Title:
Hair tree holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Hair tree support adapted for holding and organizing sections of precut human or synthetic hair and their packages for use by a hairdresser in braiding or hair extension techniques and the like. The support includes a base, a vertically extending member, and a rotatable top assembly having radial arms equipped with non-slip hooks and non-slip hair rests. Hair baskets with longitudinal slits therein for supporting long hair sections and hair packages passing therethrough are mounted to the member.



Inventors:
Bell, Barbara (Tampa, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/824771
Publication Date:
01/08/2009
Filing Date:
07/02/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/70.6, 211/71.01, 211/183
International Classes:
A47F7/00; A47F5/00; A47G29/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BARNETT, DEVIN K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BARBARA BELL (TAMPA, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A hair tree holder for supporting lengths of hair for use by a hairdresser, the holder comprising: a vertically extending member having a top end, a bottom end, and a plurality of spaced-apart mounts for baskets; a base mounted to the bottom end of the member; a plurality of hair baskets mounted to said mounts, each said basket comprising sides and a bottom, the bottom comprising a pair of longitudinal openings; and a top assembly rotatably mounted to the top end of the member, the assembly comprising a plurality of horizontally extending radial arms each comprising a proximal end adjacent the top end of the member and a distal end and further comprising a plurality of spaced-apart non-slip hooks disposed between the proximal and distal ends and a non-slip hair rest mounted to the distal end for supporting said lengths of hair.

2. The hair tree holder according to claim 1, wherein said non-slip hair rest and said non-slip hooks comprise a resinous or rubber coating.

3. The hair tree holder according to claim 1, wherein the base comprises a rolling means.

4. The hair tree holder according to claim 1, further comprising one or more accessory baskets comprising a continuous bottom mounted to said mounts.

5. The hair tree holder according to claim 1, wherein the proximal ends of the arms are hingedly connected at their proximal ends for stowing in a downward position.

6. The hair tree holder according to claim 1, comprising between about two and about ten mounts.

7. The hair tree holder according to claim 1, wherein the non-slip hair rest is a vertical bifurcated rest.

8. The hair tree holder according to claim 1, comprising between two and about six said arms.

9. The hair tree holder according to claim 1, in which the member is vertically extensible.

10. A hair tree holder for supporting lengths of hair for use by a hairdresser, the device comprising: a stand comprising a vertical mounting point; and a top assembly rotatably mounted to the mounting point, the assembly comprising a plurality of horizontally extending radial arms each comprising a proximal end adjacent the mounting point and a distal end, the arms comprising a plurality of spaced-apart non-slip hooks disposed between the proximal and distal ends and a non-slip hair rest mounted to the distal end for supporting said lengths of hair.

11. The device according to claim 10, further comprising at least one basket mounted to said stand, the basket comprising sides and a bottom, the bottom comprising a pair of longitudinal slits.

13. The hair tree holder according to claim 10, wherein said non-slip hair rest and said non-slip hooks comprise a resinous or rubber coating.

14. The hair tree holder according to claim 10, wherein the stand comprises a rolling means.

15. The hair tree holder according to claim 10, wherein the proximal ends of the arms are hingedly connected at their proximal ends for stowing in a downward position.

16. The hair tree holder according to claim 10, in which the stand is vertically extensible.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to organizers for hairdressing and beauty supplies and more particularly pertains to a new holder for neatly and efficiently holding and arranging lengths of human and synthetic hair for use in forming braids, weaves, extensions, plaits, dreadlocks, and the like.

BACKGROUND

Modern and traditional hairdressing arts include a number of techniques that require the incorporation of lengths of precut natural or synthetic hair into the hairstyle of a client. Popular techniques include hair braiding, weaving, extensions, corn rows, plaits, micro-braids, dreadlocks, kinky twists, bob-layered-bob, and invisible braids, which may be applied in professional beauty salons or at home.

These techniques require a high degree of dexterity and knowledge and are time-consuming. In order to successfully complete an attractive style in a reasonable time without tiring the hairdresser or the subject, the hairdresser must utilize and preferably properly place a multiplicity of lengths of natural or synthetic hair, scissors, combs, brushes, clips, lotions, and the like.

It has previously been recognized that it is advantageous to provide storage devices and dispensing racks for hairdressing tools close to a hairdressing workstation in order to have all required materials and tools readily available. However, techniques that incorporate precut lengths of natural or synthetic hair present particular problems for the efficient organization of materials.

Precut hair may tangle if carelessly placed on work surfaces or furniture, and may be easily dislodged causing it to fall unhygenically to the floor. If the hairdresser has to hold precut hair for an extended period, dexterity is reduced and the time required for the technique is extended. Without a systematic method and holder upon which to arrange the lengths of precut hair according, for example, to length, hue, and amount as appropriate for the particular technique, the hairdresser will not be effectively organized.

Holders known in the art for use by hairdressers fail to address the needs or provide advantageous features specifically for use in techniques that require the incorporation of lengths of precut natural or synthetic hair into the hairstyle of a client.

Examples of holders known in the art for use by hairdressers and beauticians are described, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,055,194, which discloses a materials storage and dispenser case for use by hairdressers; U.S. Pat. No. 5,117,988, which discloses a fashion accessory holding device; U.S. Pat. No. 6,170,680, which discloses a rack for holding hairdressing tools; and U.S. Pat. No. 6,820,755 B1, which discloses a beauty and hair accessories organizer.

However, each of these pieces of art suffers from one or more of the following drawbacks: no provision is made for the secure holding and organization of multiple lengths of precut hair; the holders are not readily adjustable or adaptable to provide convenient and dynamic access to the precut hair; and the devices are not readily stowable.

Thus, notwithstanding the existence of a variety of supports for use by beauticians and hairdressers in the art, there is a continuing need for an improved holder that is capable of neatly and efficiently holding and arranging synthetic and human hair and packages thereof in a convenient, adaptable, adjustable, rotatable, and stowable manner. The present invention substantially fulfills these needs and more as will become apparent to one of ordinary skill upon reading the disclosure, drawings, and claims appended hereto.

SUMMARY

The hair tree holder of the present invention satisfies the need for a device that is capable of neatly and efficiently holding and arranging synthetic and human hair and its packages in a convenient, adaptable, adjustable, rotatable, and stowable manner. The general purpose of the invention is to provide a holder that has many of the advantages of the holders mentioned herein and many novel features to be described subsequently, which together result in a novel and useful hair tree holder that is not anticipated, rendered obvious, suggested, or even implied by any of the prior art holders, either alone or in combination.

Thus, a first embodiment of a hair tree holder having features of the present invention comprises a vertically extending member having a top end and a bottom end. Optionally, the member is vertically extensible. A stabilizing base is mounted to the bottom end of the member, and two or more mounts for baskets are disposed along the member, to which can be mounted two or more hair baskets, each hair basket comprising sides and a bottom, the bottom comprising a pair of longitudinal openings suitable for passing sections of hair or hair packages through. The holder further comprises a top assembly that is mounted to the top end of the member and is capable of rotating about an essentially vertical axis. The top assembly comprises at least two, and preferably four or more, arms that extend horizontally and radially from the top end. Along each arm, two or more spaced-apart non-slip hooks, preferably five, are provided for holding lengths of hair, and a non-slip hair rest, such as a bifurcated V-shaped or Y-shaped rest, is mounted to the distal end.

In a second embodiment of a hair tree holder according to the present invention a stand comprising a vertical mounting point is provided, and a top assembly is rotatably mounted to the mounting point. Optionally, the stand is vertically extensible. The assembly comprises at least two horizontally extending radial arms each comprising a proximal end adjacent the mounting point and a distal end. The arms each comprise a two or more, and preferably five, spaced-apart non-slip hooks disposed between the proximal and distal ends of the arms, and a non-slip hair rest is mounted to the distal end of the arm.

In a third embodiment, a hair tree holder is provided in which the non-slip hooks and rests comprise a resin coating.

In a fourth embodiment, a hair tree holder is provided wherein the base is provided with rolling means such as rollers or wheels.

In a fifth embodiment, a hair tree holder is provided in which one or more accessory baskets comprising continuous bottoms are mounted to the mounts for the storage and arrangement of beauty accessories and tools.

In a sixth embodiment, a hair tree holder is provided in which the proximal end of each arm is connected to the top assembly by a hinge, whereby the arm can be placed in a downward position for storage when not in use.

There has been outlined rather broadly certain of the embodiments of the hair tree holder according to the present invention and their more important features in order that the detailed description following may be better understood, and the present inventive contribution to the art better appreciated. Additional features of the invention described subsequently will form the subject matter of the certain claims appended hereto.

It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the details of construction and arrangement of components of the specific embodiments provided in the following description or as illustrated in the drawings, which are provided for illustrative purposes. The hair tree holder of the present invention is capable of being practiced in various and diverse ways, and the terminology used herein is likewise for descriptive purposes and should not be regarded as limiting.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a holder that conveniently holds and organizes sections of hair for use in braiding and other hairdressing techniques, for use by professional hairdressers or for home use.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a hair tree holder that is readily adaptable for holding sections of hair in multiple arrangements and positions, whether packaged and unpackaged, or of different lengths, color, and amounts, for convenient organization according to the hairdressing technique to be used.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a hair tree holder that can be conveniently positioned relative the user by rotation of the top assembly and, optionally, by the use of rolling means, and that is optionally adjustable to the height of the user.

It is yet a further object of the invention to provide a hair tree holder that permits a user to avoid holding hair sections or their packages for long periods of time while braiding or performing other hairdressing techniques.

It is yet a further object of the invention to provide a hair tree holder that permits a user to avoid the unhygienic and disorganized laying of hair sections and their packages on furniture during hairdressing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with regard to the following description, appended claims, and accompanying drawings where:

FIG. 1 shows an isometric view of one embodiment of a hair tree holder according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows an isometric view of the hair basket and mounts of the embodiment of FIG. 1 in further detail.

FIG. 3 shows a partial cut-away view of an embodiment of a holder of the present invention comprising a hinged arm.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Certain exemplary but non-limiting embodiments of the present invention are now described for illustrative purposes with reference to the attached drawings.

Referring now to FIG. 1, a hair tree holder 100 comprises vertically extending member 102 comprising a bottom end 104 and a top end 106, the bottom end 104 mounted to base 108, and the top end 106 rotatably mounted to a top assembly 110 for rotation about a vertical axis. A plurality of spaced-apart mounts 112 are disposed about the vertically extending member 102 between bottom end 104 and top end 106 for mounting a plurality of hair baskets 114, the hair baskets each comprising sides 116 and a base 118, the base comprising a pair of longitudinal slits 120, 122 through which hair sections or packages can be passed for support.

Top assembly 110 comprises two or more horizontally extending radial arms, preferably four arms 124, 126, 128, and 130. The proximal ends 132 of the arms are adjacent top end 106 and extend essentially horizontally. The distal ends of the arms are disposed radially about the top end 106. Between the proximal 132 and distal end 134 of each arm, a plurality of non-slip hooks 136 is disposed for holding sections of hair. At the distal end 134 of each arm, a non-slip hair rest 138 is provided capable of supporting substantial sections of hair.

Vertically extending member 102 can be of constant or varying cross-section and can be, for example, a hollow tube or solid pole. A member according to the present invention preferably has a circular cross-section of constant cross-section, and a member having a triangular, square, or polygonal cross-section can also be used. The member can be of a metal such as steel or aluminum, or can be of any sufficiently rigid polymer such as a plastic or fiberglass capable of self-support when attached to a top assembly and in use. The member supports and elevates the top assembly at a convenient working height. To accommodate users of differing heights, the member is optionally vertically extensible. In preferred embodiments, the member comprises concentric tubes of different sizes, the smaller disposed within the larger in a telescoping configuration. The member can comprise any of a number of means well-known in the art for securing the member at the selected length. For example, and without limitation, the member can comprise a locking device such as a nut engaging and fastening aligned threaded portions of both tubes, a clip for securing the aligned tubes by engaging holes, depressions or cut-outs therein, a threaded fitting such as a collar threadingly engaging the larger tube and disposed to grip the smaller tube when turned, and a pin such as a cotter pin for engaging aligned holes in the two tubes. Referring again to FIG. 1, member 102 comprises a smaller tube 140 disposed telescopically within a portion of larger tube 142, the tubes secured to each other at a selected total length by collar 144, which threadingly engages larger tube 142 and compresses smaller tube 140. The member 102 can be of any length, and preferably has an adjustable or fixed length from about ten inches to about six feet.

Base 108 supports and stabilizes member 102 at its bottom end, and is not particularly limited as to size and shape, and any base of sufficient size to provide adequate support and stability can be used. In preferred embodiments, the base comprises three or more radial legs 146 contacting a solid surface at non-slip feet 148 such as rubber feet, and is mounted to the bottom end 104 of member 102 at receptacle 150. In other embodiments, the base can be in the form of a flat base such as a circular, square, or polygonal base comprising a central vertically oriented mount for mounting to the bottom end of the member. The base can be of any suitably rigid material such as a metal, plastic or other polymer. In alternative embodiments, the base can optionally comprise rolling means such as a plurality of optionally lockable wheels, rollers, castors, or the like.

Referring further to FIG. 1, spaced-apart mounts 112 are provided at a plurality of locations along member 102 for mounting to hair baskets and optional accessory baskets for holding hair and hair accessories, and for permitting the baskets to be positioned at various positions to adapt to the specific needs of a user. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the mounts comprise shaped holes in the member adapted to receive complementary projections on the baskets, but the form of the mount is not particularly limited and can include, for example, threaded holes for accepting a screw, an adjustable collar adapted to secure the member to the basket, a projection from the member adapted to engage a receptacle in the basket, a pin or bolt engaging the basket and the member, and the like. Preferably, there are from about two to about ten mounts.

Top assembly 110 provides novel and specialized storage for sections of hair, which enhances the usefulness of the present holder to both professional hairdressers and home users. A plurality of spaced apart non-slip hooks 136, preferably five, is disposed on each arm. The hooks are of a suitable size for holding sections of hair, and comprise a non-slip surface such as a resin or textured rubber coating (FIG. 3, 310). to securely retain hair. Preferably, the hooks are mounted to the lower surface of the arms and are mounted to the arm by a screw or bolt such that the hooks can be rotated to any position for use or storage. The hooks can be made of any suitably tough and rigid material such as stainless steel, a plastic, or wood. In shape, the hooks preferably comprise a flattened, rather than a curved, working surface. Optionally, the top surface of each arm comprises a longitudinal strip of a non-slip surface such as a resin or textured rubber to further enhance the security of hair lengths placed thereon 152.

Hair baskets 114 are adapted to hold lengths of hair, such as hair extensions. The baskets can be mesh or solid, and can be formed of metal, plastic, natural fibers, or any other known basket material. Preferably, the baskets are formed from a plastic mesh.

Non-slip hair rest 138 is provided at the distal end of the arm. The rest preferably comprises a bifurcated shape such as a V-shape or Y-shape to securely hold long sections of hair, which may require draping over the rests of two arms. The rests are of a suitable size for holding sections of hair, and comprise a non-slip surface such as a resin or textured rubber coating to securely retain the hair (FIG. 3, 308). The rest is preferably mounted to the end of the arm by a fastener such as a screw or bolt, which permits rotation of the rest about an axis approximately coincident with the longitudinal axis of the arm whereby the rest can be rotated into a down position when not in use.

Referring now to FIG. 2, a hair basket 114 and basket mount 202, 204 of a preferred embodiment are shown in greater detail. The pair of longitudinal openings 120, 122, in hair basket 114 is capable of supporting both sections of longer hair and also packages of long hair. The basket mount comprises a portion 204 adapted to engage a spaced-apart mount 112, such as a tang, prong, hook, thread, clip, or the like, and a portion 202 connecting the mount to the basket side 116. The mount can be of any sufficiently rigid material, such as metal, wood, or plastic. Placement of hair through openings 120, 122 conveniently eliminates the need to either fold the hair or to drape it over adjacent furniture or the like, and permits the hair to lie essentially flat. Openings 120, 122 are preferably positioned on opposite parts of the basket, most preferably along the lower edges of opposing basket sides 116, or along opposite edges of base 118, or a combination of both. The length and width of the openings is selected to permit ready insertion through, and removal of, hair or a hair package from the openings. A width of about one-half to about 1.5 inches is preferred, and a length of about two inches to about eight inches is preferred. In use, each end of a length of long hair or a hair package is inserted through a different opening in the basket so that the approximate center (by length or mass) of the hair or package is stably supported within the basket and the balance of the hair or package extends from the basket.

Referring now to FIG. 3, an embodiment is shown in which the arms 302 optionally comprise a hinge 304 and a locking means 306, such as two hingedly connected levers 312, 314 further comprising a locking tab 316, for attachment to the top assembly, permitting the arm to be positioned in an extended horizontal position when in use, or placed in a downward position for storage.

In use, the hair tree holder of the present invention can be used as follows, the steps capable of execution in various orders. The base is positioned on a secure footing conveniently adjacent the user. The arms, if stowed in a downward position, are extended and locked in a horizontal position, and the hooks and rests are rotated to position them to conveniently support hair. Hair baskets are mounted to the member. Hair lengths are sorted and positioned upon the hooks, upon the rests, and in the hair baskets as appropriate for a particular subject, technique, and as selected by the user. For example, the hair can be divided and separately supported on the hair tree according to length, curliness, color, tint, combination of colors, or other criteria, if the technique so requires. Alternatively, all or most of the required hair can be placed on the hair tree holder together, for example on one or more hair rests, and portions of hair can be removed piecemeal as needed. The present invention provides great flexibility in the manner in which hair can be arranged and supported for use. Other accessories such as combs, brushes, hair-spray, mousse, gel, mirrors, scissors, and the like, can be positioned in hair or accessory baskets according to the preference of the user. The hair lengths being thus arranged and held, the user can efficiently and methodically begin the technique. For storage, the holder is emptied, optionally hinged arms stowed downwards, and hooks and rests turned inward and downward, respectively.

The previously described versions of the hair tree holder of the present invention have many advantages. For example, the arrangement of non-slip hooks, non-slip rests, and hair baskets afforded by the structure of the present invention neatly, conveniently, and efficiently holds and arranges synthetic and human hair and packages. The rotatable top assembly, and the permutations in which hair baskets can be arranged, make the present invention adaptable and adjustable to diverse situations, users and techniques.

It should be understood that not all embodiments of the invention require each advantage listed herein, and that not all advantages of the invention may have been listed.

Although the present invention has been described in considerable detail with reference to certain preferred versions thereof, other versions are possible and can be envisaged within the scope and spirit of the present invention. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the description of the preferred versions contained herein.

Now that the invention has been described: