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Title:
SHAVING DEVICE WITH HAIR PROTECTING ELEMENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2010/089692
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
In a shaving device, cutting elements (8) are arranged on a movably arranged carrier. However, when an end zone of a cutting edge (11) of a cutting element (8) encounters a hair, it may happen that the hair is damaged to such an extent that the hair cannot be cut at a later stage of a shaving action. This disadvantageous effect no longer occurs when hair protecting devices (16) are provided, which are associated with the cutting elements (8), and which are adapted to guide a hair which is in the path of an end zone of a cutting edge (11) of a cutting element (8) to a position well in front of the cutting edge (11), or to guide a hair to a position outside of said end zone, whatever the case may turn out to be when the carrier moves on, without inflicting damage on the hair.

Inventors:
VAN DER VLIS, Peter, H. (AE Eindhoven, NL-5656, NL)
HEEREMA, Pieter, S. (AE Eindhoven, NL-5656, NL)
HOUBOLT, Erik (AE Eindhoven, NL-5656, NL)
Application Number:
IB2010/050429
Publication Date:
August 12, 2010
Filing Date:
February 01, 2010
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS ELECTRONICS N.V. (Groenewoudseweg 1, BA Eindhoven, NL-5621, NL)
VAN DER VLIS, Peter, H. (AE Eindhoven, NL-5656, NL)
HEEREMA, Pieter, S. (AE Eindhoven, NL-5656, NL)
HOUBOLT, Erik (AE Eindhoven, NL-5656, NL)
International Classes:
B26B19/42
Foreign References:
EP0111967A11984-06-27
GB2008471A1979-06-06
US4281453A1981-08-04
EP1212176A12002-06-12
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
UITTENBOGAARD, Frank et al. (High Tech Campus 44, AE Eindhoven, NL-5600, NL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. Carrier (7) which is adapted for use in a shaving device (1), and which is provided with at least one cutting element (8), wherein at least one portion (11) of the cutting element (8) is adapted to contact hairs (23) and to perform a cutting action on hairs (23) when being moved with respect to the hairs (23), and wherein the carrier (7) further comprises a hair protecting device (16) which is associated with the cutting element (8), which protrudes with respect to the cutting element (8), and which has at least one parting and guiding element (17) which has a most protruding portion (20) and two surfaces (18, 19) extending from the most protruding portion (20) to positions which are less protruding, wherein the most protruding portion (20) comprises a free distal end portion of the parting and guiding element (17), wherein one of the surfaces (18, 19) provides a pathway towards the hair contacting and cutting portion (11) of the cutting element (8), and wherein another of the surfaces (18, 19) provides a pathway outside of the hair contacting and cutting portion (11) of the cutting element (8).

2. Carrier (7) according to claim 1, wherein the hair protecting device (16) has two parting and guiding elements (17).

3. Carrier (7) according to claim 2, wherein the hair protecting device (16) is substantially U-shaped, and wherein the parting and guiding elements (17) constitute legs of the U-shape.

4. Carrier (7) according to claim 2, wherein a distance between the most protruding portions (20) of the parting and guiding elements (17) is at least equal to a length of a cutting edge (11) of the cutting element (8), i.e. a functional length along which the cutting element (8) is actually adapted to perform a hair cutting action.

5. Carrier (7) according to claim 1, wherein the most protruding portion (20) of the parting and guiding element (17) of the hair protecting device (16) comprises a parting surface (20) having at least two portions (21, 22) which are orientated at an angle with respect to each other.

6. Carrier (7) according to claim 1, further comprising a device (14) which is adapted to engage hairs (23) and lift hairs (23) before the hairs (23) are cut through by the cutting element (8), which device is associated with the cutting element (8), and which is movably arranged with respect to the cutting element (8), wherein the hair protecting device (16) is arranged on the hair engaging and lifting device (14).

7. Shaving device (1), comprising at least one carrier (7) according to claim 1, and means for driving the carrier (7) such as to perform a movement in a direction in which the cutting element (8) is preceded by the hair protecting device (16).

8. Shaving device (1) according to claim 7, wherein the surfaces (18, 19) of the parting and guiding element (17) of the hair protecting device (16) are substantially parallel to the direction in which the cutting element (8) of the carrier (7) is movable.

9. Shaving device (1) according to claim 7, further comprising a cap (5) for covering the carrier (7) and contacting portions of skin to be subjected to a shaving action, which cap (5) is provided with openings (6) for letting through hairs (23) from the portions of skin to the cutting element (8) of the carrier (7), wherein the most protruding portion (20) of the parting and guiding element (17) of the hair protecting device (16) comprises a parting surface (20) having at least two portions (21, 22) which are orientated at an angle with respect to each other, and wherein a portion (21) of the parting surface (20) of the parting and guiding element (17) which is closest to the cap (5) is closer to a perpendicular orientation with respect to the cap (5) than a portion (22) which is further away from the cap (5).

Description:
SHAVING DEVICE WITH HAIR PROTECTING ELEMENT

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a carrier which is adapted for use in a shaving device, and which is provided with at least one cutting element, wherein at least one portion of the cutting element is adapted to contact hairs and to perform a cutting action on hairs when being moved with respect to the hairs.

Furthermore, the present invention relates to a shaving device, comprising at least one carrier as mentioned, and means for driving the carrier such as to perform a movement.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION An example of a shaving device comprising at least one carrier as described above is known from EP 1 212 176. The shaving device is a so-called rotary shaving device, i.e. a shaving device having at least one ring-shaped carrier which is provided with a number of cutting elements, wherein the carrier is driven such as to rotate during operation of the shaving device. In the example known from EP 1 212 176, the shaving device is equipped with three carriers. Each carrier is covered by a cap which is intended to be used for contacting portions of skin to be subjected to a shaving action, and which is provided with openings for letting through hairs from the portions of skin to the cutting elements. It is understood that a main function of the cap is avoiding direct contact between the cutting elements of the carrier and the portions of skin, so that skin damage is prevented. The shaving device comprises a motor for driving the carriers. Proper use of the shaving device involves movement of the shaving device in such a way that the caps slide over portions of skin. In the process, hairs protruding from the skin are continuously caught in the cap openings and are cut through as soon as they are encountered by the moving cutting elements of the carriers, wherein edges of the cap openings serve as counter cutting edges.

The best shaving results are obtained when the process of cutting through hairs takes place at a level that is as close as possible to the skin. In view of this, it is advantageous to apply devices for engaging hairs and lifting hairs before the hairs are cut through by the cutting elements. EP 1 212 176 discloses blade-shaped hair engaging and lifting devices which are provided with a thickened end with an edge, wherein this edge serves for coming into contact with hairs during operation of the shaving device and pulling the hairs further through the cap openings. The hair engaging and lifting devices are elastically arranged with respect to the cutting elements, at positions close to these elements. In this way, it is possible to realize a process in which hairs are engaged by the hair engaging and lifting devices first, are pulled further through the cap openings under the influence of an elastic movement of the devices with respect to the cutting elements, and are cut off under the influence of subsequent contact with the cutting elements. The hair pulling movement of the devices may be automatically obtained when the devices are slidably supported by the cutting elements and when the devices and a supporting surface of the cutting elements have an inclined orientation with respect to a normal orientation of the hairs extending through the cap holes. Although the shaving device known from EP 1 212 176 yields good shaving results, there is a need for further improvement. It has been found that there is a risk that when a hair is positioned with respect to a hair engaging and lifting device and an associated cutting element in such a way that only a side portion of the hair is in the path of the device and the cutting element, the hair is damaged and rejected. The damaged hair is no longer suitable to be engaged by a hair engaging and lifting device, and there is no chance that such a hair will be cut off at a desired level. Hence, the shaving results are negatively influenced on the basis of the process of damage and rejection as described, which takes place with a portion of the hairs to be cut off.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a way of improving the shaving results by providing measures for avoiding the above-described process of damage and rejection. The object is achieved by providing a carrier which is adapted for use in a shaving device, and which is provided with at least one cutting element as described in the foregoing, and which further comprises a hair protecting device which is associated with the cutting element, and which protrudes with respect to the cutting element in a direction in which the cutting element is movable, and which has at least one parting and guiding element which has a most protruding portion and two surfaces extending from the most protruding portion to positions which are less protruding, wherein the most protruding portion comprises a free distal end portion of the parting and guiding element, wherein one of the surfaces provides a pathway towards the hair contacting and cutting portion of the cutting element, and wherein another of the surfaces provides a pathway outside of the hair contacting and cutting portion of the cutting element.

According to the present invention, an additional device is provided, which is suitable to be used for either assigning a hair to the hair contacting and cutting portion of the cutting element or rejecting a hair without inflicting damage on the hair. To this end, the device comprises at least one parting and guiding element having the above-described design with the most protruding portion and two guiding surfaces. During movement of the carrier comprising the hair protecting devices, hairs which are not exactly in the path of the cutting elements are encountered by the most protruding portion of a parting and guiding element of a hair protecting device first. At that moment, with the ongoing movement of the hair protecting device, the hair is pushed out of the way to one side or to the other side of the device, so that the hair is either guided towards the hair contacting and cutting portion of the cutting element, or is kept away from this portion. Advantageously, the most protruding portion of the parting and guiding element of the hair protecting device is designed such as to prevent damage to the hairs. For example, this portion may comprise a parting surface which has a certain width and which extends more or less in a longitudinal direction of the hairs, so that a large as possible portion of the hair may be contacted by this portion, whereby high local pressures and cutting actions on the hairs are avoided.

Preferably, the hair protecting device has two parting and guiding elements, so that the process of assigning a hair to the hair contacting and cutting portion of the cutting element or keeping a hair away from said portion may be performed at two ends of said portion. In such a case, the hair protecting device may be substantially U-shaped, wherein the parting and guiding elements constitute legs of the U-shape. Hence, the hair protecting device may be designed as a kind of U-shaped hair catcher which is designed such as not to damage hairs which are made to move from outmost ends of its legs towards its base along an outside surface. However, a single-sided embodiment is also possible within the scope of the present invention, wherein the hair protecting device may be substantially L-shaped instead of U- shaped.

In order to avoid a situation in which hairs may be missed and are allowed to reach sides of the cutting elements as a consequence thereof, in other words, in order to avoid a state-of-the-art situation in which hairs may still be damaged and rejected under the influence of contact with the cutting elements, it is advantageous if a distance between the most protruding portions of the parting and guiding elements of the hair protecting device is at least equal to a length of a cutting edge of the cutting element, i.e. a functional length along which the cutting element is actually adapted to perform a hair cutting action.

The carrier according to the present invention is suitable to be applied in a shaving device which comprises a cap for covering the carrier and contacting portions of skin to be subjected to a shaving action, which cap is provided with openings for letting through hairs from the portions of skin to the cutting element of the carrier. The guiding surfaces of the hair protecting device are preferably orientated such as to be parallel to both the direction in which the cutting element of the carrier is movable and the longitudinal direction of hairs extending through the cap holes. In that way, the hair protecting device can perform its parting function well without the presence of surface edges which are more or less perpendicular to the hairs, and which may perform a cutting action. Furthermore, it is ensured that only the hairs which are fully or partly in the path of the cutting element are manipulated, and that the surrounding hairs are not touched.

In the foregoing, it has been mentioned that the most protruding portion of the parting and guiding element of the hair protecting device may comprise a parting surface. With respect to such a surface, it is noted that it may have at least two portions which are orientated at an angle with respect to each other (i.e. two portions having mutually different orientations), as, in that case, one of the portions may be used for putting hairs which are encountered by the parting surface and which have an inclined orientation in a more upright position. This is advantageous in view of the fact that hairs in an upright position are cut off at a level which is closer to the skin than hairs having an inclined orientation. In particular, in an application with a shaving device which comprises a cap for covering the carrier and contacting portions of skin to be subjected to a shaving action, which cap is provided with openings for letting through hairs from the portions of skin to the cutting element of the carrier, the design of the parting surface may be such that a portion of this surface which is closest to the cap is closer to a perpendicular orientation with respect to the cap than a portion which is further away from the cap.

Compared to the manufacturing process of a conventional carrier, such as the carrier of the device known from EP 1 212 176, the manufacturing process of the carrier according to the present invention does not have to be a more complicated process. When the carrier further comprises a device which is adapted to engage hairs and lift hairs before the hairs are cut through by the cutting element, which device is associated with the cutting element, and which is movably arranged with respect to the cutting element, at a position in front of the cutting element as seen in a direction in which the carrier is intended to be moved in a shaving device, the hair protecting device may simply be arranged on the hair engaging and lifting device. In such a case, it may be that all that is needed in the manufacturing process is that the basic shape of the hair engaging and lifting device is provided with two additional flaps, as it were, which are bent such as to protrude from the device. The hair protecting device may also be arranged on the cutter element if so desired, or in case there is no hair engaging and lifting device.

In practice, a carrier for use in a shaving device is provided with a plurality of cutting elements and a plurality of hair protecting devices as described in the foregoing. In such a case, it is preferred if each cutting element has a hair protecting device engaged therewith in order to achieve optimal shaving results.

The above-described and other aspects of the present invention will be apparent from and elucidated with reference to the following detailed description of a shaving device, a carrier for use in a shaving device, and the hair protecting devices according to the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will now be explained in greater detail with reference to the Figures, in which equal or similar parts are indicated by the same reference signs, and in which: Figure 1 shows a perspective view of a shaving device;

Figure 2 shows an embodiment of a carrier according to the present invention, which is provided with a number of cutting elements, hair engaging and lifting devices, and hair protecting devices;

Figure 3 shows a detail of Figure 2; Figures 4 and 5 illustrate an effect of hairs being put in a more upright position by the hair protecting devices;

Figures 6 and 7 diagrammatically show different views of a hair protecting device; and

Figure 8 diagrammatically shows an alternative design of a hair protecting device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

Figure 1 shows a general example of a shaving device 1. The shaving device 1 as shown is a rotary shaving device in which a shaving action is realized by using rotating components. Another well-known type of shaving device is a device in which a shaving action is realized by using reciprocating components. For the sake of completeness, it is noted that the present invention is applicable in various types of shaving devices.

The shaving device 1 comprises a housing 2 and a shaving head holder 3. The housing 2 is intended to be taken hold of by a user of the shaving apparatus 1, while the shaving head holder 3 is intended to be positioned against skin which is to be subjected to a shaving action. For the purpose of actually performing a shaving action, a number of units 4 are present in the shaving head holder 3, which are usually referred to as shaving heads 4. In the shown example, the shaving device 1 has three shaving heads 4. Each shaving head 4 comprises a cap 5 having openings 6 for letting through hairs to the inside of the shaving head 4, and a number of cutting elements (not shown in Figure 1) which are positioned in the inside of the shaving head 4, and which are adapted to cut off the hairs. In the case of a rotary shaving device 1, the cutting elements are arranged on a carrier 7, which is driven such as to rotate during operation of the shaving device 1. To this end, the shaving device 1 may be equipped with any suitable driving means such as a small electric motor.

The carrier 7 and the cutting elements 8 which are arranged thereon are shown in Figure 2. In particular, the carrier 7 is composed of a number of components, including a ring-shaped component 9 having a number of arms 10 arranged along its circumference, wherein end portions of the arms 10 are shaped such as to constitute the cutting elements 8, and wherein outer ends of the arms 10 are shaped such as to constitute cutting edges 11 of the cutting elements 8. One of the arms 10 and the associated cutting element 8 can be clearly seen in Figure 3, which shows a detail of Figure 2.

Besides the component 9 having the arms 10 and the cutting elements 8 as described in the foregoing, the carrier 7 comprises another ring-shaped component 12 on which a number of arms 13 are arranged. End portions of these arms 13 are intended to be used as hair lifting devices 14 during operation of the shaving device 1. In view of this, in the assembled state of the carrier 7, the cutting elements 8 and the hair lifting devices 14 come in mixed pairs, i.e. one cutting element 8 is associated with one hair lifting device 14. The arms 13 of the hair lifting devices 14 comprise hook-shaped portions, by means of which these arms 13 are connected to the arms 10 of the cutting elements 8. In this configuration, the hair lifting devices 14 lie against the cutting elements 8. Furthermore, the hair lifting devices 14 are slidable with respect to the cutting elements 8 due to elastic properties of the arms 13 of the hair lifting devices 14. For the sake of completeness, it is noted that the hair lifting devices 14 are arranged in front of the cutting elements 8 as seen in a direction in which the carrier 7 is intended to be moved. Furthermore, it is noted that metal is a suitable material for the ring-shaped components 9, 12 having the cutting elements 8 and the hair lifting devices 14, respectively. The operation of a shaving device 1 having one or more shaving heads 4 in which the carrier 7 as shown in Figure 2 is arranged is as follows. When the shaving device 1 is used for performing a shaving action, the caps 5 of the shaving heads 4 are moved across a portion of skin to be subjected to the shaving action by a user of the shaving device 1, and the carriers 7 are driven such as to rotate at their position right behind the caps 5. Due to the movement of the shaving heads 4 with respect to the skin, there is a continuous process of hairs getting trapped inside the cap openings 6 and being encountered by the pairs of a cutting element 8 and a hair lifting device 14. In the process, the hair is encountered by the hair lifting device 14 first, wherein an outer edge 15 of the hair lifting device 14 penetrates the hair to some extent. In any case, the outer edge 15 of the hair lifting device 14 is not adapted to cut through the hair, but only to enter the hair over a small distance which is smaller than the diameter of the hair.

Once a hair is caught by a hair lifting device 14, the ongoing rotary movement of the carrier 7 and the components arranged thereon causes the hair lifting device 14 to slide along the cutting element 8 and perform a retracting movement over some distance. To this end, the cutting elements 8 and the hair lifting devices 14 have a defined inclined orientation as shown in the Figures. A hair which is caught keeps the hair lifting device 14 temporarily in a fixed place while the associated cutting element 8 presses against the hair lifting device 14 in the rotary movement. Due to the elastic properties of the arm 13 of the hair lifting device 14, this causes the hair lifting device 14 to perform a retracting movement, and also due to the engagement of the hair lifting device 14 with a hair, this movement is a retracting movement, which is more or less in a direction in which the hair extends. In the process, the hair is lifted to some extent, inter alia owing to natural elasticity of the skin, and gets cut off once the hair lifting device 14 is retracted to such extent that the cutting edge 11 of the cutting element 8 reaches the hair. In principle, a shaving action can also be performed with the use of carriers 7 which are only equipped with cutting elements 8, wherein the hair lifting devices 14 are omitted. However, applying the hair lifting devices 14 leads to better shaving results, as the hairs may be cut off at a level which is closer to the skin. The carrier 7 as shown in Figure 2 has special features according to the present invention. This means that the carrier 7 is equipped with components for preventing damage to hairs which are not exactly in the path of the pairs of cutting element 8 and hair lifting device 14, but which are still encountered by at least one of these pairs and rejected. To this end, the carrier 7 comprises hair protecting devices 16, which comprise two flaps 17 on the hair lifting devices 14 in the shown example of the carrier 7.

The flaps 17 of the hair lifting devices 14 are orientated more or less according to the direction of the rotary movement of the carrier 7. Hence, surfaces 18, 19 of the flaps 17 are more or less parallel to this direction. A free distal edge 20 of the flaps 17, which is a most protruding edge of the flaps 17, comprises an elongated surface which will be referred to as parting surface 20. It is noted that the parting surface 20 comprises two portions 21, 22 having mutually different orientations, wherein an orientation of a portion 21 which is closer to the outer edge 15 of the hair lifting device 14, i.e. a portion 21 which is intended to contact hairs closer to the place where they enter the inside of a shaving head 4 in which the carrier 7 may be arranged, is closer to an orientation in a direction of an axis of rotation of the carrier 7 than a portion 22 which is further away from the edge 15 as mentioned. In the following, for the sake of clarity, the first portion 21 of the parting surface 20 will be referred to as first hair manipulating portion 21, and the latter portion 22 of the parting surface 20 will be referred to as second hair manipulating portion 22. The function of the hair protecting device 16 comprising the flaps 17 as described in the foregoing is as follows. When a hair is in the path of an end of the outer edge 15 of the hair lifting device 14, it is in the path of one of the flaps 17 of the hair protecting device 16. As soon as the hair is encountered by the flap 17, it is forced to a more upright position in case the hair has an inclined position, as illustrated in Figures 4 and 5, in which a hair is diagrammatically shown and indicated by reference numeral 23. The reason for this manipulation of the hair 23 is found in the fact that the hair 23 is encountered first by the first hair manipulating portion 21 of the parting surface 20. Furthermore, due to its contact with the parting surface 20 of the flap 17, the hair 23 is lifted to some extent as the rotary movement of the carrier 7 continues. Figure 5 illustrates that a hair 23 in an upright position may be cut off at a level closer to the position of entry into the inside of a shaving head 4 in which the carrier 7 may be arranged, i.e. closer to the skin, which is advantageous in view of the shaving results. A line along which the hair 23 will be cut in a conventional situation and a line along which the hair 23 will be cut in a situation according to the present invention are diagrammatically shown in Figure 5 by means of dashed lines. The difference of the level of the cuts may be seen at the right side of the Figure, where a hair 23 is shown in a most upright position.

When a hair 23 is encountered by the parting surface 20, and the rotary movement of the carrier 7 is continued, the hair 23 is either rejected or assigned to the outer edge 15 of the hair lifting device 14. In the first case, the hair 23 slides along an outer surface 18 of the flap 17 concerned, and is thereby smoothly led to a position behind the whole of the cutting element 8 and the hair lifting device 14. In the process, damage of the hair 23 does not occur, and the hair 23 may be cut through later on. In the latter case, however, the hair 23 slides along an inner surface 19 of the flap 17 concerned, and is thereby smoothly led to a position where it is encountered by the outer edge 15 of the hair lifting device 14. At that position, the hair 23 is lifted further, and is subsequently cut through by the cutting edge 11 of the cutting element 8.

It is clear from the foregoing that the application of the hair protecting devices 16 in a carrier 7 has important advantages. A first important advantage is the prevention of damage to hairs 23, which would otherwise be damaged because they are encountered by end zones of the cutting elements 8 and the hair lifting devices 14, and rejected, i.e. not subjected to a lifting and cutting action. By preventing damage to the hairs 23, it is achieved that all hairs 23 may eventually be cut off during a shaving action, so that excellent shaving results are obtained. A second important advantage is that the hairs 23 are lifted to some extent before they are caught by the outer edge 15 of a hair lifting device 14, and may also be put in a more upright position if the original position is an inclined position, so that they may be cut through at a level which is even closer to skin level than in case they would only be lifted by a hair lifting device 14.

Figures 6 and 7 diagrammatically show different views of a hair protecting device 16. In the view as shown in Figure 6, the different orientations of the portions 21, 22 of the parting surface 20 of the hair protecting device 16 can clearly be seen. Figure 7 elucidates the mutual positioning of the two flaps 17 of the hair protecting device 16. For the sake of completeness, it is noted that only an example of the design of the hair protecting device 16 is shown in Figures 6 and 7, and that other designs are possible within the scope of the present invention. For example, it is not necessary for the parting surface 20 to comprise two (or more) portions 21, 22. However, in such a case, negative side effects of the application of the hair protecting devices 16 may occur. For example, if all of the parting surface 20 were orientated according to the second hair manipulating portion 22, skin damage would be more likely to occur. With respect to the mutual distance and orientation of the two flaps 17 of one hair protecting device 16, it is noted that there may be a design other than the one in which the two flaps 17 extendmore or less parallel with respect to each other. The basis for another design may be found in knowledge regarding the design of the cap 5 to be used in the shaving head 4 in which the carrier 7 is arranged. In order to prevent skin damage, the thickness of the carrier 7 is higher at positions corresponding to the end zones of the edges 11, 15 of the cutting elements 8 and the hair lifting devices 14 than at positions corresponding to a middle portion of said edges 11, 15. Hence, it may be favorable to have a design of the hair protecting devices 16 which is aimed at guiding hairs 23 which are assigned to said edges 11, 15 to the middle portion thereof, in order to improve shaving results on the basis of cutting off the hairs 23 only in a zone corresponding to the thinnest portion of the cap 5. Such a design of the hair protecting devices 16 may be more like a V-shape than a U-shape, in which the base is smaller and the legs (flaps 17) diverge with respect to each other, as seen from the base to the most protruding portion of the legs. The design according to which the hair protecting device 16 has more of a V-shape than a U-shape is diagrammatically shown in Figure 8, wherein the U-shape is shown in a lighter color to illustrate the difference between the shapes.

In general, it is true that the design of the hair protecting devices 16 may be chosen such as to yield optimal shaving results under the circumstances of the application of the carrier 7 comprising the hair protecting devices 16 in a certain shaving head 4. In any case, the design should be aimed at obtaining a hair protecting function, which is achieved by keeping hairs 23 away from end zones of the cutting elements 8 and the hair lifting devices 14, and preferably also a hair lifting function, additional to the hair lifting function of the hair lifting devices 14, and a function of putting hairs 23 in a more upright position before being cut through.

In principle, compared to a situation in which there are no hair protecting devices 16, improved shaving results may already be obtained when the hair protecting devices 16 come with only one flap 17. However, a greater improvement is realized when both end zones of the cutting elements 8 and the hair lifting devices 14 are shielded by having two flaps 17 on each pair of a cutting element 8 and a hair lifting device 14.

It will be clear to a person skilled in the art that the scope of the present invention is not limited to the examples discussed in the foregoing, but that several amendments and modifications thereof are possible without deviating from the scope of the present invention as defined in the attached claims. While the present invention has been illustrated and described in detail in the Figures and the description, such illustration and description are to be considered illustrative or exemplary only, and not restrictive. The present invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments.

Variations to the disclosed embodiments can be understood and effected by a person skilled in the art in practicing the claimed invention, from a study of the Figures, the description and the attached claims. In the claims, the word "comprising" does not exclude other steps or elements, and the indefinite article "a" or "an" does not exclude a plurality. The mere fact that certain measures are recited in mutually different dependent claims does not indicate that a combination of these measures cannot be used to advantage. Any reference signs in the claims should not be construed as limiting the scope of the present invention. With respect to the design of a carrier 7 comprising the hair protecting devices 16 according to the present invention, it is noted that such a carrier 7 does not necessarily need to comprise hair lifting devices 14. In such a case, the hair protecting devices 16 may be arranged directly on the cutting elements 8. For example, each cutting element 8 may be provided with two flaps 17 as described in the foregoing.

The present invention can be summarized as follows. In a shaving device 1, cutting elements 8 are arranged on a movably arranged carrier 7 for performing the required function of cutting through hairs 23. However, when an end zone of a cutting edge 11 of a cutting element 8 encounters a hair 23, it may happen that the hair 23 is damaged to such an extent that the hair 23 cannot be cut at a later stage of a shaving action. According to the present invention, this disadvantageous effect no longer occurs when hair protecting devices 16 are provided, which are associated with the cutting elements 8, and which are adapted to safely guide a hair 23 which is in the path of an end zone of a cutting edge 11 of a cutting element 8 to a position well in front of the cutting edge 11, or to safely guide a hair 23 to a position outside of said end zone, whatever the case may turn out to be when the carrier 7 moves on, without inflicting damage on the hair 23.

Besides the cutting elements 8, the carrier 7 may also be equipped with hair lifting devices 14 arranged in front of the cutting elements 8 as seen in the intended direction of movement of the carrier 7. In such a case, it is advantageous if the hair protecting devices 16 are arranged on these hair lifting devices 14, but other arrangements of the hair protecting devices 16 are also possible within the scope of the present invention.

In a practical embodiment, the hair protecting devices 16 comprise two flaps 17, wherein each flap 17 has a parting surface 20 at a most protruding position, i.e. at a position where a hair 23 is encountered first. The parting surface 20 is designed such as not to inflict damage on the hair 23 while forcing the hair 23 to move to one of two sides of the parting surface 20 as the carrier 7 moves on during operation.

Besides a hair protecting function, the hair protecting devices 16 may also have a hair lifting function and a function of putting a hair 23 in a more upright position before being cut through.