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Title:
APPLICATOR FOR APPLYING A HAIR PRODUCT, AND ASSOCIATED APPLICATION METHOD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/234297
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The applicator for applying a hair product comprises a base (12) and first group of fixed spikes (14) protruding relative to the base. The applicator further comprises a second group of spikes (16) separate from the spikes (14) of the first group and translatably movable relative to the base between at least one extended position protruding relative to said base on the side of the spikes (14) of the first group, and a retracted position.

Inventors:
SAMAIN HENRI (FR)
GIRON FRANCK (FR)
Application Number:
EP2020/063969
Publication Date:
November 26, 2020
Filing Date:
May 19, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
OREAL (FR)
International Classes:
A45D24/04; A45D7/00; A45D19/02; A45D24/22; A45D24/26; A46B11/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2010085236A22010-07-29
WO2012107887A22012-08-16
Foreign References:
CN106037227A2016-10-26
US2771890A1956-11-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THON, Julien et al. (FR)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Applicator for applying a hair product comprising a base (12), a first group of fixed spikes (14) protruding relative to the base, and a second group of spikes (16) separate from the spikes (14) of the first group and translatably movable relative to the base between at least one extended position protruding relative to said base on the side of the spikes (14) of the first group, and a retracted position, characterized in that the spikes (16) of the second group each internally delimit a product supply channel opening out by means of at least one outlet orifice, the applicator further comprising a reservoir (30) connected to said spikes (16) of the second group and internally delimiting at least one compartment (32) for storing said product in fluid communication with the supply channels of said spikes.

2. Applicator according to Claim 1, in which the spikes (16) of the second group remain set back from the spikes (14) of the first group in said extended position.

3. Applicator according to Claim 1 or 2, in which the spikes (16) of the second group are positioned so that they form at least one row of spikes.

4. Applicator according to any one of the preceding claims, in which the spikes (14) of the first group are positioned so that they form at least one row of spikes.

5. Applicator according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising a plate (24) supporting the spikes (16) of the second group and translatably movable relative to the base (12).

6. Applicator according to any one of the preceding claims, in which the spikes (16) of the second group extend through the base (12).

7. Applicator according to any one of the preceding claims, further comprising an actuating member (34) for moving the spikes (16) of the second group.

8. Applicator according to Claim 7, further comprising at least one elastically deformable return element (38) which is interposed between the actuating member (34) and the base (12).

9. Applicator according to any one of the preceding claims, in which the reservoir (30) comprises at least one deformable portion so that pressure exerted on said deformable portion causes a reduction in the volume of said storage compartment (32) and a movement of the product towards the supply channels and the outlet orifices of the spikes (16) of the second group. 10. Applicator according to any one of the preceding claims, in which the base (12) and the spikes (14) of the first group are made in one piece.

11. Applicator according to any one of the preceding claims, in which the base (12) delimits a frontal face (20) from which the spikes (14) of the first group and the spikes (16) of the second group protrude at least in said extended position, the density of the spikes of the first and second groups on said frontal face being between 1 and 20 per cm2, and preferably between 2 and 12 per cm2.

12. Applicator according to Claim 11, in which the frontal face (20) of the base of the applicator is between 10 and 200 cm2, and preferably between 50 and 100 cm2.

13. Method of applying to the hair a hairstyling composition comprising at least one fixing agent for shaping the hair with the aid of an applicator comprising a base (12), a first group of fixed spikes (14) protruding relative to the base, and a second group of spikes (16) separate from the spikes (14) of the first group and translatably movable relative to the base between at least one extended position protruding relative to said base on the side of the spikes (14) of the first group, and a retracted position, the method comprising:

a step of loading the spikes (16) of the second group of the applicator with the hairstyling composition,

- a step of styling the hair by introducing the spikes (14) of the first group of the applicator into the head of hair and moving them, with the spikes (16) of the second group in the retracted position, and

a step of transferring the hairstyling composition to the hair by extending the spikes (16) of the second group into the head of hair.

14. Method according to Claim 13, in which the step of transferring the hairstyling composition to the hair is realized during and/or after the step of styling the hair.

Description:
DESCRIPTION

TITLE: Applicator for applying a hair product, and associated application method

The present invention relates to an applicator for applying a hair product, in particular a hairstyling composition comprising a fixing agent for shaping the hair.

Generally, in order to shape a head of hair, the arrangement of the hair is changed and then the conferred shape is fixed. This is generally carried out after each washing of the hair.

For this, one solution consists in styling the hair when it is wet, for example with instruments that deliver heat, such as a hot-air hair dryer, and applying a mechanical stress to the hair, in particular to the roots. Typically, this technique, referred to as blow drying, produces a volume effect that it is desired to maintain over time. Thus, use is made of hairstyling compositions comprising a fixing agent such as aerosol lacquers, capable of helping the hair shaping created to withstand the movements of the day, and gravity.

However, this solution is starting to be abandoned, as it requires a hair stylist’s know-how, and is difficult for the individual to reproduce after washing the hair. The tension to be exerted on the hair during blow drying also requires the development of significant force in positions that can cause fatigue and a risk of joint discomfort.

Another solution consists in, after drying, placing the hair by means of a brush before fixing the conferred shape using a fixing product such as a lacquer. This approach is much easier to implement and less tiring than blow drying, but is much less effective as the persistence of the shaping is short-lasting and certain hairstyles can be difficult to create, in particular as the roots are less lifted.

In order to benefit from a device that makes it possible to deposit droplets of fixing composition without spraying, the Applicant Company has developed an applicator comprising a plurality of protruding spikes that delimit, at their free ends, cavities for retaining the composition to be applied. For more details on the design of this applicator, reference may be made to the Patent Application WO-A2- 2012/107887, and in particular to the embodiments in Figures 2F, 3F and 3G.

Once the cavities of the spikes of the applicator have been loaded with composition by direct withdrawal from a receptacle containing the composition, the composition is retained inside said cavities by capillary action before being deposited on the hair in the form of droplets. Such an applicator makes it possible in particular to achieve precise application of composition without running or spraying. However, although this applicator offers an advantageous alternative for fixing the shaping of the hair, it does not solve the problem of the difficulty of creating this shaping.

The use of styling gels can be one solution for fixing the hairstyle, as they make it possible to place the hair while also fixing it. For this, the gel is applied to wet hair, the treated hair is placed by means of a comb, a brush or else by hand, and it is left to dry naturally. As the gel tends to compact the hair together on application, the hand actions for placing the hair are effective for shaping the head of hair.

However, the hair is left plastered down and, after drying, gives the head of hair a“wet” effect that is especially suitable for short hair. In addition, many individuals are not satisfied with this solution, which changes the feel of the hair and can make it tacky.

Unable to find an entirely satisfactory solution, many individuals have adopted a new approach of straightening with an iron, which makes it possible to style the hair without fixing it. For this, the hair is first dried, and then straightened with the straightening iron, for example causing the hair to follow the contour of the skull.

This regular use of a straightening iron damages the cuticle of the hair and is also only possible on long hair. In addition, it tends to make hairstyles uniform, therefore limiting the opportunity to stand out.

Individuals who find that straightened hairstyles do not suit them, or wish to have shoulder-length or short hair, or who have fragile hair and/or do not wish to damage their hair, thus cannot find any fully satisfactory solutions.

It is therefore understood that there is a need to overcome the aforementioned drawbacks.

One subject of the invention is an applicator for applying a hair product comprising a base and a first group of spikes protruding relative to the base and fixed relative thereto.

According to a general feature, the applicator further comprises a second group of spikes separate from the spikes of the first group. The spikes of the second group are translatably movable relative to the base between an extended position protruding with regard to said base on the side of the spikes of the first group, and a retracted position. According to a general feature, the spikes of the second group each internally delimit a product supply channel opening out by means of at least one outlet orifice, the applicator further comprising a reservoir connected to said spikes of the second group and internally delimiting at least one compartment for storing said product in fluid communication with the supply channels of said spikes of the second group.

The outlet orifices may be formed on the end portions of the spikes of the second group, and particularly at the free ends.

The term“spikes” is understood to mean separable protruding elements on the applicator. The spikes may have a cylindrical, conical, parallelepipedal, triangular, irregular, etc. shape. The spikes may have a constant cross-section over their height or a variable cross-section at least partially along their height. The cross-section of the spikes may be any shape, cylindrical, polygonal, elongated, regular or irregular.

The expression“second group of spikes separate from the spikes of the first group” is understood to mean that the spikes of one group are not mounted on the spikes of the other group.

The expression“reservoir connected to the spikes” is understood to mean that the spikes are fastened directly or indirectly onto the reservoir, or that the reservoir is made as a single piece with the spikes, for example by moulding.

With such an applicator, the fixed spikes of the first group can be used to style the hair according to the desired arrangement, and at the end of each movement or during the movement of the applicator, the spikes of the second group can be extended in order to apply the product.

With such an applicator, the user can easily create all sorts of hairstyles regardless of the length of the hair and without having to blow dry it.

Preferably, the spikes of the second group remain set back from the spikes of the first group in said extended position.

According to one particular arrangement, the spikes of the second group are positioned so that they form at least one row of spikes. The spikes of the first group may also be positioned so that they form at least one row of spikes. Alternatively, the spikes of the first group and/or the spikes of the second group may be arranged differently.

In one embodiment, the applicator comprises a plate supporting the spikes of the second group and translatably movable relative to the base. According to one particular design, the spikes of the second group extend through the base. Alternatively, it is possible to position these spikes so that they do not extend through the base.

In one embodiment, the applicator also comprises an actuating member for moving the spikes of the second group. The applicator may further comprise at least one elastically deformable return element which is interposed between the actuating member and the base. The return element may be for example a spring or a Belleville washer.

The reservoir of the applicator may comprise at least one deformable portion so that pressure exerted on said deformable portion causes a reduction in the volume of said storage compartment and a movement of the product towards the supply channels and the outlet orifices of the spikes of the second group.

The deformable portion or portions may be elastically deformable. The expression“elastically deformable portion” is understood to mean a portion that is capable, on account of the material used and/or the dimensioning thereof, of deforming under the action of a load exerted by the user on said portion, and of returning by elasticity to its initial position once the load ceases. Alternatively, it is possible for the deformable portion or portions not to return to their shape after deformation.

The reservoir may internally delimit a plurality of storage compartments each in fluid communication with at least one of the supply channels of the spikes of the second group, each supply channel being in communication with only one of said compartments. Provision can be made for each storage compartment to be fluidly isolated from the other storage compartment or compartments. The different storage compartments can thus be filled with different products and/or filled with different quantities of product.

According to one particular design, the applicator comprises a plurality of elastically compressible porous members positioned inside said storage compartment. Such porous members make it possible to absorb the product and release it when they are compressed.

Preferably, each porous member covers the inlet orifice or orifices of the supply channels of the spikes of the second group opening out into said compartment. This thus prevents the product from seeping into the channels in an undesirable manner. In one particular embodiment, the applicator can comprise a system for distributing said pressure on each elastically compressible porous member, the system being mounted inside the reservoir. The distribution system can comprise a plurality of elastic members each interposed between a porous member and the deformable wall. The elastic members may for example be springs.

In one embodiment, the applicator may also comprise a system for adjusting the flow rate of the supply channels of the spikes of the second group that is mounted inside the reservoir and may be actuated from the outside. The adjustment system makes it possible to adjust the flow rate of each spike of the second group and to close them off after use of the applicator.

According to one particular design, the base and the spikes of the first group are made in one piece, for example by moulding. Alternatively, these spikes may be made in the form of attached elements that are fastened to the base by any appropriate means, for example by adhesive bonding or else by overmoulding.

In one embodiment, the base of the applicator delimits a frontal face from which the spikes of the first group and the spikes of the second group protrude at least in said extended position, the density of the spikes of the first and second groups on said frontal face being between 1 and 20 per cm 2 , and preferably between 2 and 12 per cm 2 .

The frontal face of the base of the applicator may be between 10 and 200 cm 2 , and preferably between 50 and 100 cm 2 .

Preferably, the spikes of a single group extend in the same direction of extension and are also preferably the same height. The spikes of a single group may be identical to one another. The spikes of the two groups may extend in a single direction of extension and/or be identical to one another. By way of indication, the height of the spikes may for example be between 2 mm and 40 mm, and preferably between 3 mm and 20 mm.

In one particular embodiment, the end portions of the different spikes have a flat shape or a section that decreases in the direction of their free end. As a variant, it is possible to provide end portions for the spikes of the first and/or the spikes of the second group having other shapes, for example a concave shape so as to form product- retaining cavities for the spikes of the second group, a corrugated shape, etc.

In one particular embodiment, the spikes of the second group may be at least partially made from a porous material capable of absorbing the hairstyling composition. The expression“porous material” is understood to mean a material permeable to the composition, that is to say allowing the diffusion of the composition inside it. At least the end portions of the spikes of the second group are formed at least partially from a porous material. It is for example possible to make provision for only producing the end portions of the spikes of the second group from a porous material. Alternatively, each spike of the second group may be formed entirely from a porous material. In another variant, the applicator as a whole may be formed entirely from a porous material. Preferably, said porous material of the spikes of the second group of the applicator comprises foam. The foam may for example be a polyurethane foam or a polyethylene foam. The foam may have open or semi-open cells. By way of indication, the density of the foam may be less than or equal to 0.8, and may preferably be between 0.1 and 0.6.

In one particular embodiment, at least one plurality of the spikes of the second group each have a surface tension that varies in the direction of its length, a distal application portion of each spike of said plurality of spikes having a surface tension greater than that of a proximal portion of said spike.

The“proximal portion” of a spike is understood to mean the portion of the spike that is closest to the base, and the“distal portion” the end portion of the spike that is furthest from the base while being located on the same side of the proximal portion relative to the base. The distal application portion of each spike of said plurality of spikes of the second group may be adjacent to the proximal portion of said spike.

The distal portions of the spikes of the second group may have one or more surface tension values. The proximal portions of the spikes of the second group may have one or more surface tension values which remain lower than that (those) of the distal portions.

The surface tension values of the distal application portions and of the proximal portions of the spikes of the second group are advantageously chosen as a function of the hair product to be applied.

The surface tension of the distal application portions of the spikes of the second group may advantageously be greater than that of the hair product to be applied.

The surface tension of the proximal portions of the spikes of the second group may advantageously be lower than that of the hair product to be applied.

During the loading of the spikes of the second group of the applicator with the hair product, a layer of hair product forms on each spike. Then, before and while the applicator is introduced into the head of hair, the hair product has a tendency to move towards the ends of the spikes given the surface tension of the distal application portions and of the proximal portions of said spikes relative to the surface tension of the hair product.

Preferably, the distal application portion of each spike of said plurality of spikes of the second group is provided with the free end of said spike.

According to one particular design, the distal application portion and proximal portion of each spike of said plurality of spikes of the second group are fixed relative to one another.

With such a design, the distal application portion and proximal portion of each spike of the second group may be made in one piece. In this case, it is possible to locally provide a step of surface treatment of each spike in order to reduce the surface tension of the proximal portion. Alternatively, it is possible to produce the distal application portion and proximal portion of each spike of the second group as two separate parts which are then fastened together by any appropriate means. In another variant, each spike of said plurality of spikes is provided with a sleeve delimiting the proximal portion of said spike.

According to another particular design, the distal application portion and proximal portion of each spike of said plurality of spikes of the second group can slide relative to one another, and are partly mounted one inside the other.

In this case, the applicator may further comprise an actuating member for the movement of the distal application portion and proximal portion of each spike of said plurality of spikes of the second group relative to one another.

In one embodiment, the actuating member comprises a plate that is movable relative to the base and that supports the proximal portion, or the distal application portion, of each spike of said plurality of spikes of the second group. The applicator may further comprise at least one elastically deformable return element which is interposed between the plate and the base.

Another subject of the invention is a method of applying to the hair a hairstyling composition comprising at least one fixing agent for shaping the hair with the aid of an applicator.

This applicator comprises a base, a first group of fixed spikes protruding relative to the base, and a second group of spikes separate from the spikes of the first group and translatably movable relative to the base between at least one extended position protruding relative to said base on the side of the spikes of the first group, and a retracted position.

The method comprises:

a step of loading the spikes of the second group of the applicator with the hairstyling composition,

a step of styling the hair by introducing the spikes of the first group of the applicator into the head of hair and moving them, with the spikes of the second group in the retracted position, and

a step of transferring the hairstyling composition to the hair by extending the spikes of the second group into the head of hair.

The step of loading the spikes of the second group may be realized before or after the styling step. The step of transferring the hairstyling composition to the hair may be realized during and/or after the step of styling the hair.

During the step of transferring the hairstyling composition to the hair, it is possible to tap the spikes of the second group on the hair.

The expression“tapping the spikes on the hair” is understood to mean the action of applying the spikes several times to the area of the hair to be treated using a back and forth movement. The transfer can thus take place by capillary action by simple contact.

This type of application does not destroy the hairstyle and, without the applicator being rubbed along the hair, makes it possible to achieve a very high quality fixing effect. Preferably, the step of transferring the hairstyling composition to the hair is realized by directly tapping the spikes of the second group on the hair.

In the variant in which the spikes of the second group, or in which the portions of these spikes into which the supply channels open out, are made from a porous material, the transfer can also be carried out by pressing the porous material against the hair in order to deform it and release the product.

In one particular embodiment, in order to promote the transfer of the composition, it is possible to add an external mechanical action that assists this transfer. This mechanical action may be brought about for example by a vibration generator mounted on the applicator, for example a piezoelectric element or a flyweight driven in rotation, by a pressure source, or be a thermal or electric phenomenon.

The method according to the invention may be implemented on dry hair or wet hair. Preferably, the hair is dry. Once the composition has been transferred onto the hair, the applicator can be withdrawn and the composition deposited on the hair dried, for example with the aid of a hair dryer or heating hood, or else left to dry naturally.

As indicated above, the method comprises a step that consists in loading the spikes of the second group of the applicator with the hairstyling composition to be applied.

The applicator may be loaded with composition before each use.

The composition may be withdrawn directly by the spikes of the second group from a receptacle containing the composition. In one alternative, the spikes of the second group may for example be pressed onto a sponge impregnated with composition, in order to be loaded with composition. As a variant, the applicator is submerged in the composition. The applicator may also be brought into contact with a roller loaded with composition. In the variant in which the applicator comprises a reservoir, the spikes are loaded with composition with the product contained in this reservoir.

Preferably, the applicator may be cleaned after use and the composition remaining on the applicator after use can be removed easily, the applicator being cleaned for example with water or with the aid of any suitable solvent, by using an absorbent cloth, by aspiration or by gas jet, etc. When the spikes of the second group are made from a porous material, these spikes are pressed so that they are completely emptied of composition.

The fact that the applicator is reloadable with composition allows it to be reused.

The applicator is reloaded for example with a composition identical to the composition used previously, or it can be loaded with a different composition.

The loading of composition onto the applicator may involve the removal of excess composition from the applicator so that the composition is not present anywhere other than on the spikes of the second group.

The compositions that can be used are in the form of liquids or gels, creams, pastes, which may or may not comprise a pulverulent phase, or powder. When the composition is liquid, it may be in the form of a lotion or emulsion.

The composition may be in the form of a liquid, a lotion or a fluid emulsion or a gel that is not very thick. The viscosity of the composition varies preferably from 1 to 200 cps at 25°C and at a shear rate of Is 1 . The viscosity measurements to which reference is made are taken using a rheometer with cone -plate geometry.

In particular, a composition known to a person skilled in the art for styling and fixing the hair may be chosen, in particular those that are introduced into aerosol devices in the presence of a propellant gas so as to be used in lacquer form. It is also possible to use a composition inspired by these compositions but superconcentrated in fixing active agent.

The composition comprises at least one fixing agent, if necessary in a cosmetically acceptable medium, the latter preferably being water-, alcohol- or aqueous alcohol-based.

The cosmetic composition may in particular comprise one or more organic solvents, preferably in an amount by mass of between 0.05 and 95%, very preferably between 1 and 70% by weight, relative to the total weight of the composition.

This organic solvent may be a C2 to C4 lower alcohol, in particular ethanol and isopropanol, polyols and polyol ethers such as propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol or glycerol. The organic solvent is preferably ethanol or isopropanol, and even more preferably is ethanol.

The composition may comprise one or more fixing polymers as fixing agent. The expression“fixing polymer” is understood to mean any polymer that makes it possible to give a shape to the hair or to hold the hair in a given shape.

All the anionic, cationic, amphoteric and nonionic fixing polymers and mixtures thereof that are used may be used as fixing polymers in the compositions to be applied to the hair using the method of the invention. For more details on the fixing polymers that can be used, reference may be made for example to the abovementioned Patent Application WO-A2-2012/107887.

As regards the applicator, it may be rigid, semi-rigid or flexible. The base of the applicator may be rigid, semi-rigid or flexible. The base is preferably made of a non-absorbent material. The term“non-absorbent” is understood to mean intrinsically impermeable to the composition, that is to say not allowing the diffusion of the composition inside it. The non-absorbent material may be for example a metallic or thermoplastic material, in particular chosen from polyolefins, and polyamides including nylons and polyester. By way of indication, the base of the applicator may have a transverse dimension of a few centimetres, or else be much larger to cover a large part of the head in a single action.

The present invention will be better understood from studying the detailed description of embodiments that are given by way of entirely non-limiting examples and are illustrated by the appended drawings, in which:

[Fig 1] illustrates an application method according to one embodiment of the invention,

[Fig 2] is a front view of an applicator according to an exemplary embodiment of the invention which is implemented in the application method of Figure 1,

[Fig 3] is a cross-sectional view along the line III-III of Figure 2,

[Fig 4] is a front view of the applicator in Figure 2 in an extended position of the spikes,

[Fig 5] is a cross-sectional view along the line V-V in Figure 4,

[Fig 6] is a cross-sectional view of an applicator according to another exemplary embodiment of the invention,

[Fig 7] is a front view of an applicator according to another exemplary embodiment of the invention,

[Fig 8] is a cross-sectional view along the line VIII- VIII in Figure 7,

[Fig 9] is a front view of an applicator according to another exemplary embodiment of the invention,

[Fig 10] is a cross-sectional view along the line X-X in Figure 9, and

[Fig 11] is a cross-sectional view of an applicator according to another exemplary embodiment of the invention.

The method according to the invention can be implemented directly by the consumer in order to put in place or touch up his or her hairstyle, as is illustrated in Figure 1. Alternatively, the method can be implemented in a professional setting.

The method of the invention is implemented with the aid of an applicator 10 for applying a hairstyling composition comprising at least one fixing agent to the consumer’ s hair.

As illustrated more clearly in Figures 2 and 3, the applicator 10 comprises a base 12 and a first group of spikes 14 that extend therefrom.

As will be described in greater detail below, the applicator 10 also comprises a second group of spikes 16 that are translatably movable relative to the base 12 between a retracted storage position and at least one extended use position. The spikes 16 make it possible to apply the composition to the consumer’s hair.

In the exemplary embodiment illustrated, the base 12 also comprises a handle 18 to facilitate the gripping and the handling of the applicator. The handle 18 extends from the base 12 on the opposite side from the spikes 14. Alternatively, it is possible for the applicator 10 not to have such a handle.

The base 12 may have a cylindrical overall shape. As a variant, it is possible to provide other shapes, for example polygonal, oval, etc. for the base.

The spikes 14 of the first group extend transversely with respect to the base 12. The longitudinal axes of the spikes 14 are mutually parallel. The spikes 14 are preferably identical to one another. The spikes 14 extend from a frontal face 20 of the base 12.

The base 12 is delimited axially by the first frontal face 20 and by a second frontal face 22 opposite the first frontal face 20. The frontal faces 20, 22 form end faces of the base 12. The frontal faces 20, 22 are in this case flat. As a variant, these faces might be slightly convex or concave.

In the exemplary embodiment illustrated, the spikes 14 of the first group are spaced apart regularly from one another. By way of indication, the spacing or distance between the spikes 14 may be between 2 mm and 8 mm. Alternatively, it might be possible to provide an inter-spike 14 spacing that is not regular.

The spikes 14 have an elongate shape. In the exemplary embodiment illustrated, the spikes 14 have a conical overall shape. Alternatively, the spikes 14 can have other shapes. The spikes 14 can also be straight or curved. The spikes 14 have a height that can be between 2 mm and 40 mm, and preferably between 3 mm and 20 mm. By way of indication, the maximum diameter of each spike 14 can be 1.5 mm. In other embodiments, it is possible to provide a spike diameter of between 0.5 mm and 10 mm, and preferably between 1 mm and 5 mm.

In the exemplary embodiment illustrated, the spikes 14 are arranged so that they form a single row of spikes. As a variant, it is possible to position them in several rows as is illustrated in the variant in Figure 6, or else to provide other arrangements, for example concentric, elliptical, etc.

In the exemplary embodiment illustrated, each spike 14 comprises a free end 14a of flat shape. As a variant, it is possible to make provision for ends of the spikes of other shapes, for example rounded shapes, in particular spherical shapes, or else pointed shapes, or generally a section that decreases in the direction of its free end.

The spikes 14, the base 12 and the handle 18 can be made in one piece, for example by moulding a rigid plastic material, for example PP, PE, HDPE, etc., or else a flexible plastic material. As a variant, the spikes 14 may be produced in the form of attached elements that are fastened to the base 12 by any appropriate means, for example by adhesive bonding or else by overmoulding.

As indicated above, the applicator 10 also comprises the second group of spikes 16 that are movable between a retracted storage position illustrated in Figures 2 and 3, and an extended use position illustrated in Figures 4 and 5. The spikes 16 slide relative to the base 12. In the exemplary embodiment illustrated, the spikes 16 extend through the thickness of the base 12. Each spike 16 extends inside a slot (not referenced) formed in the thickness of the base 12.

The applicator 10 comprises a plate 24 supporting the spikes 16 that is capable of sliding relative to the base 12. The plate 24 is positioned on the opposite side from the spikes 14. The spikes 16 extend transversely with respect to the plate 24. The spikes 16 are fastened to the plate 24. The spikes 16 and the plate 24 can be made in one piece, for example by moulding a rigid plastic material, for example PP, PE, HDPE, etc., or else a flexible plastic material. As a variant, the spikes 16 may be produced in the form of attached elements that are fastened to the plate 24 by any appropriate means, for example by adhesive bonding or else by overmoulding.

The plate 24 is movable in relation to the base 12 between a far-away end position illustrated in Figures 2 and 3 and a close-up end position illustrated in Figures 4 and 5. In its far-away end position the plate 24 is spaced apart from the base 12, and in its close-up end position the plate 24 abuts against the base 12. The movement from the far-away end position to the close-up end position, and vice versa, may be obtained by the user by exerting pressure or pulling on the plate 24. The far-away and close-up end positions of the plate 24 respectively correspond to the retracted storage and extended use positions of the spikes 16.

As illustrated in Figures 4 and 5, in the extended use position, the spikes 16 are protruding relative to the base 12 on the side of the spikes 14. The spikes 16 remain set back from the spikes 14. By way of indication, the spikes 16 may for example have a height that is less than half that of the spikes 14. In the retracted storage position, the spikes 16 remain in this case slightly protruding relative to the base 12. Alternatively, the spikes 16 could be fully withdrawn inside the base 12 in this position.

In the exemplary embodiment illustrated, the spikes 16 are spaced apart regularly from one another. Depending on the spacing of the spikes 16, the fixing effect of one and the same composition will be different. By way of indication, the spacing or distance between the spikes 16 may be between 2 mm and 8 mm. Alternatively, it might be possible to provide an inter-spike 18 spacing that is not regular, for example when the composition is intended to be deposited in a particular pattern.

The spikes 16 have an elongate shape. In the exemplary embodiment illustrated, the spikes 16 have a cylindrical overall shape. Alternatively, the spikes 16 can have other shapes. The spikes 16 can also be straight or curved. By way of indication, the diameter of each spike 16 may be between 0.5 mm and 10 mm, and preferably between 1 mm and 5 mm.

In the exemplary embodiment illustrated, the spikes 16 are arranged so that they form a plurality of rows of spikes in the form of an array of parallel lines. As a variant, it is possible to provide other arrangements of the spikes 16. In the exemplary embodiment illustrated, the row of spikes 14 is located at a distance from the spikes 16. As a variant, the row of spikes 14 could extend between spikes 16, or rows of spikes 14 could extend between spikes 16 as is the case in the variant embodiment illustrated in Figure 6.

In the exemplary embodiment illustrated, each spike 16 comprises a free end 16a of flat shape. As a variant, it is possible to make provision for ends of the spikes of other shapes, for example rounded shapes, in particular spherical shapes, or else pointed shapes, or generally a section that decreases in the direction of its free end. Alternatively, the free ends of the spikes may be provided with cavities, for example of spherical shape.

For application to the hair, the user can act as follows.

First of all, the user loads the composition onto the spikes 16 of the applicator, for example by dipping them into a receptacle containing the composition. In order to facilitate the loading of the composition, the spikes 16 are positioned in the extended use position. A layer of composition partially covers each of the spikes 16.

Then, before the applicator is introduced into the hair, the spikes 16 are returned to the retracted storage position. Next, the user introduces the spikes 14 into the hair and moves the applicator in order to style the hair and create an arrangement of the hair in step with the movement.

At the end of each movement of the applicator or during this movement, the spikes 16 are extended in order to apply the fixing product to the hair by capillary action. During this step, the user can lightly tap the spikes 16 against the hair in order to facilitate the depositing of the composition on the head of hair.

The exemplary embodiment illustrated in Figures 7 and 8, in which identical elements have the same reference signs, differs from the previous example in that the applicator 10 comprises a reservoir 30 that internally delimits a product storage compartment 32 containing the composition to be applied. The reservoir 30 is attached to the plate 24 and fastened to it by any appropriate means, for example by screwing, snap-fastening, etc. As a variant, the plate 24 and the reservoir 30 can be made in one piece, by moulding.

The reservoir 30 is deformable under the action of a force exerted by the user. This deformable character of the reservoir 30 can be obtained due to its thickness and/or the nature of the material used, for example a flexible material such as an elastomer. As will be described in greater detail below, the deformable character of the reservoir 30 is provided to enable the loading of the spikes 16 with composition to be applied.

The spikes 16 each internally comprise a supply channel (not visible) in fluid communication with the compartment 32 of the reservoir. Each spike 16 is passed through by a supply channel. The channel of each spike 16 also passes through the thickness of the plate 24. The channel of each spike 16 opens out at a first end by means of an inlet orifice (not visible) into the compartment 32 of the reservoir, and at a second end opposite the first end by means of an outlet orifice on the free end of the associated spike.

In the exemplary embodiment illustrated, the channel of each spike 16 is in direct fluid communication with the compartment 32 of the reservoir. The expression “channel in direct fluid communication with the compartment” is understood to mean that the channel is in permanent communication with the compartment 32 and is not associated with selective dispensing means of the pump or valve type that makes it possible to force the product to pass through said channel.

In this exemplary embodiment, in order to load the spikes 16, the user proceeds in the following manner. The user exerts pressure inwards on a portion of the reservoir 30, which causes the deformation thereof and a reduction in the volume of the compartment 32, which has the effect of moving the composition contained in the compartment through the supply channels of the spikes 16 in the direction of their outlet orifices. The user deforms the reservoir 30 until the spikes 16 are loaded with the desired quantity of composition. With the applicator of this exemplary embodiment, the step of loading the spikes 16 can be carried out before and/or during and/or after the step of styling the hair using the spikes 14.

The exemplary embodiment illustrated in Figures 9 and 10, in which identical elements have the same reference signs, differs from the first example described in that the applicator 10 further comprises an actuating handle 34 to control the movement of the spikes 16. The actuating handle 34 is rigidly connected to the plate 24. In this case, stems 36 are provided between the handle 34 and the plate 24 to provide this rigid connection.

The applicator 10 also comprises a plurality of springs 38 interposed between the actuating handle 34 and the gripping handle 18. One end of each spring 38 is fastened to the handle 34 whilst the other end of the spring is fastened to the handle 18. The springs 38 may for example be of helical type.

When the user wishes to move the spikes 16 from the retracted storage position to the extended position, he or she exerts pressure on the handle 34 towards the base 12. When the pressure by the user on the handle 34 ceases, the springs 38 return to their initial shape via elasticity, which also causes the handle 34 to return to its initial position and the spikes to return to the retracted storage position.

In the variant embodiment in which the applicator comprises the product reservoir 30, it is also possible to provide such an actuating handle associated with springs. In this case, the actuating handle is rigidly connected to the reservoir 30. The movement of the handle causes the simultaneous movement of the reservoir 30 and the spikes 16, and the deformation of the reservoir when it presses against the base 12.

In these exemplary embodiments, the movement of the spikes 16 is controlled manually by means of the plate 24 or the handle 34. As a variant, the movement of the spikes 16 could be controlled in an assisted manner, for example with an electromagnet or else with motors 40 as is illustrated in the exemplary embodiment in Figure 11, in which identical elements have the same reference signs. Each motor 40 is associated with a screw-and-nut system (not shown) so that the rotation of the shaft of the motor causes the plate 24 to slide. The motors 40 may for example be electric stepper motors. In this exemplary embodiment, the applicator 10 further comprises an electronic control unit 42 that makes it possible to control the operation of the motors 40. In this case, the control unit 42 is fastened to the handle 18. The control unit 42 is connected to the motors 40 by means of a connection 44, shown schematically, that may be wired or wireless. The control unit 42 may be programmed to emit a series of control signals to the motors 40 of at least one and preferably several extensions and retractions of the spikes 16 spaced apart over time. The control signals can be emitted when the user sends an order to this end for example using a button, or can be emitted as a function of signals emitted by a sensor, such as an accelerometer of the applicator, for example fastened to the handle 18.

The frequency of the extensions of the spikes 16 can for example be shorter on starting in order to achieve an improved effect on the roots, or longer as the time increases since starting for an improved effect on the lengths of the hair. The duration of the extensions of the spikes 16 can for example be shorter on starting in order to achieve an improved effect on the ends of the hair, or longer as the time increases since starting for an improved effect on the lengths and/or in order to compensate for the fact that the spikes 16 deliver a decreasing amount of product.

In addition, it is also possible to provide this type of electronic control unit in the embodiments in which the applicator comprises the product reservoir 30. In this case, the electronic control unit can for example be programmed to emit control signals in order to control the extension of the spikes 16 and the supply of product to these spikes separately.