Title:
Ambidextrous two-handled hair brush implement
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An improved hairbrush that may be selectively manipulated from either end when in contact with hair on a body is provided having an elongated member or shaft with handles of dimensionally equivalent weight, shape and length rigidly attached to, and extending from, both sides of the shaft. Around the elongated central member is a tubular brush block formed with a plurality of air slots between radial tufts of brush bristles, so that air blown from a hot air styling dryer can be directed against the brush as the hair is brushed or as locks of hair are wrapped around the brush block to quickly straighten the hair. The axial holes at either end of the brush block are capped during manufacture with convex spacers which slip over each handle through a form fitted hole in the center of the cap. The brush can be manipulated with either handle during use.



Inventors:
Teller, Adrienne (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/933157
Publication Date:
03/02/2006
Filing Date:
09/02/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D6/02
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
STEITZ, RACHEL RUNNING
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALFRED M. WALKER (MELVILLE, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An ambidextrous hair brush which can be selectively manipulated by either hand when in contact with hair on a body, comprising an elongated central member, a plurality of bristles or tufts of bristles extending generally transversely to the direction of elongation of said elongated central member, wherein the improvement comprises: a pair of handles rigidly attached to and extending laterally and oppositely from said elongated central member.

2. A hair brush as in claim 1, wherein said pair of handles comprises solid handles.

3. A hair brush as in claim 1, said pair of handles being generally dimensionally equivalent.

4. A hair brush as in claim 1, each said handle being generally cylindrical and comprising at least one portion of recessed diameter.

5. A hair brush as in claim 1, each said handle comprising: a generally cylindrical shape; and an inner end in fixed connection with said elongated central region and an opposing outer end, wherein the diameter of said outer end exceeds the diameter of said inner end.

6. An ambidextrous hair brush which can be selectively manipulated by either hand when in contact with hair on a body, comprising an elongated central member, a plurality of bristles or tufts of bristles extending generally transversely to the direction of elongation of said elongated central member, wherein the improvement comprises: a pair of handles rigidly attached to and extending laterally and oppositely from said elongated central member; said handles comprising solid handles, being generally dimensionally equivalent and comprising a generally cylindrical shape; said handles further comprising an inner end in fixed connection with said elongated central region and an opposing outer end, wherein the diameter of said outer end exceeds the diameter of said inner end.

7. A hair brush as in claim 6 further comprising a tubular brush block coaxial with and fixedly connected to said elongated central member, the diameter of said brush block exceeding the diameter of said central elongated member.

8. A hair brush as in clam 7, wherein said brush block further comprises a pair of end caps removably attached to the ends of said brush block, said elongated central member extending therethrough.

9. A hair brush as in claim 7, further comprising a plurality of slots extending through said brush block for increasing penetration of air from a drying device, said bristles or tufts of bristles extending through at least a portion of said slots.

10. An ambidextrous hair brush which can be selectively manipulated by either hand when in contact with hair on a body, comprising an elongated central member, a plurality of bristles or tufts of bristles extending generally transversely to the direction of elongation of said elongated central member, wherein the improvement comprises: a pair of handles rigidly attached to and extending laterally and oppositely from said elongated central member; said handles being generally dimensionally equivalent and comprising solid handles, a generally cylindrical shape, an inner end in fixed connection with said elongated central region and an opposing outer end, wherein the diameter of said outer end exceeds the diameter of said inner end; a tubular brush block coaxial with and fixedly connected to said elongated central member, the diameter of said brush block exceeding the diameter of said central elongated member, said brush block comprising a pair of end caps removably attached to the ends of said brush block, said elongated central member extending therethrough; a plurality of slots extending through said brush block for increasing penetration of air from a drying device, said bristles or tufts of bristles extending through at least a portion of said slots.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to hair care products, and more particularly to brushes used for straightening and styling hair.

2. Description of Related Art

Known within the art are hair brushes for curling and styling hair having a generally cylindrical handle and bristles or tufts of bristles extending therefrom. U.S. Pat. No. 3,843,990 of Lardenois discloses a single handle hair brush.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,076,032 of Misercola also discloses a single-handed hair brush having an open ended shaft, juxtaposed passages and interior webs of parts for creating air slots. Misercola '032 teaches a hair brush for use with a blow dryer for styling such that hair directed from the dryer to the brush may enter the slots, pass through the hollow shaft and exit the open end. The brush disclosed herein does not allow for versatile ergonomic curling, particularly, the ability of the user to easily switch hands between holding the hair brush and holding the dryer.

It is further known in the art to use a plurality of short handleless brushes or rollers to curl and set the hair, and optionally, to apply a stream of heated air from a hair dryer. U.S. Pat. No. 5,318,052 of Ivanov illustrates rollers or brushes of this type. Ivanov '052 teaches a brush having a holding member at one end to which a replaceable handle may be attached.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,765,253 of Martinez teaches a hair brush having a detachable shaft member, a sleeve, for reattaching coaxially to a short extension member on the opposing side of the bristle portion, thereby functioning as a second handle. There are several inherent disadvantages to such a design.

Firstly, since the attachable handle of Martinez '253 acts as a sleeve to removably slide over a rigid handle, the two handles may be subject to different properties. The weights of each may differ as well as the length, outer diameter and thickness. As a result, the “feel” of the brush suffers. For instance, a poorly weighted curling brush of Martinez '253 may not maintain a consistent position as set by the user. Further, in the case of differing dimensional properties being necessary for collapsibility, ergonomic considerations may not be optimized.

Second, the design taught by the Martinez '253 patent requires both the reattachment of a hollow member and a means of reattachment of the sleeve to the central bristle portion. Both requirements result in a decreasing ability of the dual handle brush to have qualities of strength. A rigid and continuous connection between two plastic or composite members may be considered a strong connection. Once a locking device or snap-in device is introduced, a stress accumulating zone is generally introduced also. Additionally, a plastic solid member is generally considered to have more strength then one being hollow, in accordance with basic principles of mechanics. It is therefore contended that dual handle brushes known in the art may be improved in terms of strength characteristics.

Again, the brush taught herein by Martinez '253 does not allow for versatile ergonomic use with a blow dryer. Although detachable, a handle is only taught in connection with one end, resulting in awkward usage. The user, particularly in self-straightening of the hair, is frequently required to switch hands to operate the dryer with his or her dominant or stronger hand. As a result, it is necessary for the user to twist the dryer in his or her stronger or preferred hand over and/or around the head in an effort to direct the air stream toward the hair wrapped in the brush. Pulling the hair straight, under the awkwardly aimed air stream, is also difficult. Therefore, portion straightening of the hair wrapped around the brush is also difficult.

Finally, inherent of the Martinez '253 hair brush, a collapsible and re-attachable handle may be improved in terms of ergonomic qualities. For instance, it is known that a handle may be ergonomically correct if at least a portion of a handle mimics the contour of an average human hand. Such a design may almost certainly result in having at least one recessed portion or flared portion. The invention taught by Martinez inherently lacks the ability to comprise such a characteristic. A handle having a flare or recess of practical proportions would inhibit the ability of one handle to slide coaxially and about a second handle of the same form. Therefore, it is established that there is a need for a hair brush, for curling and styling hair, which overcomes the problems discussed herein, particularly in reference to awkward usage, ergonomic quality and durable.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a ambidextrous two-handled hair brush implement which has dimensionally equivalent and equally weighted handles on opposite ends thereof.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a hairbrush with two permanent handles located at opposite ends of a central elongated member.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a hairbrush that facilitates the straightening and/or styling of hair by utilizing two handles during the styling process, thus facilitating the handling of the brush with the opposite hand during the use of hand-held dryer and with the stronger hand during the drying steps of the straightening and/or styling operation.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, an improved hairbrush is disclosed comprising at least two permanent handles at opposing ends for decreasing awkwardness of styling and straightening the hair in combination with a drying device known in the art. The hairbrush may be selectively manipulated from either end when in contact with hair on a body.

The ambidextrous hair brush can be selectively manipulated by either hand when in contact with hair on a body. The hair brush includes an elongated central member, with a plurality of bristles or tufts of bristles extending generally transversely to the direction of elongation of the elongated central member. The improvement lies in the fact that the brush has a pair of equally weighted, sized and dimensioned handles, such as hollow or solid handles, which are rigidly attached to, and extending laterally and oppositely, from the elongated central member. Each handle may be generally cylindrical and optionally having one or more portions of respective recessed diameters. Preferably each handle has an inner end in fixed connection with the elongated central region and an opposing outer end, wherein the diameter of the outer end exceeds the diameter of the inner end.

The improved hairbrush may comprise an elongated central member or shaft and a plurality of bristles or tufts of bristles extending radially from the elongated central member.

Optionally, the hairbrush may comprise a tubular brush block having a plurality of longitudinally spaced sets of passages, holes or slots spaced transversely along the length of the elongated central member, and convex caps for holding the hairbrush block in place about the longitudinal axis of the elongated central member. It should be understood that this invention is applicable to other configurations of hairbrushes.

For example, a second embodiment of the present invention comprises a two-handled hairbrush wherein the bristles are supported on a sleeve spaced from the shaft or in the case of the shaft being hollow, the sleeve may be pierced with slots for allowing air to flow through the brush.

It is understood that this invention may also incorporate elements known in the art and specifically designed for curling the hair while styling.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The present invention can best be understood in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present invention as used by a right-handed user;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the present invention as used by a left-handed user;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of hairbrush of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a side view central crossection of the hairbrush of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is an end view crossection of the hairbrush of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the present invention; and,

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the embodiment of the current invention as in FIG. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 illustrates a two-handled hairbrush 1. Two handles 2, 2a are coaxially and oppositely rigidly connected with a central brush block 3. Two convex end caps are rigidly attached to the central brush block and lie in a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the hairbrush 1. The right handed user grips the lower handle 2a with his or her right hand R.

FIG. 2 demonstrates the use of a first embodiment of the present invention in conjunction with a blow drying device, known in the art. In the case of simultaneously curling one's hair and drying one's hair using a handheld blow drying device, the right handed user grips the upper handle 2 of the hairbrush 1 with his or her left hand L and grips the blow drying device with his or her right hand R.

FIG. 3 illustrates a two-handled hairbrush 1 with two handles 2, 2a, which are coaxially and rigidly connected at opposite ends to a central brush block 3 having bristles 5 extending through openings 7 of central block 3. Openings 6 are provided for increasing air flow from dryer 15, shown in FIG. 4. Two convex end caps 4 are rigidly attached to the central brush block 3 and lie in a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the hairbrush 1. The handles 2, 2a are substantially equal in weight and dimensionally equivalent. Optional annular recesses 20, 20a are provide to better facilitate manual gripping of handles 2, 2a. The recessed portions 20 or 20a ergonomically contact the hands of a user, and are substantially equal in weight and dimensionally equivalent.

FIG. 4 illustrates a hairbrush 1 in a side view crossection juxtaposed to hair dryer 15. The hot concentrated air stream 16 exits the nozzle of hair dryer 15 impinging on brush block 3 wherein it enters the annular space 9 between central core 8 and the inner surface of brush block 3. The air stream 16 exits as a diffuse air stream 17. If brush block 3 is fabricated of a perforated metal sheet, it will have a beneficial tendency to retain heat from hair dryer 15 due to its heat capacity compared to resin material, which is an alternate material. Central core 8 retains bristles 5. The handles 20, 20a comprise a recessed portion for ergonomically contrasting the hands of a user.

FIG. 5 is an end view, showing airflow 16 from dryer 15 going through annular space 9 of central block 3, exiting holes 6.

FIG. 6 illustrates an alternate embodiment for a two-handled hairbrush 101 having flared ends 102b and 102c on axially aligned handles 102 and 102a respectively. Two handles 102, 102a are coaxially and oppositely rigidly connected with a central brush block 103. Two convex end caps 104 are rigidly attached to the central brush block 103 and lie in a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the hairbrush 101. The right handed user grips the lower handle 102a with his or her right hand R. Flared ends 102b and 102c provide an ergonomic stop for the user's right hand R or left hand L, helping to prevent handles 102 or 102a from slipping out of the user's hands, during use.

FIG. 7 demonstrates the use of a further embodiment of the present invention in conjunction with a blow drying device, known in the art. In the case of simultaneously curling one's hair and drying one's hair using a handheld blow drying device 115, the right handed user grips the upper handle 102 of the hairbrush 101 with his or her left hand L and grips the blow drying device 115 with his or her right hand R.

Unlike the disproportionate handles in Martinez '253, handles 2, 2a or 102, 102a of the present invention are equal in weight, size and shape. In Martinez '253, one handle is a solid, sturdy handle rigidly attached to the central brush block, but the opposite handle is a hollow lightweight sleeve, which attaches over a small stub in a loose friction fit. Because it is hollow, it is lighter in weight than the opposite permanently attached handle, and smaller in size. This causes an uneven weight distribution of the dual handled brush of Martinez '253, making it harder to manipulate under ambidextrous conditions.

In contrast, handles 2, 2a or 102, 102a of the brush 1 or 101 of the present invention are of equal weight, shape and size, causing the brush to have an even weight distribution, making brush 1 or 101 easier to manipulate in the hair straightening or other styling processes.

A further optional ergonomic feature includes the recesses 20 or 20a shown in FIGS. 1-4, which further facilitate gripping of handles 2 or 2a during the gripping process.

In the foregoing description, certain terms and visual depictions are used to illustrate the preferred embodiment. However, no unnecessary limitations are to be construed by the terms used or illustrations depicted, beyond what is shown in the prior art, since the terms and illustrations are exemplary only, and are not meant to limit the scope of the present invention.

It is further known that other modifications may be made to the present invention, without departing the scope of the invention, as noted in the appended claims.