Title:
Instant hair extention and method for attachment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An improved hair extension having snap-lock attaching clips useful for instantly attaching or detaching the hair extension or track to the wearer's natural hair. The hair extension comprises 2 to 3 layers of human or synthetic hair tracks sewn together to create one thicker layer and 3 snap-lock clips, all sewn onto the base of the lead extension along the top inside edge. The wearer can quickly and easily apply the extension to their natural hair with the confidence of a firm and secure grip and enjoy the appearance of fuller, longer, more natural looking hair, while maintaining a completely unnoticeable appearance to the on-looker.



Inventors:
Watts, Teresa Yvette (Anchorage, AK, US)
Application Number:
10/790407
Publication Date:
09/08/2005
Filing Date:
03/02/2004
Assignee:
WATTS TERESA Y.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41G3/00; (IPC1-7): A41G3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MANAHAN, TODD E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Teresa Watts (Anchorage, AK, US)
Claims:
1. An instant, self-applicable hair extension or track, useful for adding human hair to a persons natural hair, said extension comprising, (a) multiple layers of hair tracks and snap-lock attaching clips useful for attaching the hair extension to a wearer's natural hair, (b) said hair extension defined in claim 1 has single layers of human or synthetic hair tracks sewn together at the base or manufactured seam, to create one fuller track, (c) said hair extension base or seam is flexible and works simultaneously with the base of the snap-lock clips at the point in which they are sewn together.

2. The snap-lock attaching clips defined in claim 1 are sewn onto the base of the hair track along the top inside edge, the clips are useful for enabling the wearer to instantly and firmly attach or detach the extension to their natural hair, (a) said clips defined in claim 2 are typically formed of a thin metal having a slightly curved base with small holes through the bar of the base, these holes are useful for sewing the clips onto the base of the hair tracks along the top inside edge, (b) said clip defined in claim 2 has a resilient coated clamping bar extending slightly above the base bar and a single row of small comb-like teeth also having a resilient coating on the free ends of the teeth, useful for sliding the extension onto the wearer's natural hair and firmly locking it in place, (c) said clip defined in claim 2 is in the open position when the base is pressed forward causing the comb-like teeth to expand and move slightly forward and away from the clamping bar, when the clip is pressed in the opposite direction or in the closed position, the comb-like teeth converge and snap over-center, pressing the teeth firmly against the clamping bar, this allows the instant hair extension to be snap-locked and firmly grip onto the wearer's natural hair.

3. When the instant hair extension is properly applied the wearer is able to comb or brush a portion of their natural hair onto the hair extension, repeating this process for as many layers as are desired, this method produces a completely natural and inconspicuous appearance to the on-looker while promoting freer flowing hair.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to hair extensions and method of attachment, more specifically to an instant self-applicable means of firmly and inconspicuously securing hair extensions to a person's natural hair.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Simplicity, convenience, and versatility are very important elements in today's society. Time is of the essence and concern over personal appearance is practically a universal trait, with style and the appearance of the hair being a vital aspect of this concern.

Many people both men and women dream of having long, thick, and healthy hair, but unfortunately few can grow their hair past a certain length or volume. As a result, hair extensions have become extremely popular, not only to aid those interested in altering the length, volume and or color of their hair, but also to serve as an alternate for hair loss.

Although exotic methods and techniques such as hair transplants, surgically implanted hairpieces, medications, etc. are available, they are nonetheless costly and inconvenient.

More practical methods have been proposed to attach hair extensions to a person's natural hair through various processes such as, bonding, fusion, loose-end-braiding, etc. However, a process commonly known in the prior art as hair weaving, has by far become the most popular hair extension method to date. This method consists of attaching switches, locks or tracks of human or synthetic hair onto a person's natural hair, then blending and concealing the artificial hair with the person's natural hair. Consumers somewhat object to these methods because they are expensive and extremely time consuming and even worse, there is tremendous damage to a person's natural hair during the removal of these techniques.

Examples of such hairpieces and methods are illustrated in the following Patents: U.S. Pat. No. 2,865,380 divulges a hairpiece formed of an elongated thin flexible member with strands of hair sewn or braided thereto, to use this device one must sew a plurality of hairpieces through plaits on a wearer's head using a needle or a similar device.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,600,029 divulges a hairpiece comprising a plurality of individual hairs adjustably secured about an endless circular filament or filaments to be placed on the head whereby the filaments encircle the upper forward portion of the head beneath and above layers of a wearer's natural hair, the hairpiece being sandwiched between.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,121,761 divulges a means for the attachment of extensions or wefts of hair to existing hair of a person by gathering the natural hair together in small clumps, a crimped anchor device is connected to each clump of hair, positioned along the wearer's hair near the top and sewn to the clumps of natural hair using a needle and thread to secure it.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,357,986 divulges a hair locking process with a device consisting of a flexible material with rings woven in to the hairpiece forming a flat braid, a weft of hair with rings, communicate with the rings in the flat braid, which correspond with rings on a weft of hair, and tightly lock together with needle and thread.

As fitting as the above cited prior arts may appear they have not proven entirely satisfactory and for various reasons still hold some disadvantages. For example, the user alone could not easily apply or remove many of the abovementioned devices and techniques even with the aide of a professional hairdresser or weaver, without causing undesired damage to their natural hair.

In most cases there is an obvious bulk in the location where the artificial hairpiece is attached which can cause an unnatural appearance to the on-looker, thus causing the wearer to feel a bit self-conscious when wearing the hairpiece in public.

Furthermore the arrangement for attaching these devices have often been deficient in allowing the person to wear the hairpiece for an extended period of time, particularly during sleep, while swimming, or in a more practical sense taking a shower, without causing the hair extension to lose it's natural texture and shape. Thus greatly reducing the life of the human hair and more so that of the synthetic.

U.S. Pub. No. 2003/0159705, attempts to alleviate this problem, creating an elongated carrier strand and means at each end portion for attaching and detaching the strands to the wearer's head with hair switches each folded and tied to form a loop at one end, a support ring linked through the closed loop, a second carrier ring supporting the first two to provide a freely moving chain-link to support the switches on the strand.

Though this method may permit a means for the wearer to apply the extension to their natural hair without assistance, it nevertheless creates a few problems. For example, the means for attaching the hairpiece to a person's head are located at each end of the carrier strand, leaving no support for the middle section. Thus through forces generated either by the weight of the hairpiece itself or by the wearer combing or brushing their natural hair onto the switches of the hairpiece, there is great risk of snagging the carrier strand and forcing the attachment devices to pull away from the wearer's hair. This can cause the natural hair strands that were used to support the hairpiece to be severed from the wearer's scalp, thus resulting in instant damage to the wearer's natural hair.

Moreover, the switches are supported at spaced intervals along the carrier strand and connected by means of two individual rings interlocked using thread, or the like. These switches can easily be disconnected from the carrier strand as the wearer combs or brushes their natural hair onto the switches of the hairpiece, thus damaging the hairpiece and ultimately result in regular replacements of the hairpiece on the part of the wearer.

In spite of great efforts to devise an effective means for attaching extensions to one's existing hair while maintaining a natural appearance and making the application of the extension affordable, self-applicable, quick and convenient, there has yet to be a satisfactory design fashioned.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

My invention relates to an improved instant hair extension and its method of use. It is a particular object of this invention to provide a quick, convenient, and self-applicable means of firmly securing human hair extensions, also known in the hair weaving art as tracks, to a person's natural hair and yet maintain the most inconspicuous and natural appearance to the on-looker.

It is another object of this invention to eliminate the time, effort, expenses, and inconveniences of obtaining a professional hair weave which will be described subsequently in greater detail.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide comfort security, and satisfaction to the wearer, as the wearer them self is able to: (1) “Instantly” attach and detach human hair extensions to their natural hair in just seconds. (2) Exercise versatility and creativity as they style their natural hair, blended and concealed with the hair extensions as desired, devoid of damage to either. (3) Obtain the appearance of a professionally applied hair weave, without the extreme costs and inconveniences associated with this highly preferred art.

Still another object of this invention is that the hair extension can be instantly and securely attached to a person natural hair while providing an inconspicuous appearance of fuller, longer, more natural looking hair.

To accomplish this, my invention generally comprises a detachable hair extension including two or more single layers of human or synthetic hair, known in the art of hair weaving as tracks. The single layer tracks are relatively thin and as a result are sewn together at the base to create the appearance of one fuller track. Added to the sewn tracks of hair are three snap-lock attaching clips with small comb-like teeth that rest firmly against a clamping bar when the clip is in it's closed and locked position. The clips are sewn onto the base of the hair track at three points. (a) The center point (b) The far left end point and (c) The far right end point, along the top inner edge as shown in FIG. 4 of the illustrations.

It is a specific object of this invention that the wearer is able to successfully apply the instant hair extension completely free of assistance, by following a five-step process:

    • (1) Part the hair in a straight line as shown in the illustration FIG. 5-A.
    • (2) Snap the clips to the open position as seen in illustration FIG. 3-A.
    • (3) Insert the clips near the root of the wearer's natural hair with the teeth pointing downward along the scalp beginning with the center clip.
    • (4) Once in place each clip can be snapped closed which cause the comb-like teeth to grip firmly onto the wearer's existing hair, locking it in place, refer to FIG. 5-B.
    • (5) The wearer can then comb or brush a portion of their existing hair over the applied hair extension, repeating this process for as many layers as are desired. This method will permit a natural looking blend with the wearer's hair, and facilitate freer flowing hair.

It is a more specific object of this invention to assure that when the hair extension is applied properly, it will lie flat to the wearer's scalp as shown in FIG. 5-B, thus eliminating the appearance of bulk, which make added hair extensions appear unnatural to the on-looker as aforementioned concerning the prior arts.

It is another object of this invention that the hair extension can only be removed from the wearer's existing hair by snapping the firmly gripped clips to the open position as shown in FIG. 3-A, thus unlocking them, then lifting them off of the wearer's hair in an upward direction. As a result the wearer, without cutting or damaging their natural hair can easily and readily remove the extensions at will. Doing so will preserve the life of the hair extension and will ultimately prove to be a positive economic investment on the part of the wearer.

It is yet another object of this invention that the snap-lock and grip method assures that the wearer can be confident as they wear the instant hair extension in public. Because the extensions are firmly and securely fastened to the wearer's natural hair, regardless of the force generated either by the wearer, the weight of the extension itself, or by outside forces, the extension will maintain a firm grip to the wearer's own hair.

It is a further object of this invention to provide the wearer with the capacity to exercise personal style and versatility by enabling them to select various colors, textures and lengths to match one or more characteristics of the wearer's own hair.

It is yet a further object of this invention to provide a new, improved, instant hair extension (hair weave) method which has many of the advantages of the prior art hairpieces mentioned above and many novel features that result in a durable, versatile, reliable, and easily self-applied human hair extension which is not anticipated, rendered obvious, suggested, or even implied by any of the prior art hairpieces, either alone or in any combination thereof.

SUMMARY OF THE DRAWINGS

Referring now to the illustrations in detail. The foregoing and other features and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the detailed descriptions contained herein below.

FIG. 1 is a plain front view of the hair extension complete and ready for use.

FIG. 2 a three-part illustration of the thin, single layer tracks in position to be sewn together to create one fuller track resulting in the plain view of FIG. 1. This process will be described subsequently in greater detail. A portion is broken away for ease of illustration.

FIG. 3 a plain view of the snap-lock clip used as the device for attaching the hair extension to the wearer's natural hair.

FIG. 3-A an isometric view of the snap-lock clip in its open position.

FIG. 3-B an isometric view of the snap-lock clip in its closed and locked position.

FIG. 4 a detailed back view of the hair extension with the tracks sewn together and the snap-lock clips sewn along the top edge of the hair track. This view is therefore the reverse side of the plain front view in FIG. 1.

FIG. 5-A. is a perspective view showing the preparation of a wearer's hair for application of the hair extension or track. This process will be described subsequently in greater detail.

FIG. 5-B is a perspective view of the hair extension properly attached to the wearer's natural hair. This process will be described subsequently in greater detail.

REFERENCE NUMERALS IN DRAWINGS

    • 06 complete hair extension or track
    • 07 hair track body
    • 08 lead track base
    • 09 second track
    • 010 third track
    • 011 snap-lock clip
    • 012 clip base
    • 013 clip base holes
    • 014 clamping bar
    • 015 comb-like teeth

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the illustrations in detail, an instant hair extension also referred to as hair track, having snap-lock clips useful for attaching the instant hair firmly to the natural hair of a wearer. Descriptions will refer specifically to FIGS. 1 through 5-B with additional reference to numbers, 06 through 015.

FIG. 1 is an embodiment of the instant hair extension or track 06, complete and ready for use. The base 08 of the hair extension appears flat with only one obvious seam, this being the lead track and the foundation for the attaching clips 011 and additional tracks 09 and 010. From this view there are no obvious signs of the inside attachments. The body 07 of the extension consists of multiple single layer tracks, average two to three, which have been sewn together to make the track fuller. This process will be described subsequently in greater detail.

FIG. 2 is an illustration of three single layers of the hair tracks 06 in position to be sewn together to make the hair extension fuller, yet still appear as one. A portion is broken away for ease of illustration and (the white dots in the upper left corners of each track are for illustration purposes only and form no part of the claimed invention). The first of the single layer tracks is the lead track 06, which is the foundation for the additional tracks and the snap-lock clips 011. The lead track 06 is cut at the base 08, (also referred to as the seam) in various widths ranging from 3 to 14 inches. These various widths enable the tracks to be placed in different locations throughout the wearer's natural hair. The second track, 09 is cut approximately 1 inch shorter than the lead track 06 and is sewn onto the lead track towards the bottom edge of its base 08 or manufactured seam. It is sewn approximately one-half inch away from either end of the lead track. This method allows the lead track 06 to maintain a flat contour after the additional tracks and clips 011 have been added. The third and final track 010 is cut and applied to the second track 09 in the same manner that the second track is to the lead track 06. The three individual tracks ultimately become one fuller track, as shown in the plain front view of FIG. 1 of the illustrations.

FIG. 3 is a detailed plain view of the snap-lock clip 011 used on the hair extension 06 to attach the extension to a wearer's existing hair. The clip 011 is typically formed of a thin metal having a slightly curved base bar 012, with small holes 013, throughout. The holes 013 at the base of the clip 011 are useful for connecting the clip 011 to the top inner edge of the lead track 06, along it's base 08. A resilient coated clamping bar 014 extends slightly above the clip base bar 012 with a single row of small comb-like teeth 015 also having a resilient coating on the free ends thereof. When the center of the clip 011 is pressed forward at the base 012 it causes the clip to bend backwards, allowing the comb-like teeth 015 to expand and move slightly forward and away from the clamping bar 014. Refer to FIG. 3-A. This allows the clip 011 to be attached to the wearer's existing hair. However, when the clip 011 is pressed in the opposite direction, it causes the teeth 015 to converge and snap over-center, pressing them firmly against the clamping bar 014. Refer to FIG. 3-B. This allows the instant hair extension 06 to be snap-locked and firmly grip onto the wearer's existing hair. To remove the clip 011 the wearer must press the clip to its open position FIG. 3-A and lift it off of their natural hair in an upward direction.

FIG. 3-A is the isometric view of the clip 011 in the open position, the base 012 is pressed forward causing the comb-like teeth 015 to expand and move slightly forward and away from the clamping bar 014.

FIG. 3-B is the isometric view of the clip 011 in the closed and locked position the clip base 012 is pressed in the opposite direction of the description in FIG. 3-A or in the closed position, the comb-like teeth 015 converge and snap over-center, causing them to press firmly against the clamping bar 014, this allows the hair extension to be snap-locked and firmly grip onto the wearer's natural hair.

FIG. 4 is a plain back view of the hair extension 06. This is the reverse side of the view in FIG. 1. After the single layer tracks have been sewn together, as described in the detailed description of FIG. 2, the snap-lock clips 011 are sewn onto the hair track base 08. The clips 011 are sewn along the top inside edge of the lead track base 08 and positioned so that the comb-like teeth 015 are pointing away from the track base 08. This process allows the clip 011 to be opened and closed with ease, as the lead track base 08 becomes one with the clip base 012 resulting in the two working together simultaneously.

FIG. 5-A is a perspective view of a wearer with the hair parted and prepared for the hair extension or track to be placed on the bottom portion thereof. The snap-lock clips 011 should be inserted near the root of the wearer's natural hair with the teeth 015 pointing downward along the scalp, beginning with the center clip 011 then proceeding with the end clips. The wearer can then comb or brush a portion of their natural hair over the hair extension, repeating this process for as many layers as are desired. This method will permit a more natural looking blend with the wearer's natural hair, while facilitating freer flowing hair. (The sketch of the human form is for illustrative purposes only and forms no part of the claimed invention).

FIG. 5-B. is a perspective view of the wearer with the hair extension 06 applied. The extension is firmly attached to the bottom portion of the wearer's existing hair with no evidence of the added layers or the snap-lock clips, which are sewn along the top inside edge as described in the detailed illustration of FIG. 4. Therefore the end result of the hair extension having been properly applied to the wearer's natural hair is represented in this illustration. (The sketch of the human form is for illustrative purposes only and forms no part of the claimed invention).

Other and more specific objects of the present invention have been disclosed and described and should be apparent that the invention is not so limited, but is intended to cover all embodiments which would be obvious to one skilled in the art and which come within the spirit and scope of the invention. Though the descriptions above contain many specifics, these should not be interpreted as restricting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention. For example, the hair extension can be made up of human or synthetic hair and can come in a variety of colors, lengths, textures, etc. Thus the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents rather than by the examples given.