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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
HAIR STYLING APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/222847
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
According to one embodiment of the current design, there is provided a styling apparatus used to style a user's hair. The apparatus includes a styling arm, a layer of glass positioned on the styling arm, and a film layer deposited or printed on a bottom surface of the layer of glass and positioned between the layer of glass and the styling arm. User hair placed atop the layer of glass is styled using heat passing from the film layer through the layer of glass. The film layer may comprise an ink film layer, a resistive ink film layer, a layer of Polymer Thick Film (PTF) ink, and/or a nano ink layer.

Inventors:
RICHMOND DAVID (US)
RICHMOND HOWARD (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2019/030389
Publication Date:
November 05, 2020
Filing Date:
May 02, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
TRADE BOX LLC (US)
International Classes:
A45D1/00; A45D2/40
Domestic Patent References:
WO2014001769A12014-01-03
Foreign References:
US20120272993A12012-11-01
US20180064226A12018-03-08
US20150131955A12015-05-14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SMYRSKI, Steven W. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A styling apparatus used to style a user’s hair, comprising: a styling arm; a layer of glass positioned on the styling arm; and a film layer deposited on a bottom surface of the layer of glass and positioned between the layer of glass and the styling arm; wherein user hair placed atop the layer of glass is styled using heat passing from the film layer through the layer of glass.

2. The styling apparatus of claim 1, where the layer of glass comprises tempered glass.

3. The styling apparatus of claim 1, wherein the film layer comprises an ink film layer.

4. The styling apparatus of claim 3, wherein the ink film layer comprises a resistive ink film layer.

5. The styling apparatus of claim 4, wherein the resistive ink film layer comprises a layer of Polymer Thick Film (PTF) ink.

6. The styling apparatus of claim 3, wherein the ink film layer is uniformly distributed beneath the layer of glass.

7. The styling apparatus of claim 3, wherein the ink film layer is distributed beneath the layer of glass in a form of a decorative pattern.

8. The styling apparatus of claim 1, further comprising an insulation layer below the film layer and away from the layer of glass.

9. A hair styling apparatus, comprising: an arm; a reciprocal arm joined to the arm; a layer of glass positioned in the arm; and a film layer printed on a bottom surface of the layer of glass and positioned beneath the layer of glass and proximate the arm.

10. The hair styling apparatus of claim 9, wherein the film layer is electrically powered.

11. The hair styling apparatus of claim 9, further comprising a battery used to power the styling apparatus.

12. The hair styling apparatus of claim 9, wherein the hair styling apparatus is powered by an external power source.

13. The hair styling apparatus of claim 10, wherein user hair placed atop the layer of glass is styled using heat passing from the film layer through the layer of glass and film layer.

14. The hair styling apparatus of claim 9, wherein the film layer comprises an ink film layer.

15. The hair styling apparatus of claim 14, wherein the ink film layer comprises a resistive ink film layer.

16. The hair styling apparatus of claim 15, wherein the resistive ink film layer comprises a layer of Polymer Thick Film (PTF) ink.

17. The hair styling apparatus of claim 9, wherein the film layer comprises a nano ink layer.

18. A hair styling apparatus, comprising: a pair of styling arms joined at a hinge, the pair of styling arms comprising a first arm and a second arm; a clear layer of glass located on the first arm; and a resistive ink layer deposited on a bottom surface of the clear layer of glass and positioned between the clear layer of glass and the first arm.

19. The hair styling apparatus of claim 18, wherein the resistive ink layer comprises a layer of Polymer Thick Film (PTF) ink.

20. The hair styling apparatus of claim 18, wherein the resistive ink layer comprises a nano ink layer.

Description:
HAIR STYLING APPARATUS

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to the art of hair styling tools, and more specifically to devices employed for straightening a user’ s hair.

Description of the Related Art

Hair styling devices are generally divided into two types:“flat iron” devices that employ a hinged pair of arms, with one each side of the hinge including a lower plate that heated by passing electricity through wires contained within. The heating element plate lies beneath a surface plate that contacts the hair and that has traditionally been made of various materials. Currently a number of flat iron hair treatment devices are offered that include upper or surface plates formed from materials including aluminum, steel, ceramic, titanium, and/or tourmaline. In normal operation, the user turns on the device, the device applies electricity to wires passing through the heating element plate to cause heating, in turn heating the surface plate. The user places strands of her hair between a pair of such surface plates, one on each arm of the styling device, and closes the sides using the hinge provided. The user then pulls the closed flat iron device away from her head and the heating effect tends to break the bonds in the cortex of the hair. The result is a“straightening” or “styling” of the hair. The user then repeats this process over other strands of hair as desired.

Another type of device used to straighten or curl hair is called a“styling iron” device. Such devices come in different forms, but in one form it entails a similar hinged pair of arms, one arm including a heating element that is curved in a concave orientation, while the other arm employs a rotating cylindrical element that fits with the concave element. Frequently brush bristles are offered on the heated side, and the heating element is electrically powered and may comprise various materials, such as the aforementioned ceramic, titanium, and tourmaline, and/or composites employing such materials. In most instances, the rotating element is formed of a plastic material and is not heated, but certain styling irons may employ heating in the rotating element. In this manner, hair can either be straightened or it can be curled;

individuals with straight hair can employ a styling iron to apply a fairly even gentle curl to their hair.

With both of these devices, a key attribute is the ability to efficiently and effectively provide heating. Heating is preferably provided at an even, appropriate heating level. This can be a challenge when hair is being pulled through the device, proximate the heating plates, and the act of drawing the hair through the central portion of the plate can result in a cooler region.

The plates can be formed from aluminum, steel, or ceramic, and may have coatings applied, including materials such as titanium or tourmaline, or combinations or composites of these materials. Ceramic tends to be used rarely in these applications, and expense sometimes dictates that a ceramic composite be used rather than a pure ceramic. Each of the aforementioned materials can have issues with risk of breakage, effective and efficient heating, and cost. Ceramic is sometimes employed in these devices because of its even heating attributes, but ceramic composites have been employed to address heating issues. Titanium and tourmaline tend to be a small percentage of the alloy or coating employed, and these materials may also exhibit heating issues. Titanium used in coatings tends to promote heat transfer, in some applications faster than ceramic.

These arrangements can result in uneven surface heating. In the situation where two plates are employed, a surface plate and a lower heating plate or element, the added separate heating element is typically much smaller than the heated plates and thus the heat is uneven throughout the surface plate. Further, some devices employing aluminum or steel, or even ceramic plates, with coatings including titanium can exhibit hot and cold spots, i.e. uneven heating.

Different types of hair can respond differently to different heat profiles. Some hair can straighten more rapidly with lower heat than other hair. A constant issue with the aforementioned devices is overheating the hair, i.e. applying too much heat to the hair, which can harm the hair and not provide the user with the desired straightening or styling effect. Since all of the above devices provide heating using a separate component, i.e. a heating element underlying a surface device, even, consistent, and efficient heating tends to be a problem.

A general challenge is the ability to provide an effective and efficient heating for different types of hair, with ability to provide heat in a relatively short amount of time. It would be advantageous to offer hair styling or hair straightening devices that address issues present in previous devices, particularly with respect to heating.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one embodiment of the current design, there is provided a styling apparatus used to style a user’s hair, comprising a styling arm, a layer of glass positioned on the styling arm, and a film layer deposited on a bottom surface of the layer of glass and positioned between the layer of glass and the styling arm. User hair placed atop the layer of glass is styled using heat passing from the film layer through the layer of glass.

According to a second embodiment, there is provided a hair styling apparatus comprising an arm, a reciprocal arm joined to the arm, a layer of glass positioned in the arm, and a film layer printed on a bottom surface of the layer of glass and positioned beneath the layer of glass and proximate the arm.

According to a third embodiment, there is provided a hair styling apparatus comprising a pair of styling arms joined at a hinge, the pair of styling arms comprising a first arm and a second arm, a clear layer of glass located on the first arm, and a resistive ink layer deposited on a bottom surface of the clear layer of glass and positioned between the clear layer of glass and the first arm.

These and other advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the invention and the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention is illustrated by way of example, and not by way of limitation, in the figures of the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a general example of a flat iron design; FIG. 2 shows a general representation of a styling iron design;

FIG. 3 is layering in accordance with one aspect of the present design;

FIG. 4A illustrates a glass element completely covered with a film layer in accordance with the present design;

FIG. 4B shows a pattern provided in ink on a glass element in accordance with the present design;

FIG. 5A is a pattern provided on a glass element with an indicator provided beneath the glass layer;

FIG. 5B is a connected pattern provided on a glass element;

FIG. 6 is a representation of one embodiment of the hair styling apparatus; and FIG. 7 illustrates an alternate embodiment of the present design.

The exemplification set out herein illustrates particular embodiments, and such exemplification is not intended to be construed as limiting in any manner.

DETAIFED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following description and the drawings illustrate specific embodiments sufficiently to enable those skilled in the art to practice the system and method described. Other embodiments may incorporate structural, logical, process and other changes. Examples merely typify possible variations. Individual components and functions are generally optional unless explicitly required, and the sequence of operations may vary. Portions and features of some embodiments may be included in or substituted for those of others.

The present design employs a heating element in a hair straightening or styling device, such as a flat iron or a styling iron, that is below a glass layer. The glass layer is of course transparent, and has a film applied thereto which may include a resistive ink, such as a Polymer Thick Film (PTF) ink. Such inks can be solvent based, employing, for example, certain types of solvents and/or polymers, pigments, and in some cases additives, or can be UV curable, e.g. monomers, oligomers (with or without fillers and/or additives), wherein they may be partially or completely formed of photoinitiator materials. The glass may be tempered and may be directly heated from below by the resistive ink layer, thus in turn heating the hair. The glass acts as a heating element and a conductor and provides a working surface for the hair.

Resistive ink applied to glass, and in certain instances decorative patterns can be provided using the resistive ink. Further, in certain embodiments, the transparency of the glass may allow for placement of an indicator element, such as an FED light, below the surface to provide a desired indication to the user, such as power is on or sufficient heating is available for application to hair. Other indicators may be provided, including text, numbers, different color light indicators, and so forth. Note that the term“user” employed herein is not intended to be limiting. For example, a user may style his or her own hair, but a stylist may use the device on another person, for example, such as a hair stylist using the device on a client or a parent using the device on a child. Use of the term“user” is thus not intended to limit the design or invention but is used generally in one scenario as a representation of a single person use situation. In a dual individual setting, the user may be either the person holding the hair brush 101 or the person whose hair is being styled. An alternate terminology may be employed, such as a“styler” holding the device and a “recipient” receiving styling. Use of the word“user” herein may mean either person in a two person styling scenario.

FIG. 1 illustrates a general design of a flat iron type hair apparatus. Different types of flat iron designs are available, and the depiction of FIG. 1 is intended solely as a general representation in order to provide an understanding of the typical components employed. Arms 101 and 102 are shown joined at hinge 103, with a power cord 104 provided to connect to a typical wall socket or outlet. Power is provided to first plate 105 and second plate 106, which may be formed of various materials including but not limited to ceramic, titanium, tourmaline, and composites thereof. Internal electrical components provide heat to first plate 105 and second plate 106, and the user may place his or her hair between first plate 105 and second plate 106, closing arms 101 and 102 using hinge 103, and may pull the unit along the length of his or her hair.

FIG. 2 illustrates a general design of a styling iron apparatus, again representing a general or generic version of such a device. Arms 201 and 202 are shown joined at hinge 203, with a power cord 204 provided to connect to a typical wall socket or outlet. Power is provided to plate 205 and rotating element 206. This version includes bristles 207. Plate 205 may be formed of various materials including but not limited to ceramic, titanium, tourmaline, and composites thereof, and is concave in shape in order to receive the rotating element 206. Internal electrical components provide heat to plate 205 and the user may place his or her hair between plate 205 and rotating element 206, closing arms 201 and 202 using hinge 203, and may pull the unit along the length of his or her hair. In this manner, hair may be curled by the user. In some designs, heat may be applied to the rotating element.

As noted, in the designs of FlGs. 1 and 2, the design includes one or two upper plates, in the case of some devices one upper plate on each arm. Below the upper plate is a heating element, and wires ran through the heating element, such that application of electricity runs through the wires and causes the heating element to heat up, and that heat passes to the upper plate and is used to style the user’s hair. FIG. 3 shows a representation of the construction of the present design. The present design may be employed as one or both of the heating elements of a flat iron design similar to that shown in FIG. 1 or may be employed as the concave heating element of a styling iron type apparatus such as is shown in FIG. 2. From FIG. 3, a glass element 301 is provided as a topmost element or component furthest from the arm. Glass element 301 may be tempered glass in one embodiment. Below glass element 301 is a layer of film 302 comprising an ink type film that may be provided by printing methods including but not limited to screening, ultraviolet application, or other techniques appropriate for the type of ink being applied to the particular glass. The ink layer receives current or power via electronics (not shown in this view) and when electricity is applied to the ink layer, the resistive ink heats up and provides heat to glass element 301. Glass element 301 therefore acts as both the heater/conductor and a work surface, and standard bristles may also be provided on the sides of the glass work surface in the case of a styling iron. Beneath the layer of ink may be an insulating layer, not shown in this view, wherein the insulating layer may comprise an air channel or an insulating material. Such a construction tends to be more cost efficient and can in many cases improve performance for certain types of hair.

Glass element or glass layer 301 is typically clear, allowing the user to see through the glass layer and view the layer of film at the bottom, as well as any other elements such as a power indicator. The layer of film 302 may be an ink type film, and the precise ink film or layer of film employed may vary depending on desired performance, but one example is a resistive ink, such as a Polymer Thick Film (PTF) ink. Another example is a so-called“nano” ink, nanoparticle inks that have been used in semiconductor applications, for example. Distribution of nano ink onto a surface such as glass provides a level of resistance and the application of drive voltage to the nano ink layer at a known level of resistance provides a power sufficient to heat the layer of glass above and style hair.

As noted, resistive inks and/or ink films that may be employed in the present design include nano inks, solvent based ink materials, employing, for example, polymers, pigments, certain solvents, and in some cases additives, or can be UV curable, e.g. monomers, oligomers, with or without fillers and/or additives, wherein they may be partially or completely formed of photoinitiator materials. Use of such an ink film or layer of film allows for distribution or“printing” on flat surfaces, and such a construction may be sprayed on surfaces, including flat surfaces as well as curved surfaces, such as a bottom layer of a styling iron rotating barrel.

The resistive ink film or layer of film provided may be provided as a single solid sheet, i.e. in the case of a flat iron a single rectangle applied to the glass surface. Other patterns or arrangements may be employed, including decorative patterns, geometries, and so forth, but such designs much account for the electrical and power requirements. For example, a discrete series of unconnected dots may not provide the necessary power. FIG. 4A illustrates a top view of a single flat iron heating element with a simple rectangular ink region 401 applied thereto. Application of the layer of film in this manner can provide even heat to the glass, resulting in even heat being provided at the top of the glass surface contacting the hair. While FIG. 4A depicts rectangular ink region covering all of the glass element, a rectangular region may, for example, leave space at the top, bottom, left, and/or right sides, such as a small border, or such as space at the top and bottom but not the sides, and still provide improved heating characteristics, such as even heating at the top of the glass surface.

Alternately, a decorative pattern may be applied as shown in FIG. 4B. Such a decorative ink pattern can provide aesthetic benefits to the device. Further, if applied to the roller or rotating element on a styling iron, such decorative patterns may provide further favorable aesthetic benefits.

A version of the decorative pattern is illustrated in FIG. 5 A, wherein an indicator is placed below the glass element and a decorative ink pattern 502 has been applied to the top surface 503 of the glass element. In this representation, the indicator 501 is an LED light, but other indicators may be provided, including timer lights (digital time or temperature readouts), other types of lights, simple switch indicators (on/off visual indicators), or virtually any type of indicator that may be beneficial to a user of the device. The indicator may provide information to the user of sufficient heating conditions, excessive heating conditions (i.e. operating as a warning), power indication, time indicator as to current time or time the device has been on, countdown to automatic turn off, temperature of a part of the device such as the current temperature of the tempered glass, or virtually any other information useful to a user.

FIG. 5B shows a simple linear pattern that may be employed as the decorative pattern. An issue with the depiction of FIG. 5A is the application of electricity to the ink layer could potentially result in uneven heating. FIG. 5B is a representation of a regular pattern such that electrical power applied to the ink pattern results in a generally even heating profile to the glass element. Optional indicator 551 is shown, used to indicate when the device is powered or heat level is sufficient, for example. Other patterns are of course possible, but in general, even distribution of ink over the resistive ink layer and ultimately to the glass upper layer can be advantageous, but any type of pattern of ink may be provided with the current design.

Electrically the present design requires less electricity (less voltage and less power) to provide heating to the user’s hair. Further, the use of glass with ink applied to the bottom surface results in a more even distribution of heat than has been previously known. In the present design, the glass acts as both the heat conductor and the heating element. Prior designs employing a metal or ceramic element can develop “hot” and“cold” spots, namely spots that tend to heat more or less than other spots on the metal surface. In many such devices employing metal and ceramic, multiple linear heating elements are provided beneath the metal or ceramic surface and the corresponding positions on the upper plate, above the heating elements, tend to heat more than those farthest from such elements. The overall result in these previous types of heating element designs is uneven distribution of heat and a less than ideal styling of hair.

The electrical advantages of the present design result in the use of smaller heating components and generation of less heat. Improved efficiency of heat transfer provides the need for less current, voltage, and power and less heat generation to obtain the same level of heating. Further, the present design enables the use of smaller external components, including smaller arms.

A simplified version of noteworthy parts of the design are provided in FIG. 6. From FIG. 6, electrical connection 601 is provided, typically a power cord used to plug into a standard wall socket. Device 600 includes arms 602 and 603, again smaller in size than many existing hair styling devices. Arm 603 is shown with a heating arrangement attached in accordance with the teachings herein. While not shown in FIG. 6, a receiving element or indentation may be provided with facing arm 602. Limiting electronics 604 may be provided, wherein limiting electronics may include but are not limited to a switch and electronics that control heat level as well as circuitry that stops heating after a period of time to avoid ignition issues for the careless user who fails to turn the device off and leaves the device near flammable material. Different levels of heating may be provided by limiting electronics 604. Once plugged in and switched on, the device provides electricity to film layer 607. Film layer 607 is provided on or printed on glass element 606. Insulating layer 605 is shown between film layer 607 and the body of the arm 603 of the device, which may be plastic or some other material, where insulating layer 605 may be an air channel or an insulating material. While not necessary, a heating element (not shown in this view) may be provided, between the film layer 607 and the glass element 606 or proximate the glass element 606. In one instance, film layer 607 may include a resistive ink, such as nano ink, deposited below or on the bottom of glass element 606, with electronics connected to this resistive ink layer. Thus additional or alternate heating elements or arrangements may be employed if needed, such as in cases where heating via the resistive ink layer is insufficient. The result is a device that requires less power and may, in some instances, be powered by battery or other available means besides common household current.

FIG. 7 illustrates an alternate embodiment of the present design. From FIG. 7, first arm 701 faces second arm 702 and the arms 701 and 702 are joined at hinge 703. On or associated with or provided with arm 702 is glass layer 704, which in this view is shown above film layer 705, here formed in a pattern with connection points at the sides of glass layer 704. Also provided in this representation is attachment 706, useful in maintaining the user’ s hair in association with the two glass layers provided.

In operation, with glass and a film layer such as a nano ink layer deposited on its bottom surface and with a channel of air or other insulating layer provided beneath, the nano ink is a resistive type of ink that may be driven by AC or DC current. No inductance or capacitance is involved in powering the nano ink, or at most a very minimal level of inductance and/or capacitance is provided by the nano ink. As a result, the power of the device is V 2 /R, where V is the driving voltage and R the resistance of the ink. The system thus operates to achieve a target power level by employing a desired resistance of the nano ink and glass element. Again, other resistive inks may be provided.

As an alternative, the design may provide electrical current and/or voltage to the ink layer directly, heating the ink layer and the glass layer, and providing a relatively constant and uniform level of heat to the user’s hair.

As a result, the present design includes a glass layer, previously not employed in a hair styling device, with a layer of resistive ink provided on a bottom surface of the glass layer, such that the glass layer is proximate the user’s hair. The resistive ink layer may include electrical connections, thereby heating the hair using a lower level of electricity. The resultant device, such as the device shown in FIG. 7, may therefore be formed of a smaller size than previously achievable.

According to the present design, the heating element including the glass, such as tempered glass, and the ink layer may be provided beneath such glass layers on one or both arms of a flat iron device, and may be provided on one or both of the rotating element and the concave element on the two arms of a styling iron type device. Such an element may be particularly aesthetically pleasing when, for example, the rotating element includes heating components such as heating electronics and hardware and it rotates with a resistive ink pattern provided or deposited beneath.

According to one embodiment of the current design, there is provided a styling apparatus used to style a user’s hair, comprising a styling arm, a layer of glass positioned on the styling arm, and a film layer deposited on a bottom surface of the layer of glass and positioned between the layer of glass and the styling arm. User hair placed atop the layer of glass is styled using heat passing from the film layer through the layer of glass.

According to a second embodiment, there is provided a hair styling apparatus comprising an arm, a reciprocal arm joined to the arm, a layer of glass positioned in the arm, and a film layer printed on a bottom surface of the layer of glass and positioned beneath the layer of glass and proximate the arm.

According to a third embodiment, there is provided a hair styling apparatus comprising a pair of styling arms joined at a hinge, the pair of styling arms comprising a first arm and a second arm, a clear layer of glass located on the first arm, and a resistive ink layer deposited on a bottom surface of the clear layer of glass and positioned between the clear layer of glass and the first arm.

The devices, processes and features described herein are not exclusive of other devices, processes and features, and variations and additions may be implemented in accordance with the particular objectives to be achieved. For example, devices and processes as described herein may be integrated or interoperable with other devices and processes not described herein to provide further combinations of features, to operate concurrently within the same devices, or to serve other purposes. Thus it should be understood that the embodiments illustrated in the figures and described above are offered by way of example only. The invention is not limited to a particular embodiment, but extends to various modifications, combinations, and permutations that fall within the scope of the claims and their equivalents.

The design presented herein and the specific aspects illustrated are meant not to be limiting, but may include alternate components while still incorporating the teachings and benefits of the invention. While the invention has thus been described in connection with specific embodiments thereof, it will be understood that the invention is capable of further modifications. This application is intended to cover any variations, uses or adaptations of the invention following, in general, the principles of the invention, and including such departures from the present disclosure as come within known and customary practice within the art to which the invention pertains.

The foregoing description of specific embodiments reveals the general nature of the disclosure sufficiently that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily modify and/or adapt the system and method for various applications without departing from the general concept. Therefore, such adaptations and modifications are within the meaning and range of equivalents of the disclosed embodiments. The phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.