Title:
Hair retention system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An improved hair retention system for more securely retaining hair while reducing breakage. A barrette is adhesively secured along one surface to a soft flexible material. The material is also secured to the opposite side of the head and the exterior bodies of the barrette. The interior body of the barrette is not secured on either side to the resilient material. In operation, when the interior body is biased against the exterior bodies of the barrette, instead of metal contacting metal, the metal of the interior body contacts the resilient material, thereby reducing the potential for hair breakage. By providing the material with a nap, the hair system secures the hair more tightly as well. Other accessories, such as bows, gems, monograms, logos and the like may be secured to the back of the improved hair retention system.



Inventors:
Stevenson, Gretchen (Johnston, IA, US)
Nitchie, Julie (Johnston, IA, US)
Application Number:
12/231150
Publication Date:
03/04/2010
Filing Date:
08/29/2008
Assignee:
The Pink Hippo Inc.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
132/278
International Classes:
A45D8/00; A45D8/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
STEITZ, RACHEL RUNNING
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BRETT J. TROUT, PC (DES MOINES, IA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An improved hair retention system comprising: (a) a barrette comprising: (i) a first resilient body having a first side and a second side; (ii) a second resilient body having a first side and a second side; (iii) a third resilient body having a first side and a second side; (iv) wherein said first body is coupled to said third body at a foot and wherein said foot has a first side and a second side; and (v) a head coupled to said first body, said second body and said third body, wherein said head is provided with a first side and a second side; (b) a flexible material having an interior surface and an exterior surface: (i) wherein said first side of said first resilient body is secured to an interior surface of said flexible material; (ii) wherein said first side of said third resilient body is secured to an interior surface of said flexible material; (iii) wherein said first side of said foot is secured to an interior surface of said flexible material; (iv) wherein said first side of said head is secured to an interior surface of said flexible material; (v) wherein said second side of said first resilient body is secured to an interior surface of said flexible material; (vi) wherein said second side of said third resilient body is secured to an interior surface of said flexible material; (vii) wherein said second side of said foot is secured to an interior surface of said flexible material; (viii) wherein said second side of said head is secured to an interior surface of said flexible material; (c) wherein said third resilient body contacts an exterior surface of said flexible material positioned over said first resilient body and said second resilient body.

2. The improved hair retention system of claim 1, wherein said flexible material is of a one-piece construction;

3. The improved hair retention system of claim 2, wherein said interior surface of said flexible material is of a different construction than said exterior surface of said flexible material.

4. The improved hair retention system of claim 2, wherein said flexible material is secured over both sides of said head and under said third resilient body.

5. The improved hair retention system of claim 4, further comprising an ornamental hair accessory secured to said barrette.

6. The improved hair retention system of claim 4, further comprising an ornamental hair accessory secured to said flexible material.

7. The improved hair retention system of claim 6, wherein said ornamental hair accessory is secured to said exterior surface of said flexible material.

8. The improved hair retention system of claim 1, wherein said interior surface of said flexible material is of a different construction than said exterior surface of said flexible material.

9. The improved hair retention system of claim 1, wherein said flexible material is secured over said head and under said third resilient body.

10. The improved hair retention system of claim 1, further comprising an ornamental hair accessory secured to said barrette.

11. The improved hair retention system of claim 1, further comprising an ornamental hair accessory secured to said flexible material.

12. The improved hair retention system of claim 1, wherein said exterior surface of said material is provided with more than ten retainers.

13. An improved hair retention system comprising: (a) a barrette comprising: (i) a first body having a head and a foot; (ii) a second body having a head and a foot; (iii) a third body having a head and a foot; (iv) wherein said foot of said first body is coupled to said foot of said third body; (v) wherein said head of said second body is coupled to said head of said first body; and (vi) wherein said barrette is adjustable between a first position where said foot of said second body is biased toward said foot of said first body and a second position where said foot of said second body is biased away from said foot of said first body; (b) a cover provided around said first body, said third body and said head of said second body; (c) wherein when said barrette is in said first position said foot of said second body is in contact with said cover; and (d) wherein when said barrette is in said second position said foot of said second body is not in contact with said cover.

14. The improved hair retention system of claim 13, wherein said cover is of a one-piece construction.

15. The improved hair retention system of claim 13, wherein said cover is rectangular.

16. The improved hair retention system of claim 13, further comprising an ornamental hair accessory coupled to said cover.

17. The improved hair retention system of claim 13, wherein said exterior surface of said material is provided with more than ten retainers.

18. An improved hair retention system comprising: (a) a barrette comprising: (i) a resilient loop; (ii) a body having a head and a foot; (iii) wherein said head of said body is coupled to said resilient loop; (iv) wherein said barrette is adjustable between a first position, wherein said foot of said body is biased toward said resilient loop, and a second position wherein said foot of said body is biased away from said resilient loop; (b) a flexible cover secured around at least eighty percent of said resilient loop; (c) wherein when said barrette is in said first position, said foot of said body is in contact with said cover; and (d) wherein when said barrette is in said second position; said foot of said body is not in contact with said cover.

19. The improved hair retention system of claim 18, wherein said exterior surface of said material is provided with more than one hundred retainers.

20. The improved hair retention system of claim 18, further comprising an ornamental hair accessory coupled to said cover.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a hair retention system and, more particularly, to a hair retention system with increased hair securement and reduced hair damage characteristics.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Barrettes are well known in the art for use in association with retaining hair. Barrettes can be purely functional, used merely to locate the hair in a particular orientation, or away from the face. Alternatively, barrettes may be designed to be primarily decorative.

Barrettes may be constructed of any desirable material but are typically constructed of either plastic or metal. While plastic barrettes are of a low cost manufacture, they have an increased tendency to break. Metal barrettes, while durable, can damage hair with their sharp edges and become inadvertently dislodged as the result of their smooth surface. Additionally, making metal barrettes decorative can be difficult and expensive, and the ways in which the barrette can be modified are limited by the inherent manufacture of metal barrettes. It would, therefore, be desirable to provide an improved barrette which is of a low cost, lightweight manufacture, and which subjects hair to less potential damage. It would also be desirable to provide a barrette with more aesthetic appeal and which retains hair more securely. It would further be desirable to provide a barrette which may be easily combined with other accessories to allow such accessories to be easily attached to a user's hair. The prior art difficulties described hereinabove are substantially eliminated by the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In an advantage provided by this invention, a hair retention system is provided which is durable and aesthetic.

Advantageously, this invention provides a hair retention system of a low cost, lightweight manufacture.

Advantageously, this invention provides a hair retention system which retains hair more securely.

Advantageously, this invention provides a hair retention system for securing a user's hair with reduced potential for hair breakage.

Advantageously, this invention provides a hair retention system which allows for the securement of additional accessories to the hair.

In an embodiment of this invention, an improved hair retention system is provided having a barrette constructed of three resilient bodies. The three resilient bodies are connected to the head of the barrette, but only the outside two bodies are connected to one another on the opposite end. The barrette is, therefore, pivotable between an unlocked position, wherein the center body is biased away from the point at which the outer two bodies are connected to one another, and a second position in which the end of the center body is biased into contact with the point at which the exterior bodies are secured to one another. A flexible material is secured to the barrette when the barrette is in the first position, with the material spanning between the first body and the second body. The material is then secured around the opposite face of the barrette, and around the top portion of the barrette. This center body is not secured to the material, thereby allowing it to be biased out of contact with the material in the unlocked position and into contact with the material in the locked position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a top plan view of the barrette used in association with the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates the barrette of FIG. 1 provided around a user's hair in the unlocked position without the aid of the attachment system of the present invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates a side perspective view of the barrette of FIG. 2, shown being secured in the locked position onto the user's hair by biasing the center body into contact with the point at which the exterior bodies connect;

FIG. 4 illustrates a top plan view of the barrette of FIG. 1, shown adhesively secured to a sheet of flexible material;

FIG. 5 illustrates a side elevation of the flexible material adhesively secured around the exterior bodies and head of the barrette;

FIG. 6 illustrates a side elevation of the improved barrette, shown in the locked position, retaining a user's hair; and

FIG. 7 illustrates a rear perspective view of the preferred embodiment, shown securing accessories to a user's hair.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

With reference to the drawings, a barrette used in association with the present invention, is shown generally as (10) in FIG. 1. The barrette is similar to those known in the prior art having a first resilient body (12), second resilient body (14) and third resilient body (16). To increase contact of the second resilient body (14) with a user's hair as shown in FIG. 2, the second resilient body (14) may be provided with a center opening (18) and a crimp (20), in a manner such as that known in the prior art.

As shown in FIG. 2, the barrette (10) is provided with a head (22) secured to the first resilient body (12), second resilient body (14) and third resilient body (16). On the opposite end of the barrette, forming the foot (24), is the portion where the ends of the second resilient body (14) and third resilient body (16) are secured to one another by a rivet (25). As the barrette (10) is preferably constructed of spring metal, when the foot (24) of the barrette (10) is biased away from the tip (26) of the second resilient body (14), the barrette (10) is biased toward maintaining the unlocked or “open” orientation shown in FIG. 2. At this point, a user's hair (28) may be provided between the second resilient body (14) and the first and third resilient bodies (12) and (16). Thereafter, the foot (24) of the barrette (10) may be biased toward the tip (26) of the second resilient body (14) to secure the barrette (10) in the locked or “closed” orientation shown in FIG. 3.

One drawback associated with such a prior art usage of the barrette (10) is the numerous sharp edges it contains. The first resilient body (12), second resilient body (14) and third resilient body (16) all contain these sharp edges which tend to break or damage the user's hair (28) when the barrette (10) is secured to the hair (28), released from the hair (28), or while the user otherwise moves the hair (28) with the barrette (10) in place.

As shown in FIG. 4, the barrette (10) is secured to a flexible material (30) with adhesive or similar securement means. While the flexible material (30) may be of any desired type, in the preferred embodiment, the flexible material (30) is velvet, which, as shown in FIG. 5, has a smooth interior surface (34) and an exterior surface which acts as hundreds of tiny, soft retainers (32). The flexible material (30) may be of any desired construction, however, in the preferred embodiment the flexible material (30) is provided with dimensions slightly wider than the barrette (10) and twice as long. Other preferable dimensions are within 25 % and 250% of the dimensions of the preferred embodiment. The flexible material (30) is preferably of a one-piece construction, being adhesively secured to the barrette (10) as shown in FIG. 4 on the smooth side (34) of the flexible material (30) not having the retainers (32). (FIGS. 4 and 5). Once the barrette (10) has been secured to the flexible material (30) as shown in FIG. 4, the barrette (10) is biased into the unlocked position as described above and the smooth surface (34) of the flexible material (30) is secured over the opposite side of the first resilient body (12) and third resilient body (16).

Similarly, the opposite end of the flexible material (30) is secured over the opposite side of the head (22) of the barrette (10) with adhesive (36). The improved barrette (38) of the present invention may be used directly on a user's hair as shown in FIG. 6. Alternatively, the velvety back of the improved barrette (38), such as shown in FIG. 6, provides a perfect mounting for other desired accessories, such as bows (42), faux gems (44), real gems (46), personalization (48), or any other desired modification, which may be adhesively secured directly to the flexible material (30) or secured directly to the barrette (10) through openings (50) in the flexible material (30).

By securing the hair (28) between the second resilient body (14) and the soft velvet (30) instead of between the three sharp resilient bodies (12), (14) and (16), the improved barrette (38) increases the strength with which the improved barrette (38) is secured to the user's hair (28), (FIGS. 4, 5 and 6), while reducing the breakage that naturally occurs using prior art metal barrettes alone.

Although the invention has been described with respect to a preferred embodiment thereof, it is to be understood that it is not to be so limited since changes and modifications can be made therein which are within the full, intended scope of this invention as defined by the appended claims. For example, it is anticipated that the flexible material (30) may be vinyl, latex, rubber, leather, suede or any other suitable material. It is additionally anticipated that the improved barrette of the present invention may be constructed of any desired dimensions and that the barrette (10) may be constructed of metal, plastic or any other suitable material.