Title:
HAIR VOLUMIZING DEVICE THAT UTILIZES INDIVIDUAL TREATMENT ELEMENTS WITHOUT LEAVING A VISIBLE PATTERN
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hair volumizing device is designed specifically for adding lift or volume to any hairstyle. The device comprises two arms with heated interlocking plates that employ interlocking two dimensional arrays of individual treatment elements with alternating spaces. The individual treatment element design and the two-dimensional array pattern provide substantial lift and holding strength. The individual treatment elements of the volumizing device transforms the under layer of hair of a person into a matrix that can support the outer or upper visible layer of hair to create volume. The various embodiments also minimize any discernible pattern left in the hair.



Inventors:
Lund, Patricia A. (Oakland, CA, US)
Schwartz, William M. (San Francisco, CA, US)
Application Number:
14/493065
Publication Date:
01/29/2015
Filing Date:
09/22/2014
Assignee:
Oomph Innovations, LLC (San Francisco, CA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D2/40; A45D1/04
View Patent Images:



Foreign References:
FR2153788A51973-05-04
Primary Examiner:
GILL, JENNIFER FRANCES
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Law Office of Christopher Peil (San Francisco, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A device for volumizing hair, comprising: a first arm comprising a first interlocking plate; a second arm comprising a second interlocking plate; at least one heating element associated with any of said first interlocking plate and said second interlocking plate; a pivot positioned between said first arm and said second arm and arranged to allow relative movement of the interlocking plates between an interlocked position and a non-interlocked position; said first and second interlocking plates each comprising an array of treatment elements for treating the hair; wherein the array of individual treatment elements of the first interlocking plate is interlockingly complementary to the array of individual treatment elements of the second interlocking plate; and wherein individual treatment elements of an array are disposed on a surface of the associated plate such that the array is non-parallel to at least one of the long and short axes of the interlocking plate.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein when in the interlocked position the individual treatment elements on the first interlocking plate are not in contact with the individual treatment elements on the second interlocking plate and are separated by a gap.

3. The device of claim 1, wherein at least one individual treatment element comprises; a flat top surface, and at least one angled side projecting from the interlocking plate at a non-perpendicular angle.

4. The device of claim 1, wherein the array of individual treatment elements comprises a spiral pattern.

5. The device of claim 1, wherein the array of individual treatment elements comprises a zig-zag pattern.

6. The device of claim 1, wherein the array of individual treatment elements comprises a radial pattern.

7. The device of claim 1, wherein the individual treatment elements comprise prisms projecting from the interlocking plate.

8. The device of claim 7, wherein the bases of the individual treatment elements are regular polygons in shape.

9. The device of claim 1, wherein the individual treatment elements comprise; a rectangular base, and two triangular sides.

10. The device of claim 1, wherein the individual treatment elements comprise pyramids.

11. The device of claim 1, wherein the individual treatment elements comprise truncated prisms.

12. The device of claim 1, wherein an individual treatment element comprises at least one of; a base that is curved in shape; and a top that is curved in shape.

13. The device of claim 1, wherein the individual treatment elements comprise: at least one surface that is textured.

14. The device of claim 1, wherein at least one interlocking plate comprises individual treatment elements of at least two different shapes.

15. The device of claim 1, wherein at least one interlocking plate comprises an array of individual treatment elements in at least two different patterns.

16. The device of claim 1 wherein the arrays of individual treatment elements on the interlocking plates are shaped for creating a three dimensional matrix of raised flat surfaces in an under layer of hair capable of supporting an upper layer of hair.

17. A device for volumizing hair, comprising: a first arm comprising a first interlocking plate; a second arm comprising a second interlocking plate; at least one heating element associated with any of said first interlocking plate and said second interlocking plate; and a pivot positioned between said first arm and said second arm and arranged to allow relative movement of the interlocking plates between an interlocked position and a non-interlocked position; said first and second interlocking plates each comprising an array of individual treatment elements; wherein the array of individual treatment elements of the first interlocking plate is interlockingly complementary to the array of individual treatment elements of the second interlocking plate and wherein the two dimensional array of individual treatment elements comprises a checkerboard pattern.

18. A device for volumizing hair, comprising: a first arm comprising a first interlocking plate; a second arm comprising a second interlocking plate; at least one heating element associated with any of said first interlocking plate and said second interlocking plate; and a pivot positioned between said first arm and said second arm and arranged to allow relative movement of the interlocking plates between an interlocked position and a non-interlocked position; said first and second interlocking plates each comprising a two dimensional array of individual treatment elements; wherein the array of individual of individual treatment elements of the first interlocking plate is interlockingly complementary to the array of individual treatment elements of the second interlocking plate; wherein each individual treatment element comprises: means for creating a three-dimensional matrix of raised flat surfaces in an under layer of hair capable of supporting an upper layer of hair.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/706,423, filed Dec. 6, 2012, now U.S. Pat. No. 8,839,802, issuing on Sep. 23, 2014, which is incorporated herein in its entirety by this reference thereto.

U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/706,423 claims benefit of U.S. provisional patent applications Ser. No. 61/616,955 filed Mar. 28, 2012 and Ser. No. 61/637,688 filed Apr. 24, 2012, each of which is incorporated herein in its entirety by this reference thereto.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

1. Technical Field The present disclosure relates to hair treatment devices used for styling a person's hair. More particularly, the present disclosure relates to a hair volumizing device that creates the outward appearance of greater hair volume without leaving an outwardly visible pattern.

2. Description of Related Art

Existing hair treatment devices include a category of devices that crimp hair. These crimping devices, known as crimping irons or crimpers, impart a series of bends or creases to the hair. There are two uses of such crimping devices. A first use, and a common use, is to impart a visible crimp pattern to the top layer of the hair as a distinct hairstyle, this is known as a crimped hairstyle and this process is known as crimping. A second use, described in U.S. Pat. No. 7,992,578, is to use a crimping device to create the appearance of volume to a person's hair. This is done by applying the crimping device to an under layer of the hair. An under layer of hair is a layer of hair that is covered by an upper layer of hair and has at least a portion that is an interior hair layer that is not visible in a hair style because an upper layer of hair rests on top and hides it from view. In this method of use the under layer of hair is crimped. This causes the upper layer of hair to be lifted and held away from the head, creating the appearance of greater hair volume. This is because the outer layer of hair rests on the under layer further away from the head and scalp than it would have rested when the under layer was not crimped. Thus the upper layer is lifted and creates the appearance of more hair volume. This lifting application of the device has been accomplished heretofore by re-purposing the first use of the crimping device of creating a distinct pattern in the visible hair and using the same crimping device on an under layer of hair and not on the upper visible layer of hair.

There are many drawbacks to using a known crimping device in a lifting application because the crimping device is not specifically designed for use in a lifting application. A crimping application requires that the crimping device impart a distinct crimped pattern to the hair, which does, as a secondary effect, create somewhat greater volume in the hair. However, a volumizing application requires the creation of a firm support structure in the under layer of hair that can be sustained while supporting the upper layer of hair, giving the appearance of significantly greater hair volume, and that little or no discernible pattern or texture be visible, thereby leaving the basic hair style unchanged. Current hair treatment devices are not specifically designed for lifting and volumizing and do not meet these requirements.

In particular, the saw-tooth ridge design of crimping devices, such as in U.S. Pat. No. 7,992,578, does not meet these requirements for volumizing. These crimping devices employ a single row of long columnar, saw-tooth-shaped ridges on heated mating and interlocking plates, which are embedded in a handheld device that is clamped briefly on the hair. The ridges in these devices extend the entire length of the heated interlocking plates. The ridges run parallel to the long axis of the device.

There are many problems with the known crimping device with the arrangement of saw-tooth ridges in a hair-lifting or volumizing application including:

The arrangement of saw-tooth ridges leaves a noticeable, undesirable crimped pattern in the under layer of hair that shows through to the upper layers. The person's hair then appears visibly crimped, which is not the objective of users seeking to add volume and lift to hair without changing the hairstyle. Crimped hair shows through to the upper layers because the saw-tooth ridges found in existing crimping devices creates a distinct and regular pattern in the hair consisting of a series of sharp, long, accordion pleats or folds. These pleats which are as long as the length of the plates of the device are obvious in the hairstyle and tend to poke through to its upper layers. Further, any hair treatment device having ridges of any shape leaves a distinct pattern in the hair when used in a volumizing application due to the length and regularity of the folds that are created in the hair. Since a goal of a hair treatment device used in a volumizing application is to create lift and volume without creating a visibly crimped hairstyle, any use of ridges, having a saw-tooth or other profile, in such a device is undesirable.

A second problem with the saw-tooth-ridged pattern in crimping devices is that it is not able to create a firm support structure in the lower layers of hair capable of supporting the upper hair layers when used in a volumizing application. This is because the sharp, saw-tooth-shaped ridges create a series of sharp, accordion pleats in the hair that unfold or collapse under the weight of the upper hair layers resting on them and no longer aid in volumizing the hair. As one crimped pleat or fold of hair loses structure by folding or collapsing, the load of the portion of the upper layer of hair that the pleat was supporting is transferred to the adjacent crimped pleats of hair, which in turn are now weighted with more weight than they can support, leading to collapse of all pleats of the hair treated by the device in a domino, cascading fashion. Thus, structural stability is not stable in a volumizing application done with a crimping device having saw-tooth ridges.

A third problem with existing crimping devices, such as found in U.S. Pat. No. 7,992,578, is that the ridge height is not adequate to lift the hair significantly up and away from the head and scalp, in order to create the appearance of substantially greater hair volume.

A fourth problem with prior art devices is the undesirable appearance of frizzy hair from the crimped under layer poking through to the upper layers of hair, caused by the use of closely-spaced, jagged, saw-tooth ridges. Frizzy hair appears dull, kinky, and unhealthy.

SUMMARY

A hair volumizing device is designed specifically for adding lift or volume to any hairstyle. The device comprises two arms with heated interlocking plates that employ interlocking two dimensional arrays of individual treatment elements with alternating spaces. The individual treatment element design and the two-dimensional array pattern provide substantial lift and holding strength. The individual treatment elements of the volumizing device transforms the under layer of hair of a person into a matrix that can support the outer or upper visible layer of hair to create volume. The various embodiments also minimize any discernible pattern left in the hair.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a volumizing device with the interlocking plates in a non-interlocked position;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 with the interlocking plates in a an interlocked position;

FIG. 3 shows section A-A of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 shows section B-B of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is an isometric drawing of an interlocking plate showing a two-dimensional array of separate, individual treatment elements with flat top surfaces;

FIG. 6 shows a single hair being bent or creased by the interlocking plates and showing crease points;

FIG. 7 shows an upper layer of hair supported by a treated under layer of hair which forms platforms;

FIG. 8 shows a cross section of a treatment element embodiment in which trapezoid-shaped treatment elements are arranged as individual, separate treatment elements in a two-dimensional array;

FIG. 9 shows an interlocking plate having a diamond shaped treatment element embodiment;

FIG. 10 shows an interlocking plate having a curved shaped treatment element embodiment;

FIG. 11 shows an interlocking plate having a trapezoidal and diamond shaped treatment element embodiment;

FIG. 12 shows a user employing the device;

FIG. 13 shows an interlocking plate having a spiral-shaped treatment element embodiment;

FIG. 14 shows an interlocking plate having a zigzag-shaped treatment element embodiment;

FIG. 15 shows an interlocking plate having a radial-shaped treatment element embodiment;

FIG. 16 shows an interlocking plate having a flat-top pyramid-shaped treatment element embodiment;

FIGS. 17 and 18 each show an interlocking plate having a treatment element embodiment having a textured top surface; and

FIG. 19 shows an interlocking plate having individual treatment elements in at least two different patterns.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A hair volumizing device is designed specifically for adding lift or volume to any hairstyle. The device comprises two arms with heated interlocking plates that employ interlocking two dimensional arrays of individual treatment elements with alternating spaces. The individual treatment element design and the two-dimensional array pattern provide substantial lift and holding strength. The individual treatment elements of the volumizing device transforms the under layer of hair of a person into a matrix that can support the outer or upper visible layer of hair to create volume. The various embodiments also minimize any discernible pattern left in the hair.

A hair treatment device is optimized for lifting and volumizing hair. The volumizing device leaves little or no visible pattern or frizz in the hair and creates significantly greater and longer lasting volume in the hair. In an embodiment, these benefits are achieved through a design that employs arrays of outwardly projecting individual treatment elements arranged in a two-dimensional array pattern, such as a checkerboard or waffle pattern, instead of long, regular ridged, parallel treatment elements. The volumizing device may be for use by end users on their own hair as well as users on the hair of others, such as in salons by stylists and hair technicians.

The hair volumizing device allows users to impart significant volume or lift to hair by creating a three-dimensional matrix of hair in the under layers of the hair that serves to lift portions of the upper layers of the hair away from the head, creating the appearance of greater hair volume, without creating a clearly visible pattern in the hair. An under layer of hair is a portion of hair that is not visible in a hairstyle because it is located beneath the upper layers of hair that comprise the hair visible to others in a hairstyle. To separate an under layer from the upper visible layer of hair, a comb may be used to part the hair slightly below the point where the user typically parts the hair. The upper hair is separated and hair clips may be used to keep it out of the way while the under layer is being treated. The selected under layer of hair, is then treated with the volumizing device. This process can be repeated all over the head in order to lift hair away from the scalp, giving the appearance of greater hair volume. Users may treat only the portion of hair closest to where it leaves the scalp or they may additionally treat hair as far down the hair shaft as they desire.

A volumizing sub-structure in the under layers of the hair is created by clamping the hair between the interlocking plates of the volumizing device, which are made up of arrays of outwardly projecting individual treatment elements. The plates are heated and briefly clamped on the under layers of hair in order to create structural support for the upper layers.

FIG. 1 shows an embodiment of a volumizing device 1 that may include a pair of arms 2 and 3 joined by a pivot 7. At one end of each arm there may be an interlocking plate 4 and 5, and at another end of each arm there may be a handle portion 8. In an embodiment, the pivot may be a hinge, such as a barrel hinge or floating hinge which allows for the interlocking plates to be clamped together in a parallel fashion. In an embodiment, the pivot joins the arms at an end of the arm such that the interlocking plate and handle portion of each arm are not separated by the pivot. In another embodiment, the pivot joins the arms such that the interlocking plate and handle portion of each arm are located on opposite sides of the pivot.

In an embodiment, the interlocking plates may have a long axis in the direction of the length of the arms and a short axis in the direction of the width of the arms. Either or both of the interlocking plates may be heated by a heating element located within the arm. In an embodiment, the heating element may heat an interlocking plate by any conventional heating method including, for example, electrical resistance, induction, infrared, combustion, or steam. The heating element may heat an interlocking plate to an operating temperature in a range of about 250° F. to about 430° F. The temperature, as well as an on/off function, in some embodiments, may be controlled by an analog or digital circuit located, for example, within an arm of the device. In an embodiment, the device may be powered by an internal power supply, such as a battery. In an embodiment, the device may be powered by an external source through, for example, a power cord 9. Section A-A of FIG. 1 is shown in detail by the upper and lower interlocking plates of FIG. 3.

In an embodiment, the interlocking plates may have a complementary design such that, when the ends of the arms at which they are located are clamped together, the interlocking plates interlock with each other, as shown in FIG. 2. When in the interlocked position, the individual treatment elements on an interlocking plate may mesh with complementary treatment elements on the other interlocking plate. During use, the interlocking plates may clamp onto an under layer of hair, with at least one of the interlocking plates being heated, in order to set the hair in a shape determined by the shape of the interlocking plates. Section B-B of FIG. 2 is shown in detail by FIG. 4.

In an embodiment, each interlocking plate may include, for example, a two-dimensional array of separated individual treatment elements 10 separated on all sides by spaces 11. The embodiments of FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 show the individual treatment elements arranged in a checkerboard fashion in rows and columns. In an embodiment, an individual treatment element may constitute a square prism having flat sides 12 and a flat top 13, surrounded on each of its four sides 12 by a space 11 that is also of square prism shape and similarly sized to the individual treatment element. Though shown in a checkerboard pattern in FIG. 1, the individual treatment elements also may be arranged in any regular pattern or in an irregular array. As shown in FIG. 2, the treatment elements 10 on each plate may interlock with the complementary spaces 11 on the opposite, mating interlocking plate. In some embodiments, the treatment elements on opposing plate pairs have a pattern or array that is the inverse of the opposing plate. Alternatively, in other embodiments, a plate has more spaces than treatment elements and, when the interlocking plates interlock, a space on one plate has a complementary space, instead of a complementary treatment element, on the other plate.

When the heated plates clamp an under layer of hair, the hair is bent and formed by the heated plates to create a matrix of piers which serve to support the upper visible layer of hair and hold it away from the head, thus creating the appearance of greater hair volume. The hair treated by the device takes the shape of the treatment elements. FIG. 6 shows a cross section of the individual treatment elements from FIG. 4 while the device is in use, with a hair 14 being bent or folded in an alternating treatment element and gap in the checkerboard pattern found in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2.

The array of alternating gap and treatment element design not only creates a strong support structure in the lower layers of hair, but it also does this without creating a clear pattern that is visible in the upper layer as is the case when using conventional crimping devices. This is because each treatment element creates a firm support pier in the hair that alternates with surrounding recessed piers, thus breaking up and obscuring any clear pattern of folds in the hair. This is in sharp contrast to the long, accordion pleat folds left in the hair by the long ridges of known crimping devices, which leave a clear pleated or crimped pattern that is visible in the upper layers of hair.

FIG. 1 shows each plate having 6 columns and 18 rows; however the number of rows and columns can be as few as two and as many as 20 or even more. In an embodiment, the height of the treatment elements ranges from about 4 to about 25 mm, but it may exceed this if it is desired to achieve the appearance of even more volume. In further embodiments, the height of treatment elements on the same or complementary interlocking plates may vary.

In embodiments shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, the treatment elements are rectangular prisms having square bases and flat square tops. The long axis length of each treatment element may range from about 4 mm to about 25 mm and short axis length from about 4 mm to about 25 mm, although other dimensions are within the scope of the present disclosure.

When the plates are clamped together, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 6, the treatment element arrangement leaves small gaps between the treatment elements on one plate and the treatment elements on the other plate to fit the hair that is treated and bent or folded, as shown. The complementary individual treatment elements of the interlocking plates comprise gaps that accommodate an amount of hair intended to be treated at once. Thus, the gap may be made larger or smaller to accommodate various amounts of hair to be treated. The width of the interlocking plate ranges from about 8 mm for short hair and up to about 75 mm or more for longer hair. The long axis length of the plate ranges from about 12 mm to about 125 mm or more.

In addition to the treatment element configuration shown in the embodiment of FIG. 1 there exist several related and alternative embodiments of treatment element systems for lifting hair to create volume.

FIG. 8 shows a cross section of an embodiment having trapezoidal treatment elements 15 having flat top surfaces. In embodiments, the trapezoidal treatment elements are arranged in a waffle or checkerboard pattern and function similarly to the square treatment elements of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 9 shows a diamond or an angled treatment element 16 pattern in a checkerboard-like embodiment having flat top treatment element surfaces. In embodiments, the shapes of the tops and the bases of the individual treatment elements are rectangular, square, diamond, trapezoidal, round, oval, elliptical, triangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, or any other polygonal or geometric shape. In some embodiments the individual treatment elements may be prisms, truncated prisms, antiprisms, pyramids, flat-topped pyramids (shown in FIG. 16), and other polyhedrons. Further, in these embodiments the treatment elements are individual treatment elements surrounded by spaces and projecting from the surface of the interlocking plate.

Non-rectilinear designs, such as those shown in FIG. 10 of curved treatment elements 17 are also within the scope of the present disclosure. In some embodiments, the treatment elements may be S-shaped, or may assume other curved shapes and may include individual and separated treatment elements that are arranged in patterns, such as in rows and columns.

In embodiments, the treatment elements may be arranged in a variety of patterns. These arrangements may include rows and columns not parallel to either the long or short axes of the interlocking plate. Further, in some embodiments rows or columns of treatment elements may not be parallel to other rows or columns of treatment elements and may not be in a symmetrical pattern of rows and columns. In some embodiments the treatment elements may assume a spiral pattern, as shown in FIG. 13; a zig-zag pattern, shown in FIG. 14; a radial pattern, as in FIG. 15 or any combination thereof. In some embodiments, the treatment elements may be disposed in a two-dimensional array on an interlocking plate in an irregular or random pattern. In addition, in some embodiments, a variety of treatment element patterns may co-exist on the same interlocking plate, in different sections of the plate. In some embodiments, complementary interlocking plates may have differently shaped treatment elements and different patterns of treatment elements that mesh and interlock with one another. As shown in FIGS. 13-15, embodiments may have continuous treatment elements. In embodiments, individual treatment elements, as shown in FIGS. 3-11, may be disposed on the surface of the interlocking plates in, for example, spiral or zig-zag or radial patterns.

FIG. 7 shows a table-type support 18, created by the flat top surface of the individual treatment elements of an interlocking plate, and an array of piers having table-type supports providing a foundation for support to the upper layers 19 of hair. The short spans between piers, by virtue of the alternating treatment element design, enhance hair support. The individual, alternating treatment elements that form the piers break up the pattern in the hair, making it less visible, while adding to the strength of the foundation. In some embodiments, the tops of the treatment elements may be concave, convex; or any combination of curves, flat sections, indentations, projections and other shapes. In some embodiments, the top surfaces of the treatment elements may be smooth, ridged, textured, uneven, stepped, or any combination thereof. For example, FIGS. 16-17 show embodiments wherein an interlocking plate includes treatment elements 10 having flat tops with textured surfaces. In some embodiments the tops of the individual treatment elements may not include a top surface and instead comprise a vertex or apex.

The sides 12 of the individual treatment elements shown in the embodiment of FIG. 1 may be flat sides projecting perpendicularly from the interlocking plate and the individual treatment elements shown in the embodiment of FIG. 8 may have flat sides projecting at an obtuse angle to the interlocking plate. In some embodiments, the sides of a treatment element all project from the interlocking plate at the same angle and in some embodiments at least one side of a treatment element projects from the interlocking plate at an angle different than at least one of the other sides of the treatment element. In some embodiments, the sides of the individual treatment elements may be curved, stepped, faceted or textured.

As shown in FIGS. 11 and 19, in some embodiments, each plate may have any combination of types of individual treatment elements 22, 23, having varying or similar size, heights, shapes, top surfaces, and types of sides. In some embodiments, a device has interchangeable plates with different types of individual treatment elements, with varying or similar size, heights, shapes, top surfaces, and types of sides. In some embodiments, the interchangeable plates may be in pairs of complementary plates, and in some embodiments an interlocking plate may have a plurality of complementary plates having different individual treatment element configurations.

In some embodiments the interlocking plates may be flat and rectangular, as shown in the embodiment in FIG. 1. In some embodiments, the interlocking plates may be curved along either of their axes or both. In some embodiments, the interlocking plates may have both curved and flat sections. Also in some embodiments, the interlocking plates may be non-rectangular in shape, including, for example, interlocking plates in the shape of circles, ovals, triangles, and other polygons and geometric shapes. The plate shape is independent of the pattern of the individual treatment elements. In some embodiments, a circular interlocking plate may have a checkerboard treatment element pattern or a radial treatment element pattern and in some embodiments a rectangular plate may have a radial treatment element pattern or a checkerboard treatment element pattern.

In some embodiments, the overall device, including the arms and the interlocking plates may be straight and in some embodiments the overall device, or components thereof, may be curved, including, for example, along the long or short axes of the arms. In an embodiment, a curved volumizing device is curved to be better adapted to reach the back of the head more easily or to match the curvature of the head. In some embodiments, the overall device is made of smaller components to suit travel applications. In some embodiments, the travel version may have as few as two columns of individual separate treatment elements in any of the above described patterns.

In some embodiments, the construction of the interlocking plate may be made from ceramic or metal, including, for example, aluminum, aluminum alloys, copper, steel, iron, zinc and nickel alloys. In some embodiments, the metals may be coated with various materials, including, for example, silicone, anodized metal, TEFLON, ceramics, including, for example, tourmaline and titanium-infused ceramics or some combination thereof. In some embodiments, the treatment elements may have both thermally conductive and insulating layers and may contain materials designed to create friction to help hold the hair in place during treatment. Fabrication of the interlocking plates and treatment elements is done with any manufacturing method, including, for example, die casting, mold casting, extrusion, milling, drawing, laser cutting, and other metal forming and fabrication methods.

Referring now to the operation of a volumizing device such as that of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the device 1 may include, for example, two mating, heated interlocking plates 4 and 5 that clamp and interlock in a jaw-like fashion onto the under layers of the hair 20, as shown in FIG. 12. In embodiments, the interlocking plates consist of separate and individual treatment elements arranged in a two-dimensional array or pattern as described above. When the plates are clamped together, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 6, the treatment element arrangement provides small gaps between the plates in order to fit the treated hair. FIG. 12 shows a hair treatment device in use on a person's hair with the plate and treatment elements design described here.

When a lower layer of hair is clamped between the heated plates of the device as shown in FIG. 6, each treated hair may be bent over each treatment element, creating discrete bends, folds or creases in the hair. The hinging of the device enables the mating interlocking plates to meet in a parallel fashion when clamped on the hair. In some embodiments, each treatment element will bend the hair from about 60- to about 120-degree angles, multiple times per treatment element. In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1 and 6, each treatment element may bend a strand of hair 14 at 90-degree angles, a total of four times per treatment element, as shown in FIG. 6. As shown in FIG. 7, each treatment element may create a raised flat surface 18 in the under hair layer 20 for the upper hair layer 19 to rest on and a lower flat surface 21 that rests against the scalp or other hair in order to provide a firm support for the upper layer of hair. As shown in FIG. 7, when a segment of hair is placed over the entire active heated surface of the interlocking plate, and clamped briefly, a strong three-dimensional support matrix of piers is created in the under layer of treated hair, which supports the upper layer which remains untreated by the volumizing device. This process can be repeated as far down the hair shaft as desired and around the entire head of hair. Furthermore, the process may be repeated so that multiple layers of under layers of hair create support matrices that are stacked onto each other to create even greater volume in the user's hair.

By virtue of a checkerboard-like three-dimensional alternating treatment element pattern, portions of hair that are folded along a given row serve to support the neighboring hair portions in adjacent rows that are folded in the opposite direction. These alternating hair folds may create a strong foundation of support due to a grid of flat topped piers that are more stable and less likely than hair treated with columnar treatment elements, found in crimping devices, to collapse in a domino cascading fashion. This system also minimizes the spans between piers, so that the upper or outer layer of hair is better supported. This individual treatment element arrangement creates a more laterally stable platform to hold the upper hair up and away from the head or scalp, thereby adding the volume desired and holding it for long periods of time.

This alternating treatment element checkerboard design may provide such support without leaving a distinct visible pattern in the hair, due to the individual, flat-topped treatment elements and their alternating arrangement on the interlocking plates. Because each treatment element alternates with gaps on all sides, any clear pattern of folding in the hair created by each raised treatment element is broken up and obscured by the adjacent gaps between the treatment elements, especially when concealed beneath an upper layer of hair not treated by the volumizing device. This is in contrast to the long, sharp-peaked, accordion pleated folds left in the hair by the long, saw-tooth ridges of a crimping device, which leave a clear pleated or crimped pattern that is clearly visible in the upper layers of hair.

Additionally, the device creates volume and lift without creating undesired frizz in the lower layers that protrudes into the upper visible layers. When a segment of hair is placed over the entire active surface of the interlocking plate, and clamped briefly between two interlocking plates, a strong three-dimensional support system is created in the lower layer of treated hair that supports the upper visible layer, while the outer or upper hair layer remains untreated. This process can be repeated as far down the hair shaft as desired, thereby building volume on the top and on the sides of the head for a long-haired user. It can also be repeated in an under layer close to the scalp, over the entire head of hair, adding volume in the back of the head.

In summary, these plates impart to the hair a foundation of strong support designed to create, lift and add volume in hair, while minimizing a visible pattern in the hair and without creating undesired frizz.

While the foregoing written description of the embodiments enables one of ordinary skill to make and use a hair volumizing device as described, those of ordinary skill will understand and appreciate the existence of variations, combinations, and equivalents of the specific embodiments, methods, and examples herein. The specification described here should therefore not be limited by the above described embodiment, method, and examples, but by all embodiments and methods within the scope and spirit of the embodiment as claimed.