Title:
Non-slip layer for hair accessories
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A jaw clip (10) has two jaws (12, 14) which are pivotally connected to each other by a hinge (16). A spring (18) biases the two jaws (12, 14) toward each other to a closed position. Each jaw (12, 14) includes a non-slip layer (28, 30) on its respective hair-engaging surface (32, 34). The non-slip layer (28, 30) includes a base portion (36, 38) and a plurality of bristle-like projections (40, 42). The material used for the non-slip layer (28, 30) has a relatively large coefficient of friction as needed to grip a user's hair with enough friction to sustain engagement between the hair and the clip (10) to prevent the clip from inadvertently slipping out of the hair



Inventors:
Lafauci, Mary (Philadelphia, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/192479
Publication Date:
02/02/2006
Filing Date:
07/29/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D8/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
STEITZ, RACHEL RUNNING
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lawrence Cruz (STAMFORD, CT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A non-slip layer for a hair accessory comprising a plurality of projections extending from a hair-engaging surface of said hair accessory, said projections adapted to receive one or more strands of hair between a plurality of said projections in a manner in which said accessory resists slippage relative to said hair.

2. A layer according to claim 1, wherein each projection comprises an elongated body having a length of approximately 0.5 mm to approximately 3.0 mm.

3. A layer according to claim 1, wherein each projection comprises an elongated body having a diameter in the range of approximately 0.5 mm to approximately 2.0 mm.

4. A layer according to claim 1, wherein each projection comprises an elongated body having a tapered diameter in the range of approximately 0.5 mm to approximately 2.0 mm in which said diameter is greatest at an end of said projection that is closest to said hair-engaging surface.

5. A layer according to claim 1, wherein each projection comprises an elongated body made of a flexible material.

6. A layer according to claim 1, wherein each projection comprises an elongated body made of an elastomer material.

7. A layer according to claim 1, wherein said projections are arranged in an array having uniform spacing. material.

8. A layer according to claim 1, wherein said projections are arranged in an array having uniform spacing of approximately 100 to approximately 400 projections per square inch. material.

9. A layer according to claim 1, wherein said hair accessory comprises a jaw clip having two jaws that are pivotally connected to each other and spring-biased to a closed position, and having hair-engaging surfaces on each jaw.

10. A layer according to claim 9, wherein said projections are arranged on at least one of said hair-engaging surfaces.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application relates to, and claims priority from, U.S. Provisional Patent Application 60/592,224 filed 29 Jul. 2004, and hereby incorporates the same by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to hair accessories and, more particularly, to a non-slip layer for hair accessories that is adapted to engage fine hair and resist slippage of an accessory relative to the hair.

2. Description of Related Art

Various hair accessories that are worn in the hair for functional and/or ornamental purposes, comprise one or more components that engage the hair by clamping, clipping, weaving, or other similar means. For example, a jaw clip comprises two or more parts that are moveable relative to each other by way of a hinge connection and are biased to a closed position by a spring. The spring bias causes the clip to clamp on both sides of a tuft of hair. Such hair clips are known in the art and have a tendency to be molded from a solid piece of plastic or metal and, thus, have a relatively smooth, hard exterior surface all around. Such a smooth, hard surface has a tendency to slip relative to hair when engaged therewith, particularly if the hair is fine. Thus, it is desirable to provide a way of overcoming such slippage.

OBJECTS AND BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a non-slip or slip resistant surface for hair accessories, such as but not limited to jaw clips, that resists slippage relative to hair when engaged therewith. These and other objects are achieved by the present invention as described herein.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, a jaw clip has a non-slip surface that includes a plurality of bristle-like projections arranged in sufficiently close fashion to retain fine or thin hair between the projections when the surface is engaged with the hair. Preferably, each bristle-like projection tapers slightly along its length and is rounded in a dome-like configuration at the tip of the projection.

The non-slip layer may include a base portion to which a plurality of bristle-like projections is attached. The projections have a base diameter that is preferably between approximately 0.5 mm and 2.0 mm and are spaced at a density between approximately 100 and approximately 400 projections per square inch. In a preferred embodiment, the projections have a base diameter of approximately 1 mm and are arranged in a density of approximately 289 projections per square inch. The height of the bristle-like projections is preferably between approximately 0.5 mm and 3.0 mm. In a preferred embodiment, the height of the projections is approximately 1.5 mm.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the non-slip layer is applied to the hair-engaging surfaces of a jaw clip having teeth, and is applied to at least a portion of the teeth.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic, side view of a jaw clip according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic, bottom view of the jaw clip according to FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a schematic, end view of a jaw clip according to FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a schematic, end view of a jaw clip according to a second embodiment of the present invention

FIG. 5 is a schematic, front view of a jaw clip according to FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a schematic, end view of a jaw clip according to a third embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a schematic, front view of a jaw clip according to FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a schematic, top view of a jaw clip according to a fourth embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a schematic, end view of a jaw clip according to FIG. 8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION A jaw clip (10) according to a first embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 1-3. The clip (10) is made up of two jaws (12, 14) which are pivotally connected to each other by a hinge (16). A spring (18) biases the two jaws (12, 14) toward each other to a closed position as shown in FIG. 1 and in FIG. 3. Each jaw (12, 14) comprises a respective body portion (20, 22) and a respective toothed portion (24, 26). The two portions are preferably integrally formed by molding. Each jaw (12, 14) includes a non-slip layer (28, 30) on its respective hair-engaging surface (32, 34). Preferably, the non-slip layer (28, 30) is applied to both the body portion (20, 22) and at least part of the toothed portion (24, 26). The non-slip layer (28, 30) may be applied to only one of the body portion (20, 22) or the toothed portion (24, 26), a part of either or both, or some combination thereof.

The non-slip layer (28, 30) includes a base portion (36, 38) and a plurality of bristle-like projections (40, 42). The projections are preferably of uniform dimensions and arranged in a uniform configuration. The material used for the non-slip layer (28, 30) is preferably one that has a relatively large coefficient of friction as needed to grip a user's hair with enough friction to sustain engagement between the hair and the clip (10) to prevent the clip from inadvertently slipping out of the hair. The material also preferably has enough flexibility to provide a cushioning effect to the hair that is engaged by the clip (10) to enhance gripping and to prevent damage to the hair due to compression by the clip (10). Suitable materials include, but are not limited to, elastomers such as natural or synthetic rubber materials. The non-slip layer (28, 30) is preferably applied to the clip (10) using an over-molding procedure. Alternatively, it may be applied by simultaneously molding it with the clip (10) itself. Another alternative means of applying the non-slip layer (28, 30) is through the use of an adhesive of the type generally known.

Each of the bristle-like projections (40, 42) extends generally perpendicularly away from the base portion (36, 38) or a tangent line if the base portion is curved, and has a tapered profile having a wider diameter at or near the base portion and a narrower diameter away from the base portion. Each of the projections (40, 42) also preferably has a dome-shaped tip at its end. The projections (40, 42) can by configured in various different ways so long as the configuration facilitates the trapping of hair between the projections. Variations in diameter, length and/or shape of the projections (40, 42) will result in variations in density (number of projections per square area unit) and configuration. According to the preferred embodiment, the base diameter of each projection is approximately 0.5 mm and 2.0 mm, and tapers toward the end away from the base. The preferred density is approximately 100 to approximately 400 projections per square inch and, more precisely, in the range of approximately 250 to approximately 300 projections per square inch. The preferred embodiment described above, by way of example, has approximately 289 projections per square inch. The height of the projections is approximately 1.5 mm, and may be in the range of approximately 0.5 mm to approximately 3.0 mm.

The present invention non-slip layer (28, 30) may be applied to any one of a variety of jaw clip shapes such as that shown in FIGS. 4-5, in FIGS. 6-7, and in FIGS. 8-9. The clip (100) in FIGS. 4-5 is an elongated, curved profile having teeth (102, 104) connected to each jaw (106, 108), wherein the non-slip layer (110) is applied to the surfaces of the jaws and including parts of the teeth (102, 104). Referring to FIGS. 6-7, a clip (200) has curved teeth (202, 204) associated with each jaw (206, 208), and the non-slip layer (210) is applied to the surfaces of the jaws and parts of the teeth (202, 204). Similarly, in FIGS. 8-9, the non-slip layer (310) is applied to jaws (306, 308) and teeth (302, 304) of a clip (300) that resembles a butterfly.

The present invention non-slip layer may be applied to various accessories for the hair including, but not limited to, combs, headbands, ponytail holders and others. The projections of the non-slip layer may be in a single row or in a two dimensional array.

While the preferred embodiment of the present invention has been herein described, various modification may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention.





 
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