Title:
HAIR TIE AND ORNAMENT HOLDER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention is directed to a hair tie, having an elastic member extendable toward opposing ends and complementary fasteners located at at least two portions of the elastic member. Optionally, the invention may include an ornament holder, having a fastener configured to removably attach to an elastic member.



Inventors:
Olson, William John (Menlo Park, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/972178
Publication Date:
07/16/2009
Filing Date:
01/10/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
132/273
International Classes:
A45D8/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KALACH, BRIANNE E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Stevens Law Group (San Jose, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A hair tie, comprising: an elastic member extendable toward opposing ends; and complementary fasteners located at at least two portions of the elastic member.

2. A hair tie according to claim 1, wherein the at least two portions include two opposing ends of the elastic member.

3. A hair tie according to claim 1, further comprising an ornament holder configured to hold a decorative ornament.

4. A hair tie according to claim 3, wherein the ornament holder is configured to removably hold a decorative ornament on a portion of the elastic member.

5. A hair tie according to claim 3, wherein the ornament holder is configured to removably hold a decorative ornament on a fastener.

6. A hair tie according to claim 3, wherein the ornament holder comprises material chosen from the group including Velcro and a component of a button fastening configuration.

7. A hair tie according to claim 1, wherein the elastic member is wrapped in a fabric.

8. A hair tie according to claim 1, wherein the elastic member is wrapped in a first Velcro fastening material, and a second Velcro fastening material complementary to the first Velcro fastening material is disposed at at least one end of the elastic member.

9. A hair tie according to claim 8, wherein the second Velcro fastening material is dispose at at least two ends of the elastic member.

10. A hair tie according to claim 1, wherein the complementary fasteners are complementary Velcro fasteners configured to removably attach when held juxtaposed to each other.

11. A hair tie according to claim 1, wherein the complementary fasteners include a male end and a female end configured to receive the male end.

12. A hair tie according to claim 11, wherein the complementary fasteners are configured to allow the female end to receive the male end in any one of a plurality of positions.

13. A hair tie according to claim 11, wherein the male end is chosen from the group including a hook, button, and clasp.

14. A hair tie according to claim 1, wherein at least one of the complementary fasteners is configured to removably hold a decorative ornament.

15. An ornament holder, comprising: a fastener configured to removably attach to an elastic member.

16. An ornament holder according to claim 15, wherein the fastener comprises material chosen from the group including Velcro and a component of a button fastening configuration.

17. An ornament holder according to claim 15, wherein the fastener is configured to hold a decorative ornament.

18. An ornament holder according to claim 15, wherein the fastener comprises a clip configured to removably clip onto the elastic member.

19. An ornament holder according to claim 18, further comprising: a decorative ornament attached to the clip.

20. A device for holding bundles of elongated objects, comprising: an elastic member extendable toward opposing ends; and complementary fasteners located at at least two portions of the elastic member.

21. A device according to claim 20, wherein one of the elongated objects is hair.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Elastic hair ties have long been used as fashion accessories to secure loose hair in a gathered position. The common hair tie is structured as an elastic member in a circular form. The process of tying a section of gathered hair begins with inserting the section of hair through the circular hair tie. The user then turns a portion of the hair tie so as to form a twist in the elastic, and inserts the section of hair into the open loop of the twisted hair tie. This twisting and re-inserting is repeated until the hair is tightly secured within the elastic hair tie.

One disadvantage of this form of hair tie is the difficulty with which the final cycle of twisting and re-inserting is performed. The user typically maneuvers the open loop with one hand by inserting fingers into the loop, and then pulls the section of hair with those fingers through the loop. As the grip on the hair is increasingly tightened with each re-insertion of the hair into the hair tie, the diameter of the open loop is also decreased. Thus, the user often finds it difficult to fit both the section of hair and his or her fingers through the final open loop, so as to pull the hair through the loop a final time in order to secure the hair to a desired tightness.

Another embodiment of a hair tie consists of a circular elastic member, with two points clasped together in the center to form a figure eight shape. Attached to each of the two loops of the figure eight is a sizable object. The user may stretch the elastic by pulling the two objects in opposing directions, wrap the elastic around a section of hair a few times, and fasten the hair tie around the hair by inserting the object attached to one loop through the other loop. The two objects thus lock each other in place via elastic tension, and the hair tie is thus securely anchored because the objects are large enough to prevent slippage of one object out of the loop to which the other is attached.

This embodiment, however, also has its disadvantages. The large size of the objects attached to the elastic can create a hindrance to the final step of inserting of one of the objects into the elastic loop, if the elastic has been wrapped around so as to form a very tight grip, as is often the case. In addition, the indiscreet size of the objects may be stylistically undesirable for certain individuals, especially adults or older children.

Hence, it would be desirable to have an embodiment of a hair tie without the above-described disadvantages.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an embodiment of a hair tie in an open position.

FIG. 2A shows another embodiment of a hair tie in an open position.

FIG. 2B shows an embodiment of a hair tie in a closed position.

FIG. 3A shows two embodiments of an adjustable hook fastener.

FIG. 3B shows an embodiment of an adjustable button fastener.

FIG. 3C shows an embodiment of an adjustable clasp fastener.

FIGS. 4A-B show embodiments of a hair tie and an ornament holder configured to removably attach a decorative ornament to the hair tie.

FIG. 5 shows an embodiment of an ornament holder configured to removably attach to a hair tie.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The invention is directed to a hair tie, having an elastic member extendable toward opposing ends and complementary fasteners located at at least two portions of the elastic member. Optionally, the invention may include an ornament holder, having a fastener configured to removably attach to an elastic member.

Referring to FIG. 1A, an embodiment of a hair tie 1100 in an open position is illustrated. Hair tie 1100 may include, for example, an elastic member 1102 and fastener 1104. Referring to FIG. 1B, another embodiment of a hair tie 100 in an open position is illustrated. Hair tie 100 may include, for example, an elastic member 102 and complementary fasteners 104 and 106.

Referring to FIG. 2A, another embodiment of a hair tie 200 in an open position is illustrated. Hair tie 200 may include, for example, an elastic member 202 covered by fabric 203, and complementary fasteners 204 and 206, utilizing the loop (soft) surface 205 and the hook (hard) surface 207 of Velcro, respectively, in this embodiment. For purposes of securing, for example, a section of hair in a gathered position, a user may hold either fastener 204/206 at one position, wrap elastic member 202 around the section of hair one or more times a secure grip is created around the hair. The user may then press the hook/loop surface 207/205 of the complementary fastener 206/204 onto the loop/hook surface 205/207 of fastener 204/206 to anchor the hair tie 200 in a closed position as illustrated in FIG. 2B. Although the figure illustrates a single loop of elastic member 202 to form the opening 208 through which hair may be held, opening 208 may be formed by the user wrapping elastic member 202 around the hair more than once before attaching hair tie 200 in a closed position using fasteners 204 and 206.

Referring to FIGS. 3A-C, alternative embodiments of complementary fasteners are shown as elastic loop 351 and female ends 350, 352, and 354, corresponding to male ends 360, 362, and 364. Referring to FIG. 3A, hook 360 may adjustably secure end 320 to opposing end 310 by hooking onto any of the openings 350a-d. Alternatively, hook 360 may adjustably secure end 320 to opposing end 311 by hooking onto elastic loop 351, which may be formed as an extension of elastic member 331, or as an elastic loop separately coupled to elastic member 331. Either female end 350 or 351, in conjunction with hook 360, may allow for the convenient and adjustable closure of a hair tie. Female end 351 may allow for adjustability given its elasticity alone. Female end 350 may allow for adjustability via its multiple openings 350a-d. In addition, ends 311, 310, and 320 may allow for adjustability via the elasticity of elastic members 331, 330, and 340, respectively.

Referring to FIG. 3B, snap button 362 may adjustably secure end 322 to opposing end 312 by snapping into any of the openings 352a-d. Referring to FIG. 3C, clasp 364 may adjustably secure end 324 to opposing end 314 by clasping onto any of the openings 354a-d. Although the figures illustrate four openings (350, 352, 354)a-d on female ends 350, 352, and 354, fewer or more openings may be constructed on female ends 350, 352, and 354.

The disclosed embodiments have the advantages of ease of use, adjustability, and discreet style. Since the disclosed embodiments of a hair tie may be wrapped around hair from an open position into a closed position, the difficulties of twisting and re-inserting with the common circular hair tie are avoided. Since fasteners 204 and 206, as well as alternative embodiments 350-352, 354, 360, 362, and 364 do not require the inserting of a large object through a tight elastic loop, the difficulty of anchoring a figure-eight hair tie is avoided. In addition, the structural nature of the disclosed complementary fasteners lend to a more desirable option for individuals who prefer a style that is more discreet than that of the figure-eight hair tie.

Referring to FIG. 4A-B, embodiments of a hair tie may be configured to removably hold a decorative ornament. For example, in FIG. 4A, snap button hole 408 may be attached to end 414 of elastic member 402, and may receive snap button 410 attached to ornament 412. The user may thus attach or remove an ornament from hair tie 400 as desired. In an alternative embodiment, a snap button hole may be attached to ornament 412 to receive a snap button attached to end 414. Other removable fasteners such as Velcro or other types of buttons may also be used in place of or in combination with the snap button configuration.

As another example, FIG. 4B shows fasteners 424 and 426 attached to secure elastic member 422 in a closed position. In the embodiment shown, fastener 426 attaches via hook surface 427 to loop surface 425 of fastener 424. The surface of fastener 426 not attached to fastener 424 includes Velcro loop material 428, and may receive Velcro hook surface 430 attached to ornament 432. This allows the user to removably attach ornament 432 to hair tie 420. In alternative embodiments, loop and hook surfaces may be switched to hook and loop surfaces, respectively. Other removable fasteners such as a button configuration may also be used in place of or in combination with Velcro.

Referring to FIG. 5, an embodiment of an ornament holder configured to removably attach to a hair tie is illustrated. As an example, ornament holder 500 includes clip 510 with ornament 512 attached. Clip 510 is configured to easily but securely grip onto elastic member 202 with a simple push onto elastic member 202 through clip legs 510a and 510b. Clip 510 may be constructed with any of various materials. Another embodiment of clip 510 may include a hinged, spring-loaded clip leg to allow a user to snap the clip onto elastic member 202 by opening and then closing the clip leg. Other fasteners may also be used to achieve similar ease and removeability of attaching an ornament onto an elastic member. Further, ornament holder 500 may be used on elastic members and hair ties other than those shown in the figures.

Other embodiments may allow the simultaneous removable attachment of more than one ornament to a hair tie or elastic member. Ornaments 412, 432, and 512 may be decorative and of various sizes, shapes, colors, and materials. Alternatively, they may be stylistically plain and discreet.

Referring to FIG. 6, embodiments of hair ties 600a and 600b are illustrated. Hair tie 600a/b may include elastic member 602a/b, with fastener 604a/b disposed at an end. A portion of elastic member 602a/b, which may include the entire elastic member or a partial section thereof, may be wrapped in soft/hook Velcro material 603a/b, and fastener 604a/b may include complementary hook/soft Velcro material 605a/b. This configuration may allow for even more flexibility as to the position at which a user may secure an end of a hair tie. For example, a user may wrap hair tie 600a/b around a few times and then secure the hook/soft material 605a/b of fastener 604a/b to any point on the soft/hook material 603a/b of elastic member 602a/b. This may obviate any need for a user to first find an opposing end of elastic member 602a/b before anchoring fastener 604a/b.

Referring to FIG. 7, embodiments of hair ties 700a and 700b are illustrated. Hair tie 700a/b may include elastic member 702a/b, with fasteners 704a/b and 706a/b disposed at either ends. A portion of elastic member 702a/b, which may include the entire elastic member or a partial section thereof, may be wrapped in soft/hook Velcro material 703a/b, and fasteners 704a/b and 706a/b may include complementary hook/soft Velcro material 705/707(a/b). Similarly to hair tie 600a/b, the embodiment 700a/b may also provide increased adjustability in wrapping and securing a hair tie. Additionally, hair tie 700a/b may allow for a secure hold with each looping of the hair tie. For example, a user may grip onto the end of elastic member 702a/b at which fastener 704a/b is disposed, and choose to loop elastic member 702a/b around a bundle of hair four times before finally securing fastener 706a/b to the soft/hook material 703a/b of elastic member 702a/b. However, a user may also anchor a portion of elastic member 702a/b via its soft/hook material 703a/b to the hook/soft material 705a/b of fastener 704a/b with even the first looping, and possibly subsequent loopings. This may provide not only a more secure overall hold, but also increased ease in fastening the hair tie, as a user may not be required to grip onto both the hair tie and the bundle of hair as tightly after the first looping is anchored.

Although the above embodiments are described and illustrated in the context of fashion, the scope of the invention extends to other applications where such functions are useful. Furthermore, while the foregoing description has been put forth with reference to particular embodiments of the invention, it will be appreciated that these are only illustrative of the invention and that changes may be made to those embodiments without departing from the principles of the invention as defined by the appended claims.