Title:
Hair Roller
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hair roller (300) comprising a pair of opposed end members (344, 354) defining there-between a longitudinally extending hair receiving portion, and a pair of opposed hair engagement members (342, 352), wherein the hair engagement members are movable relative to each other, and each hair engagement member comprises a plurality of hair engagement protrusions (356) for engagement with hair received at the hair receiving portion so as to act against movement of the hair relative to the hair receiving portion, —the hair engagement members are movable relative to the end members and are arranged such that, upon movement of the hair engagement members relative to each other, the extent of protrusion of the hair engagement protrusions into the hair receiving portion is adjustable.



Inventors:
Chan, Wing Kin (Hong Kong, CN)
Application Number:
12/096345
Publication Date:
12/25/2008
Filing Date:
12/12/2006
Assignee:
DICKSON INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD. (Kowloon, CN)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
132/245
International Classes:
A45D2/12
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
STEITZ, RACHEL RUNNING
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BUCHANAN, INGERSOLL & ROONEY PC (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A hair roller comprising: a pair of opposed end members defining there-between a longitudinally extending hair receiving portion, and a pair of opposed hair engagement members, wherein said hair engagement members are movable relative to each other, and each said hair engagement member comprises a plurality of hair engagement protrusions for engagement with hair received at said hair receiving portion so as to act against movement of said hair relative to said hair receiving portion; characterised in that said hair engagement members are movable relative to the end members and are arranged such that, upon movement of said hair engagement members relative to each other, the extent of protrusion of said hair engagement protrusions into said hair receiving portion is adjustable.

2. A hair roller according to claim 1, wherein said pair of end members is disposed intermediate said pair of hair engagement members, and wherein the separation between said pair of hair engagement members is adjustable relative to the separation between said pair of end members.

3. A hair roller according to claim 2, wherein said engagement members are movable relative to each other along the longitudinal direction.

4. A hair roller according to claim 1, wherein said end members are movable relative to each other in the longitudinal direction.

5. A hair roller according to claim 1, wherein said end members and said hair engagement members are movable along a common longitudinal axis.

6. A hair roller according to claim 1, wherein said pair of end members is telescopically extendable and retractable.

7. A hair roller according to claim 1, wherein the length of said hair receiving portion is adjustable by effecting movement of said end members relative to each other.

8. A hair roller according to claim 1, wherein said end members define the radial extent of said hair receiving portion.

9. A hair roller according to claim 1, wherein the opposed surfaces of said end members are thermally conductive.

10. A hair roller according to claim 1, wherein said end members and said hair receiving portion are arranged so that hair is clamped between said pair of end members during use.

11. A hair roller according to claim 1, wherein said end members are interconnected by a hair curling body, said hair curling body defining the lower radial limit of said hair receiving portion.

12. A hair roller according to claim 11, wherein said hair curling body is of tubular form.

13. A hair roller according to claim 11, wherein said hair engagement protrusions are distributed on said hair engagement member and surrounding said hair curling body.

14. A hair roller according to claim 11, wherein said hair engagement protrusions are circumferentially distributed on said hair engagement member about the longitudinal axis and surrounding said hair curling body.

15. A hair roller according to claim 1, wherein said hair engagement protrusions are longitudinally extending.

16. A hair roller according to claim 1, wherein the hair engagement protrusions on one hair engagement member extend axially towards the opposite hair engagement member.

17. A hair roller according to claim 1, wherein a plurality of apertures is distributed on said end member, and said apertures are distributed at locations corresponding to the hair engagement protrusions of an adjacent hair engagement member so that the hair engagement protrusions are extendable and retractable relative to the end members through said apertures.

18. A hair roller according to claim 1, wherein said hair engagement members and the hair engagement protrusions thereon are integrally moulded from plastics.

19. A hair roller according to claim 1, wherein said end members are movable relative to each other between a hair clamping position and a hair release position.

20. A hair roller according to claim 1, further comprising a releasable locking means for locking the end members in a clamping position and for releasing said end members to return to the hair releasing position.

21. A hair roller according to claim 20, wherein said locking means comprises a ratchet mechanism for locking the movable end member in position.

22. A hair roller according to claim 21, wherein said ratchet mechanism comprises an assembly of serrated teeth and a pivotable pawl member for engagement with the serrated teeth, the pawl member comprising a resilient engagement means for engagement with the serrated teeth under spring bias when in the locking position.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to hair rollers and, more particularly, to hair rollers with a pair of movable clamping members.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A typical hair roller comprises a cylindrical roller body with a hair curling surface configured for curling hair by heated contact. In use, a hair roller is heated first and then tresses of hair are wrapped around the roller body to form curls through heat conduction. In another type of hair rollers, tresses of hair are first wrapped on a roller and heat is then applied to the hair to be curled through heating of the roller body by inserting a heated rod into an axial aperture of the hair roller.

Hair curling using conventional hair rollers is essentially by application of heat and tension to the hair being curled. The curling tension applied to the hair is largely obtained by subjecting the hair being curled to conform tightly to the curvature of the roller body.

In a known type of hair rollers, a pair of opposed end members are disposed at the longitudinal ends of a hair roller. The opposed end members operate as hair clamps which operate to compress the hair received on the roller along the longitudinal direction so that the resulting curls thus formed are more densely packed and therefore more robust. To prevent or mitigate relative rotation between hair and the roller, hair engagement means are provided on the end members. The hair engagement means are usually integrally moulded on the end member and extend longitudinally there-from with a length sufficient to penetrate into the hair being retained on the roller so as to provide anchorage to prevent adverse relative rotation between the hair and the roller.

Examples of hair rollers with such hair engagement means are described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,105,503, U.S. Pat. No. 3,209,766, & WO 03/000086. Disadvantages of known hair rollers of the aforementioned type include the difficulty in removing hair from the roller without damaging or deforming the curls due to engagement between the hair and the hair engagement means, especially after the curls are more densely packed by the end clamping members.

Hence, it will be desirable if there can be provided a novel hair roller which mitigates shortcomings of conventional hair rollers or provide the public with a useful choice of hair rollers.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the present invention, there is provided a hair roller comprising:—

    • a pair of opposed end members defining there-between a longitudinally extending hair receiving portion, and
    • a pair of opposed hair engagement members, wherein said hair engagement members are movable relative to each other, and each said hair engagement member comprises a plurality of hair engagement protrusions for engagement with hair received at said hair receiving portion so as to act against movement of said hair relative to said hair receiving portion; wherein said hair engagement members are movable relative to the end members and are arranged such that, upon movement of said hair engagement members relative to each other, the extent of protrusion of said hair engagement protrusions into said hair receiving portion is adjustable characterised in that said end members are movable relative to each other in the longitudinal direction.

The pair of end members may be disposed intermediate said pair of hair engagement members, and the separation between said pair of hair engagement members may be adjustable relative to the separation between said pair of end members.

The engagement members may be movable relative to each other along the longitudinal direction. between a hair anchoring position and a hair releasing position.

The end members may be movable relative to each other in the longitudinal direction between a hair clamping position and hair releasing position.

The end members and said hair engagement members may be movable along a common longitudinal axis.

The pair of end members may be telescopically extendable and retractable.

In a preferred embodiment, the length of said hair receiving portion is adjustable by effecting movement of said end members relative to each other.

The said end members may define the radial extent of said hair receiving portion.

The opposed surfaces of said end members may be thermally conductive.

The end members and said hair receiving portion are arranged so that hair is clamped between said pair of end members during use.

The end members are interconnected by a hair curling body, said hair curling body defining the lower radial limit of said hair receiving portion.

The hair curling body may be in a tubular form.

The hair engagement protrusions may be distributed on said hair engagement member and surrounding said hair curling body.

The hair engagement protrusions may be annularly distributed on said hair engagement member about the longitudinal axis and surrounding said hair curling body.

The hair engagement protrusions may be longitudinally extending.

The hair engagement protrusions on one hair engagement member may extend axially towards the opposite hair engagement member.

A plurality of apertures may be distributed on said end member, and said apertures may be distributed at locations corresponding to the hair engagement protrusions of an adjacent hair engagement member so that the hair engagement protrusions are extendable and retractable relative to the end members through said apertures.

The hair engagement members and the hair engagement protrusions thereon may be integrally moulded from plastics or other polymeric materials.

The end members may be movable relative to each other between a hair clamping position and a hair release position.

The roller may further comprise a releasable locking means for locking the end members in a clamping position and for releasing said end members to return to the hair releasing position.

The locking means may comprise a ratchet mechanism for locking the movable end member in position.

The ratchet mechanism may comprise an assembly of serrated teeth and a pivotable pawl member for engagement with the serrated teeth, the pawl member comprising a resilient engagement means for engagement with the serrated teeth under spring bias when in the locking position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Preferred embodiments of the present invention will be explained in further detail below by way of examples and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:—

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a hair roller illustrating a second preferred embodiment of this invention,

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a hair roller of FIG. 1 in a locking position,

FIG. 3 is a side view of the hair roller of FIG. 2,

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the hair roller of FIG. 2,

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of FIG. 4,

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the roller of FIG. 5 but in a fully extended position,

FIG. 7 is an exploded view of the hair roller of FIG. 1,

FIG. 8A shows a side view of a hair roller of a first preferred embodiment of this invention in a fully extended configuration,

FIG. 8B is a perspective view of the roller of FIG. 8A,

FIG. 8C is a longitudinal cross-section of the hair roller of FIG. 8A along section line A-A of FIG. 8D,

FIG. 8D is a view from the left end of FIG. 8A,

FIG. 8E is a cross-sectional view of the roller of FIG. 8C along line B-B,

FIG. 8F is a cross-sectional view of the roller of FIG. 8C along line CC,

FIG. 9A is a side view of the roller of FIG. 8A with the end metal plates fully retracted towards each other,

FIG. 9B is a perspective view of the roller of FIG. 9A,

FIG. 9C is a longitudinal cross-section of the hair roller of FIG. 9A along section line A-A of FIG. 8D,

FIG. 10A is a perspective view of the roller of FIG. 9A with the end plastic plates fully retracted towards each other,

FIG. 10B is a longitudinal cross-section of the hair roller of FIG. 10A along section line A-A of FIG. 8D, and

FIG. 11 is an exploded view of the hair roller of FIGS. 8A-10B.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to the first embodiment of the hair roller depicted in FIGS. 8A to 11, the hair roller 300 comprises a pair of end members 344, 354, a pair of hair engagement members 342, 352, and a roller body 310, 320 interconnecting the end members. The roller body is configured as a hair curling body which comprises a first tubular portion 310 and a second tubular portion 320. The first tubular portion 310 is telescopically extendable from the second tubular portion 320 along a longitudinal direction 330. In response to extension and retraction of the first tubular portion 310 with respect to the second tubular portion 320, the end members 344, 354 are movable between a hair clamping position as shown in FIG. 9, and a hair releasing position as shown in FIGS. 8A-8C. The first and second tubular portions are formed from aluminium or an aluminium alloy, and the diameter of the second tubular portion is selected with reference to the curvature of the curls to be formed, since when hair is wrapped around the second tubular portion and then subject to heating through contact with the heated exterior surface of the second tubular portion, a curl following the curvature of the second tubular portion will be formed.

The end members 344, 354 are disposed at the longitudinal ends of the roller body, and each end member 344, 354 is formed at a longitudinal end of the corresponding tubular portion 310, 320 distal from the junction at which the two tubular portions meet. Each of the end members 344, 354 comprises a circular clamping surface which is substantially orthogonal to the longitudinal axis 330 and extends radially there-from. The clamping surfaces of the pair of end members are parallel and axially opposite. With such an arrangement, a hair receiving portion of the hair roller is defined between the pair of clamping surfaces of the end members 344, 354 and the roller body. The clamping surfaces are arranged to operate as a pair of opposed ironing surfaces for sideway ironing of curls of hair present on the roller body. The clamping surface is thermally conductive so that when hair is compressively held by the pair of opposed damping surfaces and heating applied to the end member, lateral heated pressing will be applied to the tresses of hair held by the pair of conductive clamping surfaces to achieve the desirable aesthetic effect.

A pair of hair engagement members 342,352, each comprising a plurality of hair engagement protrusions 356, is movably attached to the pair of end members. Each hair engagement member is movably attached to the outside of the end member, that is, the side of the end member which is distal from roller body and the opposed end member. A plurality of apertures 362 is distributed on the end members to facilitate movable attachment of an engagement member to the corresponding end member. The apertures 362 are annularly distributed about the longitudinal axis for axis symmetry. A plurality of protruding members is distributed on each of the hair engagement members and extends towards the opposite clamping surface to facilitate movable attachment to a corresponding end member. Some of the protruding members also serve as a rigid linkage for interconnecting an end member and a hair engagement, while permitting relative sliding movement between the end member and the corresponding hair engagement member. Suck linkage protruding members 358 have a boss or enlarged head so that the end member is maintained between the ends of the protruding members, as shown more particularly in the cross-sectional view of FIG. 8C. The remaining protruding members, notably those marked 356, are hair anchoring members provided for inserting into tresses of hair received at the hair receiving portion to provide anchorage against relative movement between tresses of hair and the roller body. The engagement member is made from plastics or other polymeric materials to provide thermal insulation for user safety and user convenience. As can be more clearly seen in FIG. 5, the protruding members are integrally formed with the end members and the protruding members extend through the metallic plate of the end members along the longitudinal direction.

With such an arrangement, the hair engagement members are movable relative to the end members along the longitudinal direction between a hair clamping position and a hair releasing position. Likewise, the hair engagement protrusions are movable relative to the hair receiving portion, defined by the pair of end members and the roller body, along the longitudinal direction and independent of the end members. More particularly, the hair engagement members and the hair engagement protrusions formed thereon are movable between a hair anchoring position, when the protrusions fully protrude beyond a corresponding end member and into the hair receiving portion, and a releasing position when the hair engagement protrusions are maximally retracted from the hair receiving portion.

In use, the roller body is fully extended to provide a maximum length for receiving the hair. After a user determined volume of hair has been wrapped around the roller body, the end members and the hair engagement members are pushed together to form a pair of hair damp, with the length of the hair curling portion defined between the end members and the protruding members inserted into the hair to provide anchorage against relative movement.

After hair styling has been completed, the protruding members are retracted from the hair receiving portion to release the curls thus formed while alleviating adverse influence to the curls just formed.

In an exemplary use of the hair roller 300, the roller 300 is firstly extended to an appropriate width to accommodate tresses of hair. This separation between the end members is adjustable between the maximum width of FIG. 8A, an intermediate width of FIG. 9A and the minimum width of FIG. 10A. After hair has been wrapped on the roller body, the outer plates are pushed towards each other so that tresses of hair carried on the roller are compressively held between the pair of metal inner plates for heat pressing. At the same time, the fingers protrude maximally into the tresses of hair due to approaching movements of the inner plates. Consequently, hair can be held against relative rotation after hair rolling has been completed to mitigate known shortcomings. When curling is completed, the end members are pulled away from each other. As a result, the fingers are retracted from the tresses of hair and the tresses of hair are also released from the pair of inner plates.

Referring to FIGS. 1 to 7, the hair roller 100 comprises a roller body 100 which includes a hollow aluminium tube 110 and a pair of opposing end members 120, 130. The diameter of the aluminium tube forming the roller body is selected so that when hair is wrapped around the roller body and subject to heating upon contact with the heated exterior surface of the roller body, a curl conforming to the exterior shape of the roller body will be formed. The exterior surface of the roller body which comes into direct contact with hair is preferably thermally conductive to give an ironing effect. Each of the end members 120, 130 comprises a clamping surface 122, 132 which extends radially away from the roller body so that hair to be curled is contained between the hair of opposite end members and the exterior surface of the roller body. Similar to conventional hair rollers, the end member is substantially circular but, of course, the end member can be of any appropriate shapes. The clamping surface is thermally conductive so that when hair is compressively held by the pair of opposing clamping surfaces and subject to heating, lateral ironing or heat-pressing will be applied to the tresses of hair held by the pair of conductive damping surfaces to achieve the desirable aesthetic effect.

The outside 124, 134 of the end members is made of plastics in the form of a back plastic cover to provide thermal insulation for user safety and convenience. A plurality of protruding members 126, 136 are distributed on each of the end members and extend towards the opposite clamping surface to mitigate relative rotation between tresses of hair and the roller. As is more clearly seen from FIG. 5, the protruding members are integrally formed with the back plastic cover 124, 134 and the metallic clamping surface 122, 132 is clipped onto the back plastic cover so that the protruding members extend through the metallic plate carrying the clamping surface.

To permit a user to choose curls of an appropriate width, the separation between the pair of opposite clamping surfaces can be varied by width adjustment means so that a user can adjust the width of curl to be formed and locking means is provided to lock the pair of clamping surfaces in position once a desirable width has been selected. As can be seen from FIGS. 1 and 2, the clamping surfaces are relatively movable towards and away from each other to give the variable separation.

As can be seen more clearly in FIGS. 3-7, the first end member 120 comprises a metallic clamping plate 128 which is mounted on a plastic back cover 124 and is associated with a roller body 100 which comprises an inner aluminium tube 110. The aluminium tube extends substantially orthogonally from the centre of the end member. The second end member 130 comprises a metallic clamping plate 138 which is mounted on a plastic back cover and is associated with an outer plastic tube 200 with a closed end. The outer plastic tube is selected so that the inner aluminium tube can be received inside the outer plastic tube in a closely fitted manner and slidably relative thereto telescopically to vary the separation between the two end members. A coil spring 140 serving as a resilient biasing means is disposed between the corresponding proximal ends of the inner and outer aluminium tubes in a manner which resists relative movements towards the locking opposition and which returns the tubes to the releasing position upon releasing of locking.

A ratchet locking mechanism as an exemplary releasable locking means is disposed between the inner and outer aluminium tubes. The ratchet locking mechanism comprises serrated teeth 152 on one end of the inner tube and a pivotable pawl 154 for releasably engagement with the serrated teeth. The pawl comprises a resiliently deformable arm 156 which is engage-able with an outer side of the second end member 130 when the pawl is pushed into the engagement position. When the pawl is so pushed, the end member associated with the outer tube is locked in position relative to the inner aluminium tube and the deformable arm engages with the end member to keep the pawl in the locked position. With the locking mechanism, the movable end members can be locked at various positions, and the actual separation between the end members will depend on the position of the instantaneously engaged teeth, as shown in the Figures.

When curling has been completed, the pivotable pawl will be released from engagement with the second end member whereby the second end member is allowed to move into the releasing position. Tresses of hair on the roller can then be released from the clamping surfaces and the protruding members.

As a variation to this preferred embodiment, the inner 110 and outer 200 tubes are in a closely fitted arrangement so that friction between the tubes is sufficient to hold the tubes in position. The hair roller can be extended and retracted against friction so that there is no need for a resiliently biased locking mechanism.

Each of the inner and outer tube is associated with an end member. Each end member 340, 350 comprise an outer plate 342, 352 and an inner plate 344, 354. The outer plate is thermally insulating so that a user can extend and for retract the hair roller even when the outer aluminium tube 320 is very hot. The inner plate is a thermally conductive plate, such as a steel or an aluminium plate, which is particularly adapted for lateral heat pressing of tresses of hair wrapped on the roller body (i.e. the outer tube) as described above in relation to the first embodiment above.

A plurality of hair engagement fingers 346, 356 are distributed on the end members 340, 350 and extend towards the opposite end member. The fingers are provided to so that its protrusion into the hair on the roller is sufficient to mitigate relative rotation between tresses of hair wrapped on the outer tube 320 and the outer tube 320 itself. On the other hand, the protruding fingers 346, 356 become an adverse obstruction to hair when hair is being rolled onto the hair roller. To alleviate this shortcoming, the outer plate, which carries the fingers, is made to be slidably movable relative to the inner plate, which is fixed attached to the corresponding associated tube. This movable end assembly arrangement enables the fingers to be axially movable relative to the inner plate, so that the extent of axial protrusion of the fingers beyond the inner plate 344, 354 and towards the opposite end member is variable. With this movable finger arrangement, tresses of hair are firstly compressively wrapped between the pair of metal inner plates on the outer tube and the fingers are then pushed into the hair tresses to mitigate relative rotation.

To facilitate relative movements between the inner and outer plates so that the extent of protrusion of the fingers substantially along the axial direction can be adjustable, the inner and outer plates are connected by a plurality of axially extending stays which serve as connecting links. A plurality of apertures is formed on the inner plate so that the stays and the fingers can pass through the inner plate and extend towards the other end member. Each of the stays is provided with an end cap to limit the maximum range of finger movement and to keep the pair of inner and outer plates in a retention relation.

While the present invention has been explained by reference to the examples or preferred embodiments described above, it will be appreciated that those are examples to assist understanding of the present invention and are not meant to be restrictive. Variations or modifications which are obvious or trivial to persons skilled in the art, as well as improvements made thereon, should be considered as equivalents.

Furthermore, while the present invention has been explained by reference to a hair curler with a metallic roller body, it should be appreciated that the invention can apply, whether with or without modification, to other hair curlers without loss of generality.





 
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