Title:
Removable and Resuable Hair Extension
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is a hair extension device that can be easily applied to a wearer's hair, wherein the device comprises artificial hair strands secured together in sheets to a sturdy yet flexible weft, said weft being supplied with means for removably securing the weft to the natural hair of the wearer. The hair extension device of the invention further includes a specialized layering of multiple sheets of hair strands, to produce a natural-looking hairstyle.



Inventors:
Poole, Sonia Dimaria (Scottsdale, AZ, US)
Application Number:
11/629919
Publication Date:
10/23/2008
Filing Date:
06/20/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41G5/00
View Patent Images:
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20020129828Hair clipSeptember, 2002Ott
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20040182413Cosmetics productSeptember, 2004De Laforcade



Primary Examiner:
STEITZ, RACHEL RUNNING
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FENNEMORE CRAIG (PHOENIX, AZ, US)
Claims:
1. 1-17. (canceled)

18. A hair extension device comprising: a substantially planar weft having a top margin, a bottom margin, two side margins, a front face and a back face; means for attaching said weft to a wearer's natural hair, said means for attaching secured to the front face of the weft and below the top margin of the weft; at least two sheets of artificial hair strands attached to the back face of the weft; wherein a first sheet of artificial hair strands is attached to the back face of the weft proximal to the top margin of the weft, and a second sheet of artificial hair strands is attached to the back face of the weft between the first sheet of artificial hair strands and the bottom margin of the weft.

19. The device of claim 18 wherein the sheets of artificial hair strands are formed of artificial hair strands attached to a support member along the length of the support member.

20. The device of claim 18 wherein the means for attaching the weft is aligned in a substantially linear fashion with the top margin of the weft.

21. The device of claim 19 wherein the weft is flexible and has a width sufficient to attach said device to the back of the wearer's head in a substantially ear to ear position.

22. The device of claim 18 wherein the bottom margin of the weft is shorter in length than the top margin of the weft.

23. The device of claim 18 wherein the weft further comprises binding material at the top, bottom and side margins on the front face and the back face of the weft.

24. The device of claim 18 comprising at least three sheets of artificial hair strands attached to the back face of the weft.

25. The device of claim 24 comprising: a first sheet attached proximal to the top margin of the back face of the weft, a third sheet attached proximal to the bottom margin of the back face of the weft, and a second sheet attached between the first and third sheets and closer to the first sheet than the third sheet.

26. The device of claim 24 comprising: a first sheet attached proximal to the top margin of the back face of the weft, a third sheet attached proximal to the bottom margin of the back face of the weft, and a second sheet attached between the first and third sheets and closer to the third sheet than the first sheet.

27. The device of claim 24 comprising at least five sheets of artificial hair strands attached to the back face of the weft, wherein the first sheet is attached proximal to the top margin of the back face of the weft, the fifth sheet is attached proximal to the bottom margin of the back face of the weft, the second sheet is attached between the first sheet and the fifth sheet, the third sheet is attached between the second sheet and the fifth sheet, and the fourth sheet is attached between the third sheet and fifth sheet.

28. The device of claim 24 wherein the sheets of artificial hair strands are spaced substantially equidistantly from one another.

29. The device of claim 18 wherein the sheets of artificial hair strands are spaced at varying intervals from one another.

30. The device of claim 18, wherein the artificial hair strands are selected from the group consisting of synthetic hair, natural hair, and combinations of synthetic and natural hair.

31. The device of claim 30, wherein the artificial hair strands have been treated by one or more processes selected from the group consisting of chemical treatment, mechanical treatment and thermal treatment.

32. The device of claim 18, wherein the end of the first sheet that is distal to where the first sheet is attached to the weft extends past the corresponding end of the second sheet.

33. The device of claim 18, wherein the end of the second sheet that is distal to where the second sheet is attached to the weft extends past the corresponding end of the first sheet.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION DATA

This application is based on and claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/581,060 filed on Jun. 18, 2004, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by this reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

Hair extensions are used to increase the length and/or volume and fullness of a person's natural hair. Hair extensions may also be used to add different colors to one's hair. Further, hair extensions may be use to change the texture of a person's hair, such as by making a person's hair appear wavy even though the person's natural hair is straight.

In the past, extensions have involved permanently or semi-permanently attaching artificial hair made from either synthetic hair, or from natural hair, such as human or animal hair, to a person's existing hair. Such attachment has been accomplished by various means, including bonding (such as using heat and/or chemicals) or sewing (such as by braiding one's natural hair, and then sewing foreign hair onto the braid) either synthetic or natural hair strands onto a person's natural hair. Typically these types of prior art extensions are permanent or semi-permanent, and the process is quite costly and time consuming.

2. Description of the Prior Art

One of the drawbacks to the above-described prior art permanent and semi-permanent hair extension methods is that they are damaging to the wearer's natural hair, due to the chemicals, pressure, heat and/or mechanical handling used to fuse the artificial hair to the person's natural hair. This may result in a wearer's own natural hair becoming unattractive and easily breakable. In addition, also damaging is the process of removing the extensions from time to time in order to replace the artificial hair, which may be needed or desirable to maintain the look or change the look of the wearer's hairstyle.

A further drawback to the prior art is that these methods by their very nature take a significant amount of time to apply the extensions, and require professional hairstylists trained and skilled in the art and technology of hair extensions in order to accomplish the permanent and semi-permanent methods. This translates into high expense for a person to obtain extensions and sometimes also to have them removed. Further, there are costs associated with maintaining the extensions. One must also treat extended hair carefully, as it is more susceptible to drying and breakage than hair that has not been extended.

In an effort to avoid some of the drawbacks of the prior art, temporary hair extensions are growing in popularity. Temporary hair extensions have the advantage that they may comparatively easily be attached to and removed from a wearer's natural hair. In addition, temporary hair extensions are much less likely to damage a wearer's natural hair during use and removal. Temporary hair extensions are intended to more convenient, because they usually do not require a trained hairstyling or hair extension professional to apply them.

Temporary hair extensions of the prior art tend to consist of relatively small sections of artificial hair, in part because it is difficult to very securely attach a temporary extension due to the weight of the large pieces of artificial hair, which tends to cause the clip or other means for securing the hair extension to not hold adequately to the wearer's natural hair. Thus, a relatively lightweight temporary hair extension is less likely to be inadvertently released from the wearer's hair due to the effects of gravity and the movement of the wearer's body and head.

Using only small sections of hair means that a person wanting to extend his or her hair must attach numerous sections. This is a process than takes a long period of time. Moreover, for hairstyles requiring a natural look wherein the extensions are evenly distributed, it is difficult for a person self-attaching the extensions to evenly distribute the extensions. In addition, to achieve a multi-layered look, prior art temporary hair extensions need to be attached to the wearer's natural hair in several individual layers. Thus, oftentimes a wearer will need to employ a skilled hairdresser to attach even temporary extensions, thereby raising the cost.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

One object of the extensions of the present invention is to provide a hair extension device which may be easily placed onto and secured to a wearer's existing natural hair, in a relatively quick and easy manner. The extensions of the present invention may be placed on and removed from the wearer's head without damaging the wearer's natural hair. There are no chemicals or heat required to attach the extensions to the hair.

The wearer can easily apply the hair extension device to the wearer's own hair, with little effort and in a minimal amount of time.

A further object of the invention is to provide a hair extension device which, when secured to a wearer's hair, stays in place until it is intentionally removed.

Yet another object is to provide a hair piece that may be easily removed by the wearer.

Further, the extensions of the present invention permit one to enhance a wearer's natural hair with artificial hair, by placing a single extension device into the wearer's hair, but making possible the creation of multi-layered hairstyles.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a hair extension device that can be quickly and easily placed and secured onto a wearer's head, and removed when the wearer desires, without requiring the services of another person.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a hair extension device that can be easily applied to a wearer's hair, wherein the device comprises artificial hair strands secured together in sheets to a sturdy yet flexible weft, said weft being supplied with means for removably securing the weft to the natural hair of the wearer. The hair extension device of the invention further includes a specialized layering of multiple sheets of hair strands, to produce a natural-looking hairstyle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of the specification, illustrate the presently preferred methods and embodiments of the invention. Together with the general description given above and the detailed description of the preferred methods and embodiments given below, they serve to explain the principles of the invention.

FIG. 1 is an illustration of a hair extension device according to the invention in use on the head of a wearer.

FIG. 2 is a front view of the hair extension device.

FIG. 3 is a back view of the hair extension device.

FIG. 4 is a front view of the hair extension device, and a close up to show details thereof, illustrating a weft comprised of lace.

FIG. 5 front perspective view of a portion of one embodiment of the hair piece showing the placement of the sheets of hair on the back of the weft relative to one another.

FIG. 6 is a front perspective view of a portion of another embodiment of the hair piece showing the placement of the sheets of hair on the back of the weft relative to one another.

FIG. 7 is a front view of a portion of the hair extension device, illustrating certain details of the device.

FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 are back views of embodiments of the hair extension device.

FIG. 11 illustrates a method for forming the sheets of artificial hair used in the invention.

DRAWING REFERENCE NUMBERS

    • 10 Hair extension device
    • 12 Natural hair
    • 14 Artificial hair strands
    • 16 Proximal end of hair strands
    • 18 Distal end of hair strands
    • 20 Support for artificial hair strands
    • 22 Means for securing artificial hair strands to support for artificial hair strands
    • 24 Sheet of artificial hair strands
    • 26 Inner sheet of artificial hair strands
    • 28 Outer sheet of artificial hair strands
    • 30 Weft
    • 31 Front face of weft
    • 33 Back face of weft
    • 32 Binding of weft
    • 34 Top margin of weft
    • 36 Bottom margin of weft
    • 38 Side margin of weft
    • 40 Means for attaching hair extension device to natural hair
    • 42. Miniclip comb

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The term “artificial hair” is used herein to describe any hair used in the device of the invention, other than the wearer's hair which grows from the wearer's scalp. The term “natural hair” as used herein denotes the wearer's hair that grows from the wearer's head, without regard to whether or not that hair has been chemically, mechanically and/or thermally treated. The artificial hair used in the device of this invention may be synthetic fibers, or may be human or animal hair in its natural state, e.g. not chemically processed with bleaching, coloring, waving, straightening or other agents. Alternatively, the artificial hair may have been treated to change its color and/or texture (wavy, straight) prior to attaching it to the hair extension device. Due to the high cost of human hair, and the increasing quality of synthetic hair, as well as the much lower cost for synthetic hair, the use of synthetic hair is preferred.

The extensions of the present invention are less costly, both in terms of materials and services of a hairstylist, as compared with the permanent and semi-permanent extension methods.

The hair extension device of the invention is comprised of three main components, as follows: a first portion, called a weft 30, a second portion comprising sheets 24 of artificial hair strands 14, and a third portion comprising means 40 for attaching the weft to the wearer's natural hair.

The weft 30 is the portion to which the artificial hair strands or fibers 14 (synthetic or of human or animal origin) are attached. The weft 30 must be of sufficient width that the artificial hair strands 14 can be sewn, glued or otherwise secured thereto to the weft.

The weft 30 has a top margin 34, a bottom margin 36, and two side margins 38. The weft 30 has a front face 31, to which the means 40 for securing the device to the wearer's hair are attached. The weft 30 also has a back face 33, to which sheets 24 of artificial hair strands 14 are attached.

The weft 30 can be of any width, but is preferably of sufficient width to span the back of the wearer's head, in a distance equal approximately to the distance from one of the wearer's ear to the wearer's other ear, along a plane substantially parallel to the ground (assuming that the wearer is standing or sitting straight up). As described in more detail below, the wearer uses the device by placing the weft 30 against the wearer's head where the top and bottom margins of the weft 34, 36 are at a position substantially parallel to the ground (assuming that the wearer is standing or sitting straight up while the device is being applied to the wearer's natural hair 12). The hair extension device 10 can be placed at ear level, below ear level, or more preferably, above ear level. A device 10 having a width which substantially traverses the distance between the average person's ears on the back of the person's head provides the unexpected advantage of ease of application of a full-looking hair extension with minimal effort.

The sheets 24 of artificial hair strands 14 are obtained by laying the strands 14 over a support means 22 at about the half-way point in the length of each strand 14, and securing the strands 14 to the support means 22.

Alternatively, the sheets 24 of artificial hair strands 14 can be obtained by sewing, fusing or using other means to secure the hair strands 14 together at one end sufficiently long enough to permit the sheets 24 so produced to be permanently secured to the weft 30.

The weft 30 may be made of any suitable, flexible, strong material. The material should be somewhat flexible, so that the hair extension device 10 can bend to the curvature of the wearer's head. It is desirable that the weft 30 be of a material that is durable and does not change shape other than to bend as heretofore described. The weft 30 may be made of a piece of lace fabric or webbing. Optionally, the weft 30 is provided with binding material on its margins. The binding 32 material on the edges may be used for aesthetic purposes, such as to improve the attractiveness of the weft, or for functional reasons, or for a combination of aesthetic and functional. For example, the binding 32 material on the edges may also be used to keep intact and/or soften the raw edges of the fabric or webbing comprising the weft 30.

In a preferred embodiment of the hair extension device 10 of the invention, the inner sheet 26 of artificial hair strands 24 is of a shorter overall length than the other sheet or sheets 24 of artificial hair strands 14. In a still more preferred embodiment, the inner sheet 26 is about half the length of the other sheet or sheets. The term “length of sheet” or “length of sheets”, means the distance from the top margin 34 of the weft 30 to the distal ends of the hair strands 18.

To produce a hair extension 10 having the appearance of a blunt cut hairstyle, the hair extension should be made using sheets 24 wherein the distal ends of the hair strands 18 in all sheets 24 meet at the same distance from the top margin of the weft 34.

To produce a hair extension 10 having the appearance of a layered hairstyle, the hair extension should be made using sheets 24 wherein the distal ends of the hair strands 18 in each sheet 24 are of differing lengths relative to the other sheet or sheets, when measured from the top margin of the weft 34.

In one embodiment of the hair extension device of the invention, the sheets of hair at the top margin of the weft are arranged closely together, and the remaining sheets are spaced apart. For example, the following illustrates an embodiment comprising three sheets 24 of artificial hair strands 14. There is a first artificial hair sheet 24 attached proximal to the top margin 34 of the weft 30, and a third artificial hair sheet 24 attached proximal to the bottom margin 36 of the weft 30, wherein the second sheet 24 is attached between the first and third sheets, but is spaced closer to the first sheet 24 than to the third sheet 24. Other embodiments may use a greater number of sheets 24.

For example, the following illustrates an embodiment comprising five sheets 24 of artificial hair strands 14. The first sheet 24 is attached proximal to the upper margin of the weft 30 and the second sheet and third sheet are attached below and proximal to the first sheet, and the fifth sheet is attached proximal to the bottom margin of the weft and the fourth sheet is attached between the third sheet and fifth sheet. In yet another embodiment, the sheets of hair at the bottom margin of the weft are arranged more closely together than the remaining sheets are spaced from one another.

In one embodiment, the weft 30, beginning from the top 34 margin down to the bottom margin 36, is divided into four equally sized quarters, the first quarter being from the top margin 34 and comprising at least two sheets 24 of hair, that are attached proximal to the top margin 34 of the weft; the second and third quarters of the weft 30 optionally comprising at least one sheet 24 of hair; and the bottom quarter of the weft 30 comprising at least one sheet 24 of hair proximal to the bottom margin 36.

The sheets of artificial hair strands 24 can be comprised of relatively straight artificial hair strands 14, thereby providing the wearer with a hairstyle that is straight and sleek. Alternatively, the sheets of artificial hair strands 24 can be comprised of relatively wavy or curly hair strands, thereby providing the wearer with a hairstyle that is wavy and/or bouncy. Yet another alternative is to produce a single hair extension incorporating sheets of artificial hair strands 24 of different textures (i.e., straight and wavy or curly artificial hair strands 14) to produce a desired hairstyle.

In a specific embodiment, the weft 30 is made of nylon lace to which the artificial hair strands are sewn via stitches transversing the length of the weft 30. Other means for attaching the artificial hair may be used, such as gluing, hot melt adhesive, stapling, tacking, etc.

The weft 30 must also be suitable for attaching a means 40 for attaching the hair extension device 10 to the wearer's natural hair 12.

Regarding means 40 for attaching the weft 30 (and the device 10) to the wearer's natural hair 12, any number of mechanisms may be employed, provided that the mechanism reliably secures the weft 30 to the wearer's natural hair 12. Preferably, the means 40 comprises a flexible mini-clip comb which has small comb-like rounded projections which are slid onto the wearer's natural hair 12 while the mini-clip comb is flexed in the open position. Once the projections are in contact with the hair, the mini-clip combs are flexed into closed position, thereby clamping the mini-clip combs onto the natural hair 12 and securing the hair extension device in place.

The mini-clip comb 42 preferably is comprised of a flexible material such as metal.

The device is used by the wearer by temporarily securing, such as by hair clip or bobby pin, in an upright position a swath of hair to form a substantially horizontal part in the wearer's natural hair 12, thereby exposing a section of the wearer's natural hair 12 underneath. Next, the hair extension device 10 is aligned proximate to the horizontal part in the natural hair 12 so formed, and then the device 10 is secured to the exposed section of natural hair. The wearer then contacts the natural underneath hair with the means 40 for attaching the hair extension device 10, and those means 40 secured. If a miniclip comb 42 style means 40 is used, then the wearer places the miniclip combs in their open position prior to contacting them with the natural hair. Once the device 10 is positioned to the wearer's liking, using the comb or tines portions of the miniclip combs 42 to temporarily maintain the device 10 in the desired position, the wearer will then bend the miniclip comb 42 so that it clamps down on the hair, achieving the closed position. In the closed position the wearer's hair is sandwiched between the two portions of the miniclip comb 42. Thereafter, the temporarily secured swath of hair is released and laid on top of the device 10.





 
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