Title:
Hair styling system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A professional hair styling system includes a powered base station which provides a cavity for a hair styling implement; a hair styling implement such as a curling iron which has a heatable surface and a heating element therein; and a holster unit to be worn by the user which provides holders for the hair styling implement and a first rechargeable battery pack. The hair styling implement may include a second rechargeable battery pack. When positioned in the cavity of the base station, the heatable surface of the implement can be heated or its rechargeable battery pack recharged. A power cord can connect the implement with the first rechargeable battery pack when the first rechargeable battery pack is in the second pouch of the holster unit. Whether the hair styling implement is connected to the second rechargeable battery pack or not, the user (hair stylist) can move freely about the customer during its use with no concern about entanglement with a long power cord which extends to a mains power supply.



Inventors:
Montagnino, James G. (St. Charles, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/802564
Publication Date:
12/13/2007
Filing Date:
05/23/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
132/269, 224/269
International Classes:
A45D7/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COGILL, JOHN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DYKEMA GOSSETT PLLC (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. Hair styling system which comprises a base station that defines a cavity for a hair styling implement and a first power cord for connection to a mains power supply; a hair styling implement which has a heatable surface, and a resistance heater therein; and a holster unit for attachment to a user and which includes a holder for the hair styling implement and a docking station for a first rechargeable battery pack.

2. The hair styling system according to claim 1, wherein said base station provides a docking station for the first rechargeable battery pack.

3. The hair styling system according to claim 1, including a second power cord for connection between the base station and the hair styling implement.

4. The hair styling system according to claim 1, wherein said base station includes an electrical plug in said cavity for connection to said hair styling implement when said hair styling implement is positioned in said cavity to supply electric power to heat said hair styling implement.

5. The hair styling system according to claim 1, wherein hair styling implement is a curling iron having a heatable barrel and a handle.

6. The hair styling system according to claim 5, including a second rechargeable battery pack in said handle.

7. The hair styling system according to claim 6, wherein said handle and said barrel are connected by a snap-lock engagement mechanism.

8. The hair styling system according to claim 7, wherein said snap-lock engagement mechanism is a bayonet connection.

9. The hair styling system according to claim 1, wherein said holster unit includes a belt which provides a first pouch for said holder.

10. The hair styling system according to claim 9, wherein said holder is an insulated tube.

11. The hair styling system according to claim 9, wherein said belt provides a second pouch for said first rechargeable battery pack.

12. The hair styling system according to claim 1, including another power cord for connection between the first rechargeable battery pack and said hair styling implement.

13. The hair styling system according to claim 1, wherein said hair styling implement is a hair straightener device.

14. A holster unit for attachment to a user, said holster unit providing a holder for a hair styling implement and a docking station for a battery pack.

15. A holster unit according to claim 14, including a belt which defined a first pouch for said hair styling implement and a second pouch for the battery pack.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This present application derives from U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/802,524, filed May 23, 2006, the priority of which is hereby claimed. The contents of this provisional application are specifically incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

The invention relates to hair styling equipment, and in particular to hair styling equipment that is used in a salon or similar environment where a professional stylist applies differing treatments to customers' hair during a work period.

During the course of a day's work, a hair stylist will make use of many different implements to treat customers' hair, many of these implements employing surfaces which are heated (curling irons, straightener tongs, etc.). It can be very annoying to wait for an implement which must be heated in use to come up to temperature and to stay at the necessary temperature, and if the implement is connected to a mains power supply by a long power cord, the cord can become an encumbrance. A system which can provide ready-to-use implements that can be used without a long power cord and which can conveniently reheat and/or recharge such implements would be most beneficial to the industry.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to this invention, a hair styling system is provided which includes one or more hand-held styling implements which include heated surfaces in use, these implements including rechargeable resistance heaters therein and possibly rechargeable batteries for powering the resistance heaters; a base station which is connectable to a mains power supply and includes one or more cavities for the hair styling implement(s) and can either heat the heated surfaces of the implements (via resistance heating elements around the cavities) or recharge the rechargeable batteries in the implements when the implements are positioned therein, and possibly a docking station for a portable battery pack; and a holster unit which is attachable to the stylist and which includes one or more cavities for holding at least one of the hair styling implement(s) and for mounting a rechargeable battery pack which can be used to recharge or heat the hair styling implements using a short power cord.

Four embodiments are envisioned:

First Embodiment

This system includes a base unit which can be connected to a main power supply and provides cavities for receiving styling implements such as curling irons or hair straighteners. It can provide a station for mounting and recharging a rechargeable battery pack.

This system also includes a holster unit which can be attached to a user (e.g., the belt of a stylist) and which defines a station for receiving a battery pack and insulated slots for receiving the heatable end of a hair styling implement.

This system also includes a power cord (coiled or straight) which is connectable by quick connection plugs between the holster and a styling implement for powering a heating element in the styling implement. Each styling implement is one piece (its heating element is not detachable from a handle) and includes internal temperature control circuitry.

Second Embodiment

This hair styling implement system is identical to the first embodiment except the base unit provides insulated chambers for receiving the hot ends of the styling implements so as to retard cooling thereof when positioned in the insulated chambers, and a power cord is provided to connect the base station to a handle (or cool tip end) of a styling implement to power the heating element thereof.

Third Embodiment

This hair styling implement system is similar to the second embodiment except the styling implements include rechargeable batteries in their handles and the base unit provides electrical contacts in its cavities to recharge the rechargeable batteries of the styling implements when positioned in its cavities. The heater elements in the styling implements will be heated when positioned in the cavities. The holster includes electrical contacts in its slots to recharge the rechargeable batteries of the styling implements when positioned therein. No power cords are provided to connect the base station or the holster to any of the styling implements.

Fourth Embodiment

This hair styling implement system is similar to the third embodiment except the styling implements include a hot end and a handle (or cool tip end), with the handle being detachable from the hot end by a snap-lock engagement mechanism.

Further features and advantages of the inventive hair styling system will become more apparent by reference to the attached drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a base station according to this invention with a curling iron and battery pack mounted therein;

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of a holster unit according to this invention with a curling iron and battery pack mounted therein,

FIGS. 3 and 4 respectively show a perspective view and cross-section of a base station according to a modified embodiment,

FIG. 5 shows a cross-section through another embodiment of base station, and

FIG. 6 shows a circuit diagram for the base station of FIG. 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A base station 10 and hair styling implement 15 according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention are shown in FIG. 1. The docking station provides a cavity 11 for the hair styling implement, a docking station 12 for a rechargeable battery pack 20, and a power cord 13 for connection to a mains power supply. The heatable surface (barrel) of the hair styling implement (curling iron) is heated to temperature when located in cavity 11 by flow of current from the base station. The rechargeable battery pack 20 is recharged when positioned in the docking station 12.

FIG. 2 shows a holster unit 30 according to a preferred embodiment of the invention. This unit includes a belt 31 for mounting around the waist of a stylist, the belt defining a first pouch 32 for an insulated tube 33 and a second pouch 34 for a battery pack 20. The hair styling implement 15 can be mounted in the insulated tube 33 and connected to the battery pack 20 by a relatively short coiled cord 35, which can be easily connected and disconnected at its opposite ends from the implement 15 and the battery pack 20. The electrical power from the battery pack 20 will maintain the heatable surface of the implement to temperature until the battery pack 20 becomes discharged, at which time it is replaced by another battery pack which in the meantime has been charged in the base station 10 or some other dedicated battery pack charger (not shown).

FIGS. 3 and 4 depict a modified embodiment of the invention wherein a short coiled cord 40 connects the hair styling implement 15a to the base station 10a so that the heatable surface of the hair styling implement is heated by its internal resistance heating unit when located in the insulated cavity 13a of the base station.

FIG. 5 shows a cross-section of another embodiment of base station 10b which includes a plug 14 at the bottom of cavity 13b for connection to a mating socket at the end of the barrel of the hair styling implement 15b for supplying electric current to the implement and for heating its heatable surface and recharging the rechargeable battery pack therein.

FIG. 6 shows a circuit diagram for the base station and the implement.

Although the invention has been shown and described in detail, modifications can be made and still fall within the scope of the appended claims. For example, the holster unit and hair styling implement can be used together without the base station, provided suitable battery packs are available to mount in the holster unit.