 that is flat or smooth, as shown in FIGS. 8 to 10 and 11 to 13, for straightening hair; corrugated, as shown in FIGS. 14 to 16, for crimping hair; or otherwise formed to provide other hair styling effects.

Referring to FIGS. 8 through 16, in a preferred aspect of the present invention, hair engaging portions 14 operate with one or more hair contacting elements 16 that have apertures 40 and/or perforated grooves 42 therein. Apertures 40 and/or perforated grooves 42 preferably communicate with vents 28 of hair engaging portion 14 to allow heat, pressure and/or moisture, resulting during use of styling tool 1, to escape. Apertures 40 and/or perforated grooves 42 of hair contacting element 16 can have any of a variety of shapes, sizes and/or configurations as appropriate for accomplishing any of a variety of hair styling effects.

For example, referring to FIGS. 8 through 10, in one aspect of the present invention, one or more hair contacting elements 16 can have a substantially flat or planar contacting surface with a pair of perforated grooves 42 therein. Referring to the hair contacting element shown, these perforated grooves 42 preferably are in direct fluid communication with vents 28 of hair engaging portion 14. When hair contacting element 16 and hair engaging portion 14 are properly operatively connected, perforated grooves 42 and vents 28 are in direct alignment with each other. Alternatively, perforated grooves 42 may be arranged in any of a variety of patterns suitable for accomplishing an intended purpose, aesthetic and/or functional.

Referring to FIGS. 11 through 13, in another aspect of the present invention, at least some apertures 40 can have a larger cross-sectional area than other apertures. Also, at least some apertures 40 may be recessed. Further, at least some apertures 40 can be in direct fluid communication with vents 28 of hair engaging portion 14 so that when hair contacting element 16 and hair engaging portion 14 are properly operatively connected, apertures 40 and vents 28 are in direct alignment with each other. Apertures 40 can be arranged in any of a variety of patterns suitable for accomplishing intended purposes, aesthetic and/or functional, of the present invention.

Referring to FIGS. 14 through 16, in still another aspect of the present invention, apertures 40 and/or perforated grooves 42 may be disposed in a non-planar contacting surface of hair contacting element 16. For example, as best shown in FIG. 16, apertures 40 and/or perforated grooves 42 can be disposed in one or more depressions 44 of a corrugated surface of hair contacting element 16. Again, when hair contacting element 16 and hair engaging portion 14 are properly operatively connected, apertures 40 and/or perforated grooves 42 are preferably directly aligned with vents 28. However, apertures 40 and/or grooves 42 can be arranged in any of a variety of patterns suitable for accomplishing intended purposes, aesthetic and/or functional, of the present invention.

Hair contacting elements 16 can also be provided with an engaging groove 46 as shown in FIG. 10, preferably in a lower surface 48 thereof, for cooperating with a complementary engaging tongue 50 associated with hair engaging portion 14, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. This tongue 50 and groove 46 connection can be used to facilitate the interchangeability of the various hair contacting elements 16. In one aspect of the present invention, engaging groove 46 and tongue 50 can be thermally interactive so that heat generated via heater 26 of hair styling tool 1 can be selectively transferred to an engaged hair contacting element 16 via engaged tongue 50. Further, this tongue 50 and groove 46 connection preferably prevents any vertical displacement of hair contacting elements 16 with respect to hair engaging portion 14.

Referring again to FIG. 1, in another aspect of the invention, hair engaging portion 14 can have a lock/release mechanism 52 suitable to selectively secure hair contacting elements 16 in position and, in combination with the tongue 50 and groove 46 connection, prevent any lateral displacement of hair contacting elements 16 with respect to hair engaging portion 14.

Each hair contacting element 16 may additionally or alternatively be configured with a fastener 54 for removably connecting to hair engaging portion 14. For example, in one aspect of the present invention, one or more hair engaging portions 14 have one or more flanges 56, shown in FIG. 1. Flanges 56 are preferably configured so that hair contacting elements 16 can be snap-fit thereover via fastener 54. Other configurations may additionally and/or alternatively be used.

The present invention having been thus described with particular reference to the preferred forms thereof, it will be obvious that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the present invention as defined herein.