Title:
METHOD AND DEVICE FOR PROTECTION FROM A HAIR DRYER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A protective device can protect a person positioned under a dryer. The device has a back and a front panel. The back panel has a strap adapted to secure the back panel to the person's head. The back panel is secured across the person's nape to project away. The front panel is adapted to attach to the back panel and cover its strap at least partially The front panel is secured across the person's forehead to project away. A person fitted with these panels can stay under a hair dryer with a reduced risk of overheating of the face or neck.



Inventors:
Bratton, Nikisha (Newark, NJ, US)
Application Number:
12/014159
Publication Date:
07/17/2008
Filing Date:
01/15/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/209
International Classes:
A45D44/12; A42B1/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE LAW OFFICES OF THOMAS L. ADAMS (LIVINGSTON, NJ, US)
Claims:
1. A method employing a front panel and a back panel for protecting a person under a dryer, the method comprising the steps, performed in any order, of: securing said back panel across the person's nape to project away; securing said front panel across the person's forehead to project away; and positioning the person under said dryer.

2. A method according to claim 1 wherein the step of securing said front panel is performed to have it extends anteriorly away from the person's line of sight.

3. A method according to claim 2 wherein the steps of securing said back and said front panel are performed to keep a distal portion of said front panel higher than the person's scalp, said front panel extending at an angle different from that of said back panel.

4. A method according to claim 1 wherein the step of securing said front panel is performed to have said front panel extend in front at a first acute angle to the person's forehead, the step of securing said back panel being performed to have said back panel extend in back at a second acute angle to the person's jaw line.

5. A method according to claim 1 wherein the steps of securing said front and said back panel are performed to have them extend divergently to allow heated air from said dryer to be directed convergingly by said front and said back panel.

6. A method according to claim 1 wherein the step of securing said front and said back panel is performed to have said front panel extend in front and said back panel extend in back at approximately a right angle relative to each other.

7. A method according to claim 1 wherein the step of securing said back panel is performed before the step of securing said front panel.

8. A method according to claim 1 wherein the steps of securing said front and said back panel are performed by strapping them in place.

9. A method according to claim 8 wherein the step of securing said back panel is performed by placing a strap across the person's forehead.

10. A method according to claim 9 wherein the step of securing said front panel is performed by attaching it to said back panel.

11. A method according to claim 10 wherein the steps of securing said back and said front panel are performed while keeping the person's hair from falling below said back and said front panel.

12. A method according to claim 1 wherein the step of securing said front panel is performed by attaching it to said back panel.

13. A method according to claim 1 wherein said dryer and said front and said back panel are oriented so that at least some of said front panel and some of said back panel extend beyond said dryer.

14. A method according to claim 1 wherein said back panel has a pair of ear flaps, the step of securing said back panel being performed by placing said ear flaps over the person's ears at least partially.

15. A protective device for protecting a person positioned under a dryer, comprising: a first panel having a strap adapted to secure the first panel to the person's head; and a second panel adapted to attach to said first panel and cover said strap at least partially.

16. A protective device according to claim 15 wherein said first and said second panel each have a comparable crescent shape.

17. A protective device according to claim 15 wherein said second panel is adapted to attach to said first panel and extend therefrom in a direction different from that of said first panel.

18. A protective device according to claim 17 wherein said second panel extends centrally and said first panel extends centrally at approximately a right angle relative to each other when attached together.

19. A protective device according to claim 17 wherein said first and said second panel each have a foam core with a cloth covering.

20. A protective device according to claim 15 wherein said second panel has at least one band adapted to overlay and attach to said first panel.

21. A protective device according to claim 15 wherein said second panel has an inside hook and loop type pad arranged to attach to said strap of said first panel.

22. A protective device according to claim 21 wherein said strap has hook and loop type material.

23. A protective device according to claim 15 wherein said first panel has a pair of ear flaps arranged to overlap the person's ears.

24. A protective device according to claim 15 wherein said first panel has along at least a portion of its periphery a prominent absorbent pad adapted to absorb drips from the person's hair.

25. A protective device for protecting a person positioned under a dryer, comprising: a first crescent-shaped panel having a strap having hook and loop material and adapted to secure the first panel to the person's head, said first panel having a pair of ear flaps arranged to overlap the person's ears, said first panel having along at least a portion of its periphery a prominent absorbent pad adapted to absorb drips from the person's hair; and a second crescent-shaped panel adapted to attach to said first panel and extend therefrom in a direction different from that of said first panel, said second panel extending centrally and said first panel extending centrally at approximately a right angle relative to each other, said second panel having at least one band adapted to overlay and attach to said first panel, said second panel having an inside hook and loop type pad arranged to attach to and at least partially cover said strap of said first panel, said first and said second panel each having a foam core with a cloth covering.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application, Ser. No. 60/880,713 filed 17 Jan. 2007, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to protective devices and methods, and in particular, to head gear to be worn while under a hair dryer.

2. Description of Related Art

Hair styling is an important and popular activity for the large number of people that are interested in their appearance and good grooming. In hair styling salons the patrons often have their hair shampooed and rinsed before hair styling and cutting begins. Also salons usually offer hair dyeing, which involves applying certain dyeing agents either over the entire head of hair or just along sections to create streaks or highlights. After the application of the hair dye, the hair must be rinsed to remove the dyeing agents. While the foregoing focused on commercial hair salons, it will be appreciated that the same techniques are often used by individual consumers who will regularly shampoo, dye and rinse their hair at home.

After the rinsing that follows a shampoo or an application of hair dye, the hair must be dried before further styling or at least before going outside. Handheld hair dryers can be used to dry the hair but these dryers must be relatively light and will therefore produce a relatively small and narrow stream of heated air. Because this air stream is so narrow the dryer must be passed repetitively over the hair to reach all wet regions. Since each region of the hair is being treated with heated air for a relatively small percentage of the drying interval, the heated air must be fairly hot to dry a full head of hair in a reasonable amount of time. The resulting periodic bursts of intense heat can be undesirable for certain types of hair, especially hair that has been treated chemically.

A milder kind of drying can be achieved with the helmet-type of hair dryer available for commercial salons and for home use. This type of dryer is freestanding and can be much larger because it is not handheld. These dryers produce a diffuse stream of heated air that blankets the entire scalp. Because a large area is being dried the temperature of the heated air can be less. In fact, the temperature can be reduced to produce a relatively long drying interval, which reduces the risk of hair damage.

A disadvantage with the helmet-type of hair dryer is that heated hair air can flow beyond the hair and across the forehead and ears for an extended period of time. This heated air can be uncomfortable and in some cases cause pain or excessive drying of the skin. Another disadvantage with this type of hair dryer is the inability to effectively direct heated air across long hair that falls along the nape of the neck. On the other hand, with short hairstyles the nape of the neck is exposed to heated air for an extended time period, which again tends to cause the discomfort previously noted.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the illustrative embodiments demonstrating features and advantages of the present invention, there is provided a method employing a front panel and a back panel for protecting a person under a dryer. The method includes the steps, performed in any order, of: (a) securing the back panel across the person's nape to project away; (b) securing the front panel across the person's forehead to project away; and (c) positioning the person under the dryer.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, there is provided a protective device for protecting a person positioned under a dryer. The device has a first panel and a second panel. The first panel has a strap adapted to secure the first panel to the person's head. The second panel is adapted to attach to the first panel and cover the strap at least partially.

In accordance with yet another aspect of the invention, there is provided a protective device for protecting a person positioned under a dryer. The device has a first and a second crescent-shaped panel. The first crescent-shaped panel has a strap with hook and loop material. The first panel is adapted to secure the first panel to the person's head. The first panel has a pair of ear flaps arranged to overlap the person's ears. The first panel has along at least a portion of its periphery a prominent absorbent pad adapted to absorb drips from the person's hair. The second crescent-shaped panel is adapted to attach to the first panel and extend therefrom in a direction different from that of the first panel. The second panel extends centrally and the first panel extending centrally at approximately a right angle relative to each other. The second panel has at least one band adapted to overlay and attach to the first panel. The second panel has an inside hook and loop type pad arranged to attach to and at least partially cover the strap of the first panel. The first and the second panel each have a foam core with a cloth covering.

By employing devices and methods of the foregoing type an improved technique is achieved for protecting a person under a hair dryer. In a disclosed embodiment a front and a back panel, both crescent-shaped, have a foam core covered with terry cloth. The concave edge of the back panel is positioned around the nape of the neck and is held in place with a strap running across the forehead. The central portion of the disclosed back panel extends rearwardly at an acute angle to the jaw line.

In this disclosed embodiment the back panel has a pair of earflaps projecting downwardly to cover the ears. Also, an absorbent pad placed along the concave edge of the disclosed a panel can catch drips from the hair.

The concave edge of the disclosed front panel is positioned around the forehead just over the eyebrows. A hook and loop type pad on the front panel attaches to the previously mentioned strap that runs across the forehead. Straps of the front panel also attach it to the back panel. The disclosed front panel is attached with its central portion projecting upwardly at an acute angle to the forehead.

Once the disclosed front and back panels are donned in this manner they diverge upwardly. Consequently the panels will converge heated air from a hair dryer placed over the head. This arrangement will prevent the discomfort of heated air running over the exposed skin of the face and neck. Also, the upwardly diverging panels provide a basket-like arrangement that can hold long tresses of hair up closer to the dryer so that all sections of the hair is dried at the same time.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above brief description as well as other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more fully appreciated by reference to the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments in accordance with the present invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of the outside of a front panel in accordance with principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the outside of a back panel adapted to cooperate with the front panel of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5A is a side view of a person wearing the back panel of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5B is a side view of a person wearing the panels of FIGS. 1 and 2; and

FIG. 5C is a side view of a person wearing the panels of FIGS. 1 and 2 and positioned under a hair dryer.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a protective device is shown comprising back (first) panel 20 of FIG. 2 and front (second) panel 10 of FIG. 1. Front panel 10 is generally crescent-shaped (i.e. a convex edge 10A opposite a concave edge 10B) with rounded tips 10C. It will be appreciated that other shapes may be employed in different embodiments.

Projecting laterally in opposite directions from tips 10C are an aligned pair of elastic straps 12A and 12B (also referred to as bands). The proximal ends of straps 12A and 12B are attached to the backside of panel 10 (the front side being visible in FIG. 1) by stitching, hot gluing, or other means. Straps 12A and 12B project beyond panel 10 about 5 inches (13 cm) although other lengths may be selected depending upon the head size, the stretchiness of the strap, etc.

Short strips of hook and loop fastening material 14A and 14B are fitted on the distal ends of straps 12A and 12B on their reverse sides (i.e. the sides not visible in FIG. 1). While other types of fasteners are contemplated (e.g. plastic snaps) it is highly desirable to avoid metal fasteners, which tend to quickly absorb dryer heat and can pose a risk of burning the person wearing the protective panel.

Decorative bead 11 is attached to the periphery of panel 10 by hot gluing, stitching, or other means. Panel 10 has an overall width (tip to tip direction) of 10.5 inches (27 cm) and an overall depth (transverse dimension from the peak of convex side 10A to tips 10C) of 7.5 inches (19 cm). Other embodiments may employ different overall dimensions depending upon the person's head size, the expected size of the hair dryer, the amount of protection desired, etc.

Hook and loop type pad 16 is attached to the backside of panel 10 by stitching, hot gluing, or other means. Pad 16 is in this embodiment 5.5 inches (14 cm) long and ¾ inch (2 cm) wide, although other dimensions may be employed in different embodiments.

The mates of hook and loop fasteners 14A, 14B, and 16 of FIG. 1 are located on back panel 20 of FIG. 2. In this embodiment back panel 20 has the same crescent shape as previously mentioned panel 10 of FIG. 1 and has convex edge 20A, concave edge 20B, and tips 20C. However, identical shapes are unnecessary and in different embodiments the shapes of the two panels may be simply comparable or may have very different individual shapes. Decorative bead 21 is attached to the periphery of panel 20 by hot gluing, stitching, or other means.

A laterally spaced pair of hook and loop strips 22A and 22B are mounted on the outward side of panel 20, which side is visible in FIG. 2. Rectangular strips 22A and 22B are designed to mate with hook and loop fasteners 14A and 14B of FIG. 1, in a manner to be described presently.

An elastic strap 24 projects from panel 20 transversely (i.e., transverse to the tip to tip direction) from the right one of the tips 20C. The proximal end of strap 24 is attached to the inner side of panel 10 (the outer side being visible in FIG. 2) by stitching, hot gluing, or other means. The same face of strap 24 that is attached to panel 20 is partially overlaid with a strip of hook and loop material 26 which extends along a central section of strap 24. Material 26 is designed to fasten to pad 16 of FIG. 1 in a manner to be described presently.

A short strip of hook and loop material 28 is attached to the distal end of strap 24 on the face opposite that occupied by material 26. Strip 28 is designed to fasten to strip 30 of hook and loop material 30 located near the right one of the tips 20C. In this embodiment strap 24 is about 9 inches (23 cm) long, although other lengths may be selected depending upon the head size, the position of the mating fastener, the stretchiness of the strap, etc.

Strip 26 is straight and about 5 inches (13 cm) long, although different lengths, shapes and orientations may be employed depending upon the position and geometry of its mating pad 16 of FIG. 1.

An optional pair of rectangular ear flaps 32 are attached to the inner side of panel 20 along the concave edge 20B of panel 20 next to different corresponding ones of the tips 20C. Flaps 32 are about 3 inches (7.6 cm) long and project from the panel 20 about one inch (2.5 cm), although other dimensions are expected depending upon the amount of ear protection desired.

Referring to FIG. 3, this cross-section of previously mentioned panel 20 shows a foam core 34 with a cloth covering 36. In this embodiment previously mentioned panel 10 (FIG. 1) has the same structure, that is, a core with a cloth covering. Covering 36 may be two panels of terry cloth that are stitched together along the periphery of core 34. Previously mentioned decorative bead 21 may be stitched as well along the periphery of covering 36, although this bead may instead be attached by hot gluing or other means.

Terry cloth is chosen for covering 36 for its absorbency, but other materials may be used instead. In fact, in some embodiments a liquid impermeable covering may be used to keep panel 20 relatively dry and to facilitate cleaning. In still other embodiments covering 36 may have composite layers, some absorbent and some impervious to liquids.

Core 34 may be a thin slab of polyurethane foam that is sufficiently dense and stiff to give panel 28 a definite erect shape and to prevent bending and drooping. In other embodiments core 34 may be made of a different material depending upon the desired stiffness, softness, thickness chemical resistance, etc.

Previously mentioned hook and loop fastener 22B is shown attached on the outer side of panel 20. On the opposite inner side of panel 20, next to the convex edge 20B, a prominent absorbent pad 38 is attached by stitching, heat gluing, or other means. Pad 38 is optional but in one embodiment the pad was made of a 4 inch (10 cm) long strip of terry cloth curved to follow the concave edge 20B.

Referring to FIG. 4, previously mentioned panel 20 is again shown with its core 34 and terry cloth covering 36. Previously mentioned ear flap 134 is shown attached along concave edge 20B. Ear flap 32 is shown with a foam core 134 and a cloth covering 136. Cloth covering 136 may be stitched around core 134. In this embodiment core 134 and covering 136 are made of the same materials as previously mentioned core 34 and covering 36.

To facilitate an understanding of the principles associated with the foregoing device, its operation will be briefly described. Referring to FIG. 5A, back panel 20 is positioned as shown with the center of the concave edge 20B placed at the nape of a person's neck, at or below the hairline so that the hair H is gathered above panel 20. The side of panel 20 bearing strip 22A faces away from hair H. The distal portions of edge 20B are routed upwardly to place the tips 20C at or just above the ears E. The ear flaps 32 are positioned to cover ears E at least on top.

Elastic strap 24 is pulled from left to right across the middle of forehead F and its hook and loop strip 28 is fastened to mating strip 30 located on the right tip 20C. Reference will later be made to line FL, which lies in a median (sagittal) plane and is tangent to the center of forehead F. When strapped in this manner, the central portion of panel 20 extends backwardly along line 20L, making an acute angle with the jawline J. In this embodiment line 20L is elevated slightly above jaw line J

Referring to FIG. 5B, front panel 10 is positioned with the center of its concave edge 10B running across forehead F above the line of sight LS. When so positioned, hook and loop strip 16 on the inside of panel 10 will fasten to the previously mentioned strip 26 on strap 24. Tips 10C of front panel 10 are pulled back to cover at least partially tips 20C of back panel 20. Right band 12A is pulled back and around panel 20 before its hook and loop strip 14A is fastened over strip 22A. At the same time left band 12B (not visible in this view) is pulled back and fastened to previously mentioned strip 22B.

As a result, the central portion of panel 10 extends along line 10L, traveling toward the anterior region and making an acute angle with previously mentioned forehead line FL. Also, the distal portion 10P of panel 10 is elevated above the scalp. In this embodiment, front panel 10 extends in front along line 10L and back panel 20 extends in back along line 20L at approximately a right angle A relative to each other.

With this arrangement panels 10 and 20 form a funnel-like structure that extends away divergently. Essentially all the person's hair falls within the region encompassed by the panels 10 and 20, so the hair is basically lifted and held above the panels. Thus, even long hair will be lifted for effective drying, rather than falling down along the person's nape.

It will be understood that hair H has just undergone shampooing or dyeing followed by a rinse and towel drying. Panels 10 and 20 are able to absorb at least some of the remaining rinse water later shed from hair H because the panels are covered with terry cloth. Also, along the inside edge of panel 20 absorbent strip 38 (FIG. 3) is able to absorb water or other liquids that may drip from hair H when wet.

Referring to FIG. 5C, a helmet-type hair dryer D is placed over the head of the person illustrated in FIG. 5B as wearing panels 10 and 20. In this embodiment panels 10 and 20 are shown extending beyond the front and back of dryer D, although in other embodiments dryer D may extend further than the panels. Since panels 10 and 20 have a diverging structure, they are able to converge heated air from dryer D onto hair H.

The heated air being applied to hair H is diverted from the person's face by panel 10 and from the person's neck by panel 20. Because the ears E are prominent, flaps 32 cover them on top and tend to divert heated air away from them.

When the hair H is dry the dryer D can be lifted. The front panel 10 is removed by releasing straps 12A and 12B. Panel 20 is removed by releasing strap 24. If the panels 10 and 20 are soiled they can be washed by hand or machine.

It is appreciated that various modifications may be implemented with respect to the above described embodiments. The dimensions, shape, and materials of the foregoing panels can be different in different embodiments depending upon the desired durability, expected head size, resistance to heat and chemicals, etc. As an example, in some cases the panels will themselves be elastic. In some cases the panels will be disposable and will be made of relatively inexpensive materials. While elastic straps are illustrated, in other embodiments cords, plastic chains or other elongate fastening materials may be used instead. In some cases the elongate fastening materials will be non-elastic or will be eliminated. In some embodiments fastening may be accomplished with plastic snaps, plastic hooks and eyelets, or other fastening means. The various angles described above can be different in different embodiments, depending upon the desired coverage, protection, convergence, etc.

Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.