Title:
Applicator for hair products
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hair product applicator for applying hair product to the hair comprised of a handle having a proximal end and a distal end; and affixed to the distal end of the handle a retaining structure formed by a plurality of pyramid shaped teeth extending upwardly from the handle; and a method for applying hair products to the hair using the applicator.



Inventors:
Anderson, Paul M. (Lincroft, NJ, US)
Cross, Dolores Barbara (South Amboy, NJ, US)
Dowd, Debra Karen (Upper Montclair, NJ, US)
Duffer, Dalal Ibrahim Esber (North Brunswick, NJ, US)
Imperial, Teresita Vergara (Staten Island, NY, US)
Leone, Erlinda Dugaduga (Chestnut Ridge, NY, US)
Lisowski, Donna Jean (Watchung, NJ, US)
Matlosz, Stanley (Edison, NJ, US)
Narasimhan, Saroja (Matawan, NJ, US)
Ruditzky, Brenda Karen (Teaneck, NJ, US)
Vena, Lou Ann Christine (Scotch Plains, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/156294
Publication Date:
12/21/2006
Filing Date:
06/17/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D24/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DOAN, ROBYN KIEU
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Julie Blackburn (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A hair product applicator for applying hair product to the hair comprised of: a handle having a proximal end and a distal end; and affixed to the distal end of the handle a retaining structure formed by a plurality of pyramid shaped teeth extending upwardly from the handle.

2. The applicator of claim 1 wherein the hair product that is applied is a hair bleach composition.

3. The applicator of claim 1 wherein the hair product that is applied is an oxidative hair color composition.

4. The applicator of claim 1 wherein the hair product that is applied is a semi-permanent hair color composition or a hair gel.

5. The applicator of claim 1 wherein the distal end of the handle forms a head portion having the retaining structure affixed thereto, and the proximal end of the handle forms a tail portion for gripping by the consumer.

6. The applicator of claim 5 wherein the head portion and the tail portion form an angle of greater than 90 degrees.

7. The applicator of claim 1 wherein the plurality of pyramid shaped teeth form a retaining structure that is oblong.

8. The applicator of claim 7 wherein the oblong retaining structure is formed by four to six pyramid shaped teeth forming lengthwise walls on the head portion and one to two pyramid shaped teeth forming the top and bottom walls on the head portion.

9. The applicator of claim 8 wherein the oblong retaining structure is formed by four pyramid shaped teeth forming lengthwise walls on the head portion.

10. The applicator of claim 8 wherein the oblong retaining structure is formed by four pyramid shaped teeth forming lengthwise walls on the head portion, two pyramid shaped teeth sloped inwardly at the bottom edge of oblong retaining structure toward the proximal end of the applicator, and one pyramid shaped tooth at the top and bottom ends of retaining structure.

11. The applicator of claim 1 wherein pyramid shaped teeth have a rectangular base affixed to handle.

12. The applicator of claim 11 wherein pyramid shaped teeth have front and back walls that are generally triangular in shape.

13. The applicator of claim 12 wherein pyramid shaped teeth have a top surface which is flat or rounded.

14. The applicator of claim 1 wherein having a head and a handle wherein the head and handle form an obtuse angle.

15. The applicator of claim 14 wherein the obtuse angle between the head and handle ranges from about 120 to 180 degrees.

16. The applicator of claim 1 having a head and a handle wherein the handle is generally rectangular in shape.

17. A method for applying hair products to hair with an applicator comprised of (a) a handle having a proximal end and a distal end; and (b) affixed to the distal end of the handle a retaining structure formed by a plurality of pyramid shaped teeth extending upwardly from the handle comprising loading the hair product into the retaining structure, then distributing the product through the hair by contacting the retaining structure formed by the plurality of pyramid shaped teeth with the hair strands to dispense product onto the hair.

18. The method of claim 17 wherein the hair product is hair bleach.

19. The method of claim 17 wherein the hair product is oxidative hair color.

20. The method of claim 17 wherein the hair product is semi-permanent hair color, hair gel, or hair mousse.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention is in the field of cosmetic applicators, specifically those for use in applying products to the hair.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many women are interested in not just coloring their hair, but applying gradations of color to hair. Hair highlighting is one form of hair coloring where portions of the hair are treated with a composition that causes the treated portions of the hair to be lighter, or differently colored than the base hair shade. Highlighting can be done in a professional salon or at home using retail hair highlighting kits. While in the past the best quality highlights were obtained in a professional salon environment, now, the kits that are available for purchase at retail by consumers are well designed, enabling the at home user to obtain salon-equivalent results.

In recent years lowlighting has become popular. Lowlighting is a form of hair coloring where portions of the hair are treated with a composition that causes the treated portions of hair to be darker, or have a different tonality and hue of color than the base hair shade. An example of lowlighting hair would involve applying cinnamon colored streaks to light brown or blonde hair; brown streaks to blonde or light brown hair; or chocolate colored streaks to medium or light brown hair. Consumers often like to highlight their hair in the warm weather months and lowlight the hair in the fall and winter season. While retail highlighting kits are widely available for consumer purchase, currently no retail kits for lowlighting hair are available on the market. Further, hair products companies are always looking for better ways to apply the highlighting or lowlighting (“lighting”) composition to make the result as consumer friendly as possible, yet providing a salon quality result.

For example, U.S. Patent Publication No. 2005/0066989 teaches a hair treatment applicator for applying highlights to the hair. The applicator contains four opposed blades, which form a retaining structure for the composition to be applied to the hair. The device is combed through the hair and the composition that is held within the retaining structure is dispensed onto the hair with the assistance of the blades. While this device works very well for very long hair, it has certain drawbacks when used with medium length or short hair.

U.S. Patent Publication 2004/0065338 is directed to another type of hair treatment applicator that contains two heads separated by a separation volume, with each head containing a retaining structure for holding the hair product to be applied. This two-headed device makes it easier and faster to apply the product to the hair in the desired configuration. However, when the device having the two separated heads is filled with product and applied to the hair, the amount of product deposited onto the hair can sometimes be excessive, particularly when used by unskilled consumers. In addition, this applicator does not provide optimal results when used with long hair.

Devices designed for application of highlights to hair must have certain design parameters. Basically, the idea is to achieve naturally appearing streaks of alternating color on the hair. The streaks must be dispersed properly, avoiding globs of product along the streak from beginning to end; and with short hair to give even streaks from root to tip. The streaks must also have the right width and appearance in order to create a most natural look. If the device is not properly designed, the product may be applied to the hair in clumps or uneven bands.

Accordingly, there is a need for a device for applying hair products to the hair that eliminates or ameliorates these drawbacks. The device must be consumer friendly and, when used by the consumer, capable of applying the hair product to the hair to achieve the desired effects.

It is an object of the invention to provide a hair product applicator that enables application of highlights and lowlights to hair.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a hair product applicator that has a retaining structure formed by teeth that are wide enough to permit passage of hair but closely spaced enough to form a retaining structure for the hair product.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a hair product applicator for use in retail kits for highlighting and lowlighting hair.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is directed to a hair product applicator for applying hair product to the hair comprised of:

    • a handle having a proximal end and a distal end; and
    • affixed to the distal end of the handle a retaining structure, the retaining structure formed by a plurality of pyramid shaped teeth extending upwardly from the handle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1: depicts the hair product applicator of the invention comprised of a handle having a proximal and distal end, and having affixed to the distal end a plurality of pyramid shaped teeth extending upwardly from the handle.

FIG. 2: depicts a top plan view of the device of FIG. 1, showing the orientation of the pyramid shaped teeth on the distal end.

FIG. 3: is a side view taken across 3-3 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4: is a side view taken across 4-4 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5: depicts how the hair product is filled into the retaining structure formed by the pyramid shaped teeth.

FIG. 6: depicts one way in which the hair product applicator may be used to apply the desired product to the hair.

FIG. 6A: depicts another way in which the hair product applicator may be used to apply the desired product to the hair.

FIG. 7: shows a closer view of the applicator being used to apply hair product to the hair, and how the pyramid shaped teeth separate the hair strands.

FIG. 8: is a lengthwise view of the device being used to apply product to the hair.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view of the hair product applicator 1 of the invention, having a proximal end 2 and a distal end 3. Affixed to the distal end 3 of the applicator 1 is a retaining structure 4 formed by a plurality of pyramid shaped teeth 5. As is evident in FIG. 1, the pyramid shaped teeth 5 have a wide base 6 where they are affixed to the distal end 3 of the applicator 1 in the area referred to as the head 7. The pyramid shaped teeth 5 have a generally rectangular or oval base 8 affixed to the head 7 of the distal end 3 of the applicator 1, with the front and back walls 9 of the long side 10 of the rectangular base 8 being generally triangular in shape with a rounded, curved, or squared top 11 (which may also be curved or rounded), and the sidewalls between the front and back walls 9 being generally rectangular 12. The top surface of the pyramid shaped teeth is preferably curved or flat 13.

The placement of pyramid shaped teeth 5 form the retaining structure 4. The retaining structure formed by the placement of pyramid shaped teeth 5 may be circular, oblong, rectangular, or any configuration that provides a retaining structure that is adequate to hold hair product 19.

In the most preferred embodiment of the invention the retaining structure 4 is oblong 4A (see FIG. 2), and formed by from four to six, preferably five pyramid shaped teeth 5 on each long side, with from one to two pyramid shaped teeth on each end.

More preferably, as depicted in FIG. 2, there are four pyramid shaped teeth 5 parallel to each other forming the long side 14 of the oblong 4A shaped retaining structure 4. Toward the bottom edge 15, facing the proximal end 2 of applicator 1, two pyramid shaped teeth 5 are placed to slope inwardly 16 from the parallel pyramid shaped teeth 5 forming the long side 14 of the oblong 4A retaining structure 4. One pyramid shaped tooth 5 is placed at the top 17 of the retaining structure 4 and one at the bottom 18 of retaining structure 4.

In the most preferred embodiment of the invention, the pyramid shaped tooth 5 at the top 17 of the retaining structure 4 is placed generally in the middle section 17A between the two parallel lines of pyramid shaped teeth 5 that form the long side 14 of the oblong 4A retaining structure 4. Additionally, in the preferred embodiment of the invention the pyramid shaped tooth 5 at the bottom 18 of the retaining structure 4 is placed generally parallel to pyramid shaped tooth 5 at the top 17, and they are generally aligned longitudinally.

This configuration of the pyramid shaped teeth 5 to make retaining structure 4 that provides an area where the hair product 19 is placed. Pyramid shaped teeth 5 may be of any length and width, and may depend on the size of the head and other factors. Preferably, pyramid shaped teeth 5 range from about 0.1 to 1.0, preferably 0.2 to 0.75 inch in length.

Suitable hair products include hair color, hair bleach, hair gels (including custom effects hair gels that contain pearls, glitter, or the like), permanent wave compositions, and any other hair product that can be applied to the hair using the applicator of the invention.

Particularly preferred are oxidative hair color compositions prepared by combining an aqueous based oxidative dye composition and an aqueous based hydrogen peroxide developer composition. Typically either one or both of the oxidative dye and developer composition contains thickening agents that cause the composition to thicken to a more viscous state when the compositions are combined, such that it can be adequately contained in the retaining structure 4 of the applicator prior to application to the hair. At the same time the composition must be capable of being dispensed onto the hair when the applicator 1 is combed through the hair.

Another type of preferred composition for use with the applicator is a bleach mixture formed by mixing an aqueous based hydrogen peroxide composition and a particulate persulfate bleach composition to form an active composition for bleaching hair. In this case the bleach mixture is applied to the hair using the applicator 1. The treated hair strands become lightened when treated with the bleach mixture.

Suitable bleach compositions are generally prepared by combining an aqueous oxidizing agent composition (or developer) with a persulfate bleach composition. Optionally a liquid bleach oil (or alkalizing composition) may be combined with the other two ingredients.

The persulfate composition generally comprises a mixture of persulfate compounds which are capable of bleaching the hair, particulate fillers, and, if desired, inorganic particulates, and colorants. The persulfate composition may be found in the powdered particulate form, or in the form of a cream or paste as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,888,484; and U.S. Pat. No. 6,703,004, both of which are incorporated by reference in their entirety.

Such composition generally contains about 15-65% by weight of the total persulfate composition of one or more inorganic persulfates which may be alkali metal or alkaline earth metal persulfates, or ammonium persulfate; about 0.1-40% of an alkalizing agent which is one or more inorganic salts; about 0.01-60% of one or more particulate fillers.

The term “particulate filler” means a generally inert particulate having a particle size of about 0.1-250 microns. The particulate fillers provide volume and, when mixed with the persulfates, dilute the persulfate particles. A variety of particulate fillers are suitable including inorganics, inorganic salts, hydrophilic colloids, carbohydrates, soaps, alkyl sulfates, and the like.

Other ingredients include inorganics (such as hydrated silica, silica silylate, alumina, attapulgite, bentonite, calcium oxide, chalk, diamond powder, diatomaceous earth, fuller's earth, hectorite, kaolin, mica, magnesium oxide, magnesium peroxide, montmorillonite, pumice, talc, tin oxide, zeolite, zinc oxide, and the like); hydrophilic colloids (such as hydroxyethylcellulose, locust bean gum, maltodextrin, methylcellulose, agar, dextran, dextran sulfate, gelatin, pectin, potassium alginate, sodium carboxymethylchitin, xanthan gum, and the like).

If desired, the persulfate composition may comprise from about 0.01-2% by weight of the total persulfate composition of an inorganic colorant. The inorganic colorant is preferably in the particulate form and will provide a subtle coloration to the powder composition to make it more aesthetically pleasing for commercial purposes. Particularly preferred for use in the bleach composition is ultramarine blue.

The aqueous oxidizing agent composition may be in the solution or emulsion form. If the latter, the emulsion may be in the water-in-oil or oil-in-water form. Further, the emulsion may also be in the microemulsion form, if desired.

When the aqueous oxidizing agent is in the solution form the composition preferably comprises about 1-30% by weight of the total composition of an oxidizing agent, preferably hydrogen peroxide, and about 70-99% by weight of the total composition of water. Other water soluble ingredients may be included in the solution, such as humectants, preservatives, water soluble thickeners, antioxidants, and so on.

When the aqueous oxidizing agent composition is in the emulsion form, the composition preferably comprises about 1-30% of oxidizing agent, preferably hydrogen peroxide, about 50-99% water, and about and 0.01-30% of an oily phase. The aqueous oxidizing agent composition may be in the form of a water-in-oil or oil-in-water emulsion or in the form of a transparent microemulsion wherein the dispersed particles in the continuous phase are so small (generally about 5-1500 Å) that the composition is optically clear. Examples of suitable microemulsion compositions are set froth in U.S. Pat. No. 6,315,989, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. It is also suitable that the aqueous oxidizing agent composition be in the form of a composition containing liquid crystals as set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 6,238,653, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

The aqueous oxidizing agent composition and the persulfate bleach composition are combined to form the hair product to be applied to the hair.

In the case where the hair product 19 is an oxidative dye composition, the composition is generally prepared by combining the aqueous oxidizing agent composition having the general ingredients mentioned above, with an oxidative dye composition.

The oxidative hair dye mixture may be in the form of a liquid or creme. The term “crème” means a viscous liquid or semi-solid that does not readily drip when applied to the hair. It may be in the solution or emulsion form. Preferably, the hair dye mixture is in the form of an emulsion, more preferably a water-in-oil or oil-in-water emulsion. Most preferred is where the mixture is in the form of an oil-in-water emulsion. Such types of emulsion may contain from about 35-98% water and 2-65% oil, all percentages by weight of the total composition. The hair dye mixture may also contain other ingredients, as set forth herein. Also present are one or more primary intermediates. Suggested ranges of primary intermediates are 0.0001-6%, preferably 0.0005-5.5%, more preferably 0.001-5% by weight of the total composition. Such primary intermediates are well known for use in hair color, and include ortho or para substituted aminophenols or phenylenediamines, such as para-phenylenediamines of the formula: embedded image
wherein R1 and R2 are each independently hydrogen, C1-6 alkyl, or C1-6 alkyl substituted with one or more hydroxy, methoxy, methylsulphonylamino, aminocarbonyl, furfuryl, unsubstituted phenyl, or amino substituted phenyl groups; R3, R4, R5, and R6 are each independently hydrogen, C1-6 alkyl, C1-6 alkoxy, halogen, or C1-6 alkyl substituted with one or more hydroxy or amino groups.

Specific examples of suitable primary intermediates include para-phenylenediamine, 2-methyl-1,4-diaminobenzene, 2,6-dimethyl-1,4-diaminobenzene, 2,5-dimethyl-1,4-diaminobenzene, 2,3-dimethyl-1,4-diaminobenzene, 2-chloro-1,4-diaminobenzene, 2-methoxy-1,4-diaminobenzene, 1-phenylamino-4-aminobenzene, 1-dimethylamino-4-aminobenzene, 1-diethylamino-4-aminobenzene, 1-bis(beta-hydroxyethyl)amino-4-aminobenzene, 1-methoxyethylamino-4-aminobenzene, 2-hydroxymethyl-1,4-diaminobenzene, 2-hydroxyethyl-1,4-diaminobenzene, 2-isopropyl-1,4-diaminobenzene, 1-hydroxypropylamino-4-aminobenzene, 2,6-dimethyl-3-methoxy-1,4-diaminobenzene, 1-amino-4-hydroxybenzene, and derivatives thereof, and acid or basic salts thereof.

Preferred primary intermediates are p-phenylenediamine, p-aminophenol, o-aminophenol, N,N-bis(2-hydroxyethyl)-p-phenylenediamine, 2,5-diaminotoluene, their salts and mixtures thereof.

If desired, the oxidative dye composition may contain one or more color couplers, generally ranging from about 0.0001-10% by weight of the total composition of one or more color couplers which are dyestuff components. Suitable color couplers include, for example, those having the general formula: embedded image
wherein R1 is unsubstituted hydroxy or amino, or hydroxy or amino substituted with one or more C1-6 hydroxyalkyl groups, R3 and R5 are each independently hydrogen, hydroxy, amino, or amino substituted with C1-6 alkyl, C1-6 alkoxy, or C1-6 hydroxyalkyl group; and R2, R4, and R6 are each independently hydrogen, C1-6 alkoxy, C1-6 hydroxyalkyl, or C1-6 alkyl, or R3 and R4 together may form a methylenedioxy or ethylenedioxy group. Examples of such compounds include meta-derivatives such as phenols, catechol, meta-aminophenols, meta-phenylenediamines, and the like, which may be unsubstituted, or substituted on the amino group or benzene ring with alkyl, hydroxyalkyl, alkylamino groups, and the like. Suitable couplers include m-aminophenol, 2,4-diaminotoluene, 4-amino, 2-hydroxytoluene, phenyl methylpyrazolone, 3,4-methylenedioxyphenol, 3,4-methylenedioxy-1-[(beta-hydroxyethyl)amino]benzene, 1-methoxy-2-amino-4-[(beta-hydroxyethyl)amino]benzene, 1-hydroxy-3-(dimethylamino)benzene, 6-methyl-1-hydroxy-3 [(beta-hydroxyethyl)amino]benzene, 2,4-dichloro-1-hydroxy-3-aminobenzene, 1-hydroxy-3-(diethylamino)benzene, 1-hydroxy-2-methyl-3-aminobenzene, 2-chloro-6-methyl-1-hydroxy-3-aminobenzene, 1,3-diaminobenzene, 6-methoxy-1,3-diaminobenzene, 6-hydroxyethoxy-1,3-diaminobenzene, 6-methoxy-5-ethyl-1,3-diaminobenzene, 6-ethoxy-1,3-diaminobenzene, 1-bis(beta-hydroxyethyl)amino-3-aminobenzene, 2-methyl-1,3-diaminobenzene, 6-methoxy-1-amino-3-[(beta-hydroxyethyl)amino]-benzene, 6-(beta-aminoethoxy)-1,3-diaminobenzene, 6-(beta-hydroxyethoxy)-1-amino-3-(methylamino)benzene, 6-carboxymethoxy-1,3-diaminobenzene, 6-ethoxy-1-bis(beta-hydroxyethyl)amino-3-aminobenzene, 6-hydroxyethyl-1,3-diaminobenzene, 1-hydroxy-2-isopropyl-5-methylbenzene, 1,3-dihydroxybenzene, 2-chloro-1,3-dihydroxybenzene, 2-methyl-1,3-dihydroxybenzene, 4-chloro-1,3-dihydroxybenzene, 5,6-dichloro-2-methyl-1,3-dihydroxybenzene, 1-hydroxy-3-amino-benzene, 1-hydroxy-3-(carbamoylmethylamino)benzene, 6-hydroxybenzomorpholine, 4-methyl-2,6-dihydroxypyridine, 2,6-dihydroxypyridine, 2,6-diaminopyridine, 6-aminobenzomorpholine, 1-phenyl-3-methyl-5-pyrazolone, 1-hydroxynaphthalene, 1,7-dihydroxynaphthalene, 1,5-dihydroxynaphthalene, 5-amino-2-methyl phenol, 4-hydroxyindole, 4-hydroxyindoline, 6-hydroxyindole, 6-hydroxyindoline, 2,4-diamionphenoxyethanol, and mixtures thereof.

Preferred couplers include resorcinol, 1-naphthol, 2-methylresorcinol, 4-amino-2-hydroxy toluene, m-aminophenol, 2,4-diaminophenoxyethanol, phenyl methylpyrazolone, their salts, or mixtures.

The aqueous based developer composition may also contain other ingredients such as thickening agents, humectants, fragrance, and the like.

At the proximal end 2 of the applicator 1 is the handle 20. Handle is preferably sloped such that the head 7 at the distal end 3 of applicator 1 forms an obtuse angle with handle 20 forming the proximal end 2 of the applicator 1. Preferably, the angle between head 7 and handle 20 ranges from about 110 to 180 degrees. In the case where handle is 180 degrees the handle and head form a straight line. In the most preferred embodiment of the invention handle 20 has a generally rectangular shape 21 with sidewalls 22.

FIG. 5 shows how the hair product 19 is dispensed into the retaining structure 4. FIGS. 6, 7, and 8 show how the applicator 1 is used to dispense the hair product 19 onto the hair. The applicator 1 may be held as shown in FIG. 6 or 6A. It is generally preferred that handle be held as depicted in FIG. 6 when used to apply highlights to hair. It is preferred that when the handle is held as depicted in FIG. 6A (perpendicular to the hair strands), it is used to apply lowlights to hair.

The invention is also directed to a method for applying hair products to hair with an applicator comprised of (a) a handle having a proximal end and a distal end; and (b) affixed to the distal end of the handle a retaining structure formed by a plurality of pyramid shaped teeth extending upwardly from the handle comprising loading the hair product into the retaining structure, then distributing the product through the hair by contacting the retaining structure formed by the plurality of pyramid shaped teeth with the hair strands to dispense product onto the hair.

As depicted in FIG. 5 the desired hair product 19 is loaded into the retaining structure 4. The applicator 1 is then used to distribute the hair product 19 to the hair by holding the applicator parallel to the hair strands 23 as depicted in FIG. 6, or perpendicular to the hair strands 23 as depicted in FIG. 6A, then running the pyramid shaped teeth 5 forming the retaining structure 4 holding the hair product 19 through the hair to deposit the hair product onto the hair strands 23. The size and placement of the pyramid shaped teeth 5 are adequate to hold the hair product 19 in the retaining structure 4. Yet when the pyramid shaped teeth 5 are combed through the hair strands 23 the hair product 19 easily deposits onto the hair strands 23 in the desired configuration.

While the invention has been described in connection with the preferred embodiment, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular form set forth but, on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.