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Title:
A HAIR STYLING APPLIANCE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2022/153030
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A hair styling appliance is described that includes an airflow unit for generating an airflow, a heating unit for heating the airflow, and a control unit for controlling the airflow unit and the heating unit. The control unit receives user data relating to at least one of a desired style, a hair type and a previous styling by the appliance. The control unit controls the airflow unit and the heating unit in a sequence of modes to style the hair of a user, the airflow unit having a different flow rate and/or the heating unit having a different heat setting in different modes. The control unit uses the user data to define the sequence of modes.

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Inventors:
CARLYLE THOMAS (GB)
CARSON EMMA (GB)
TWEEDIE ROBERT (GB)
COURTNEY STEPHEN (GB)
Application Number:
PCT/GB2021/053421
Publication Date:
July 21, 2022
Filing Date:
December 23, 2021
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DYSON TECHNOLOGY LTD (GB)
International Classes:
A45D20/50; A45D20/10; A45D20/26
Domestic Patent References:
WO2021071061A22021-04-15
WO2021071062A12021-04-15
WO2021071063A12021-04-15
WO2021071064A22021-04-15
WO2021071065A12021-04-15
Foreign References:
FR2707851A11995-01-27
CN108433318A2018-08-24
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FOWLER, Maria et al. (GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1 . A hair styling appliance comprising: an airflow unit for generating an airflow; a heating unit for heating the airflow; and a control unit for controlling the airflow unit and the heating unit, wherein: the control unit receives user data relating to at least one of a desired style, a hair type and a previous styling by the appliance, the control unit controls the airflow unit and the heating unit in a sequence of modes to style the hair of a user, the airflow unit having a different flow rate and/or the heating unit having a different heat setting in different modes, and the control unit uses the user data to define the sequence of modes.

2. A hair styling appliance as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the control unit uses the user data to define parameters of the sequence of modes, the parameters comprising any of: a number of modes, an order of modes, durations of modes, heat settings within modes, and flow rates within modes.

3. A hair styling appliance as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein the user data relates to a previous styling by the appliance when using a sequence of modes having a first set of parameters, the control unit uses the user data to define a second set of parameters, and the control unit controls the airflow unit and the heating unit in a sequence of modes having the second set of parameters.

4. A hair styling appliance as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the user data relate to a hair type and comprise any of: hair thickness, hair length, natural hair style, hair condition, presence of hair product, and presence of hair dye.

5. A hair styling appliance as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the user data relate to a previous styling by the appliance and comprise any of: a user satisfaction rating, and a quality of styled hair.

6. A hair styling appliance as claimed in claim 5, wherein the quality of styled hair comprises a measure of any of: condition of the styled hair, retention of the styled hair, and shape of the styled hair.

7. A hair styling appliance as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the appliance comprises a wireless interface for receiving the user data wirelessly from a remote device.

8. A hair styling appliance as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the control unit receives user settings data, and the control unit uses the user settings data to define the sequence of modes.

9. A hair styling appliance as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the appliance comprises one or more sensors for sensing a characteristic of the hair and the control unit uses the sensed characteristic to define the sequence of modes.

10. A hair styling appliance as claimed in claim 9, wherein the characteristic comprises a temperature or a moisture content of the hair.

11. A hair styling appliance as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the control unit determines when to transition between modes based on at least one of a time spent in a mode, a presence or absence of the hair, and the characteristic of the hair.

12. A hair styling appliance as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the control unit automatically transitions between modes.

13. A hair styling appliance as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 11 , wherein the control unit generates a user alert to notify a user when to transition between modes, and the control unit transitions between modes in response to a user input.

14. A hair styling appliance as claimed in claim any one of the preceding claims, wherein the sequence of modes comprises a first mode, a second mode and a third mode, and the heat setting in the third mode is lower than the heat settings in the first and second modes.

15. A hair styling appliance as claimed in claim 14, wherein the flow rate in the third mode is lower than the flow rates in the first and second modes.

16. A hair styling appliance as claimed in claim 14 or 15, wherein the flow rate or the heat setting in the second mode is lower than that in the first mode.

17. A hair styling appliance as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the sequence of modes comprises a mode in which the airflow unit and/ or the heating unit are powered off.

18. A hair styling appliance as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the hair styling appliance comprises a predefined default sequence of modes and the control unit controls the airflow unit and the heating unit in the predefined default sequence of modes in the event that there are no user data.

19. A hair styling appliance as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the appliance comprises a main body within which the airflow unit and the heating unit are housed, and an attachment releasably attachable to the main body, wherein the control unit defines the sequence of modes according to the attachment.

20. A hair styling appliance as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the control unit initiates the sequence of modes in response to a user input.

Description:
A HAIR STYLING APPLIANCE

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a hair styling appliance. of the Invention

When styling hair, it may be necessary for a user to adjust the settings of the appliance several times in order to achieve optimal results. of the Invention

The present invention provides a hair styling appliance comprising: an airflow unit for generating an airflow; a heating unit for heating the airflow; and a control unit for controlling the airflow unit and the heating unit, wherein: the control unit receives user data relating to at least one of a desired style, a hair type and a previous styling by the appliance, the control unit controls the airflow unit and the heating unit in a sequence of modes to style the hair of a user, the airflow unit having a different flow rate and/or the heating unit having a different heat setting in different modes, and the control unit uses the user data to define the sequence of modes.

With the hair styling appliance of the present invention, the control unit uses the user data to define the sequence of modes. The user data relates to a desired style, a hair type and/or a previous styling by the appliance. As a result, better styling results, improved efficiency and/or reduce damage to the hair may be achieved when compared to hair styling appliances that rely on user judgement to define the sequence of modes.

The control unit may use the user data to define parameters of the sequence of modes, the parameters comprising any of: a number of modes, an order of modes, durations of modes, heat settings within modes, and flow rates within modes. The control unit therefore employs different parameters according to the user data. Where the user data relates to a desired style or a user’s hair type, the control unit may employ different parameters based on the desired style or hair type. So, for example, the control unit may employ different parameters when curling the hair versus straightening the hair, or when styling fine hair versus thick hair.

The user data may relate to a previous styling by the appliance when using a sequence of modes having a first set of parameters, the control unit may use the user data to define a second set of parameters, and the control unit may control the airflow unit and the heating unit in a sequence of modes having the second set of parameters. The control unit may use the user data to adjust the first set of parameters to define the second set of parameters. Alternatively, the control unit may use the user data to create the second set of parameters without reference to the first set of parameters. The user data may comprise information that relates to a previous styling. So, for example, where the appliance was previously used to curl hair, the user data may comprise information regarding the size of the curls (e.g. tight or loose), retention of the curls (e.g. how long the curls lasted), the condition of the hair after styling (e.g. wet, dry, over dry), and/or a user rating on the overall quality of the style. The control unit is then able to use this user data to improve upon the previous styling.

The user data may relate to a hair type and comprise any of: hair thickness (e.g. fine or thick), hair length (e.g. short or long), natural hair style (e.g. straight or curly), the condition of the hair (e.g. wet, damp, dry, over dry), the presence of hair product, and/or the presence of hair dye. The user data may therefore be used to define the sequence of modes, and in particular the parameters of the modes, so as to achieve good styling results and/or avoid damage across different hair types.

The user data may relate to a previous styling by the appliance and comprise any of: a user satisfaction rating, and a quality of styled hair. The sequence of modes may therefore be defined so as to improve upon the previous styling, according to feedback provided by the user and captured in the user data.

The quality of styled hair may comprise a measure of any of: condition of the styled hair (e.g. wet, damp, dry, over dry), retention of the styled hair (e.g. how long the style lasted), and shape of the styled hair (e.g. tight or loose curls). This then has the benefit that particular details of the previously styled hair may be used to improve future styling. For example, the user may indicate that the retention of the hair style was unsatisfactory or that the style was retained for a certain period of time. Based on this user data, the control unit may adjust the parameters of the modes. For example, the control unit may add or remove modes, adjust the duration of one or more modes, or adjust the heat setting and/or the flow rate within one or more modes.

The appliance may comprise a wireless interface for receiving the user data wirelessly from a remote device. The remote device may comprise a computing device such as a mobile device (e.g. phone or tablet), and the user data may be entered via an app. This may provide a more convenient method for inputting the user data.

The user data may comprise user settings for use in defining the parameters of the modes. For example, the user may have a preferred set of parameters (e.g. duration, flow rate and/or heat setting for one or more modes) for achieving a given style. This then had the benefit that a user is able to override the settings of the control unit to better control the styling according to the user’s preference.

The appliance may comprise one or more sensors for sensing a characteristic of the hair and the control unit may use the sensed characteristic to define the sequence of modes. In some examples, the characteristic may comprise a temperature of the hair. In other examples, the characteristic may comprise a moisture content of the hair. In this way, the sequence of modes may be defined in a way that achieves better styling results whilst mitigating potential damage to the hair.

The control unit may determine when to transition between modes based on at least one of a time spent in a mode, a presence or absence of the hair, and the characteristic of the hair. As a result, the efficiency and/or the styling achieved by the appliance may be improved. Moreover, effective styling may be achieved without damaging the hair. The control unit may transition automatically between modes. As a result, styling may be more convenient for the user, since the user is not required to do anything in order to transition between modes. Moreover, since transitioning does not rely on user involvement, improved styling results, reduced damage and/or improved efficiency may be achieved.

The control unit may generate a user alert to notify a user when to transition between modes, and the control unit may transition between modes in response to a user input. The user is therefore provided with an alert of when to transition, but the user nevertheless has the ability to remain longer within a particular mode, if desired. The user therefore has greater control over the styling process. The user may transition to the next mode, by pressing a button on the appliance, for example.

The sequence of modes may comprise a first mode, a second mode and a third mode, and the heat setting in the third mode may be lower than the heat settings in the first and second modes. The control unit may transition from the first mode to the second mode, and then from the second mode to the third mode. In one example, the first mode may be used to wrap, curl and/or tension the hair, the second mode may be used to shape the hair, and the third mode may be used to lock in the shape of the hair. Having a higher heat setting in the first mode may help to wrap and tension the hair. For example, the higher heat may lower the density and increases the pressure of the airflow, resulting in higher air velocities which better encourage the hair to wrap around the appliance. The higher heat setting may also reduce the stiffness of the hair, which further improves wrapping. Having a higher heat setting in the second mode may help to shape the hair by breaking hydrogen bonds in the hair. Having a lower heat setting in the third mode may help to lock the shape of the hair by cooling the hair and/or reforming the hydrogen bonds. In another example, the first, second and third modes may be used to style the hair in multiple passes, and the moisture content of the hair may decrease with each successive pass. By employing a lower heat setting in the third mode, potential damage to the hair may be avoided. The flow rate in the third mode may be lower than the flow rates in the first and second modes. A third mode having a lower flow rate than the first and second mode may improve the retention of the hair style. For example, in the second mode may be used to shape the hair and the third mode may be used to lock the shape. By having a lower flow rate in the third mode, the hair may be locked without disturbing or otherwise ruining the shape of the hair.

The flow rate and/or the heat setting in the second mode may be lower than that in the first mode. In one example, the first mode may be used to wrap and tension the hair, and the second mode may be used to shape the hair. A relatively high flow rate and high temperature setting in the first mode may encourage better wrapping and tensioning of the hair. A similarly high flow rate and temperature setting may be used in the second mode to shape the hair. However, shaping of the hair might equally be achieved at a lower flow rate and/or lower temperature setting. The efficiency of the appliance may therefore be improved. In another example, the first and second modes may be used to style the hair in multiple passes. By employing a lower flow rate and/or the heat setting in the second mode, potential damage to the hair (e.g. due to over-drying) may be avoided and/or the efficiency of the appliance may be improved.

The sequence of modes may comprise a mode in which the airflow unit and/or the heating unit may be powered off. This mode may be used to release the styled hair from the appliance. By powering off the airflow unit and/or the heating unit, the shape of the hair may be better retained during release. When the appliance is used to style the hair in multiple passes, this particular mode may be used between passes. By powering off the airflow unit and/or the heating unit between passes, the efficiency of the appliance may be improved.

The hair styling appliance may comprise a predefined default sequence of modes and the control unit may control the airflow unit and the heating unit in the predefined default sequence of modes in the event that there are no user data. This then has the advantage that the appliance may still be used in the absence of any user data. For example, a user may use the appliance out of the box without first having to input user data.

The appliance comprises a main body within which the airflow unit and the heating unit are housed, and an attachment releasably attachable to the main body, wherein the control unit defines the sequence of modes according to the attachment. This may be advantageous as the appliance may have different attachments to create different hair styles. For example, the appliance may comprise an attachment for curling hair, and a further attachment for straightening hair. Each attachment may have a different sequence of modes. Moreover, the user data may define the sequence of modes in different ways according to the type of attachment in use.

The control unit may initiate the sequence of modes in response to a user input. For example, the appliance may comprise a user control (e.g. button, slider, touchscreen) which the user uses to initiate the sequence. Alternatively, the user may initiate the sequence using a remote device, such as a phone or tablet, and the appliance may comprise a wireless interface for receiving the user input wirelessly from the remote device.

Brief Description of the Drawings

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

Figure 1 illustrates a hair styling appliance;

Figure 2 is a simplified section through a handle unit of the hair styling appliance;

Figure 3 is a block diagram of electrical components of the handle unit;

Figure 4 is a flow diagram of a sequence of modes performed by the hair styling appliance; Figure 5 is a flow diagram of a sequence of modes when a first attachment is used with the hair styling appliance;

Figure 6 is a flow diagram of a sequence of modes when a second attachment is used with the hair styling appliance; and

Figure 7 is a block diagram of electrical components of an alternative hair styling appliance.

Detailed Description of the Invention

The hair styling appliance 10 of Figures 1 to 3 comprises a handle unit 20, a first attachment 100 and a second attachment 200. Each of the attachments 100, 200 is removably attachable to the handle unit 20.

The handle unit 20 comprises a housing 30, an airflow unit 40, a heating unit 50 and a control unit 60.

The housing 30 is tubular in shape and comprises an inlet 31 through which an airflow is drawn into the housing 30 by the airflow unit 40, and an outlet 32 through which the airflow is discharged from the housing 30. The airflow unit 40 is housed within the housing 30 and comprises a fan 41 driven by an electric motor 42. The heating unit 50 is also housed within the housing 30 and comprises one or more heating elements 51 to optionally heat the airflow.

The control unit 60 controls the airflow unit 40 and the heating unit 50. More specifically, the control unit 60 controls the flow rate of the airflow unit 40 and the heat setting of the heating unit 50.

The control unit 60 comprises user controls 61 and a control module 62.

The user controls 61 are provided on the surface of the housing 30 and are used to power on and off the hair styling appliance 10. The user controls 61 may also be used to select a flow rate (e.g. high, medium, low), and to select a heat setting (e.g. high, medium, low, off). In this example, each of the user controls 61 comprises a sliding switch. However, other forms of user control may be used such as buttons, dials or touchscreen.

The control module 62 is responsible for controlling the airflow unit 40 and the heating unit 50. The control module 62 may control the airflow unit 40 and the heating unit 50 in response to inputs from the user controls 61. For example, in response to inputs from the user controls, the control module 62 may power on and off the airflow unit 40 and the heating unit 50, adjust the flow rate the airflow unit 40, and/or adjust the heat setting of the heating unit 50. As described below in more detail, the control module 62 may control the airflow unit 40 and the heating unit 50 in a sequence of modes in order to style the hair of a user.

The first attachment 100 is intended for use in curling hair. The particular attachment illustrated in Figure 1 corresponds to the barrel attachment of the Dyson Airwrap® hair styler. The attachment will not therefore be described here in any great detail. However, in short, the attachment 100 comprises a barrel 101 having an inlet 102 at one end. A plurality of outlets 103 in the form of slots are formed around the side the barrel 101. During use, when the attachment 100 is attached to the handle unit 20, the airflow generated by the handle unit 20 enters the interior of the barrel via the inlet 102. From there, the airflow is discharged through the outlets 103 in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. This then encourages hair to wrap and curl around the barrel 101.

The second attachment 200 is intended for use in straightening and smoothing hair. The particular attachment illustrated in Figure 1 corresponds to the smoothing brush of the Dyson Airwrap® hair styler. Again, the attachment will not be described here in any great detail. However, in short, the attachment 200 comprises a body 201 having an inlet 202 at one end. The attachment further comprises bristles 204 secured to a pair of beds that pivot or rock relative to the body 201 between a first position and a second position. When the beds are in the first position, a first pair of outlets 203 are opened through which air is discharged in a first direction. When the beds are in the second position, a second different pair of outlets are opened through which the air is discharged in a second opposite direction. Each pair of outlets comprises slots that extend between the beds and the body. During use, the attachment 200 is pulled through the hair and the bristles 204 act to detangle and straighten the hair. The airflow generated by the handle unit 20 enters the interior of the body via the inlet 202 and is discharged via the outlets 203 to simultaneously dry and/or heat the hair.

Referring now to Figure 4, the control unit 60 controls the airflow unit 40 and the heating unit 50 in a sequence of modes 300 to style the hair of a user. The sequence of modes 300 comprises at least a first mode 301 , a second mode 302 and a third mode 303. The sequence of modes 300 may comprise one or more additional modes 304. In each mode, the airflow unit 40 has a different flow rate and/or the heating unit 50 has a different heat setting. For example, in the first mode 301 , the flow rate and the heat setting may be high, in the second mode the flow rate may be medium and the heat setting may be high, and in the third mode, the flow rate and the heat setting may be low.

Controlling the airflow unit 40 and the heating unit 50 in this way may provide better styling results. Additionally, it may improve the efficiency of the appliance and/or reduce potential damage to the hair. For example, when using the first attachment 100, a first mode having a high flow rate may help to wrap and tension the hair around the barrel 101. A second mode having a high heat setting may then help shape the hair by breaking hydrogen bonds in the hair. Finally, a third mode having a low heat setting and a low flow may help to lock the shape of the hair by cooling the hair and/or reforming the hydrogen bonds. As a further example, when using the second attachment 200, each mode may correspond to a pass through the same section of hair. Each mode may have a lower heat setting than the previous mode, which then helps avoid potential damage to the hair. In particular, reducing the temperature of the airflow with each successive pass may protect the hair from over-drying. Additionally, by reducing the heat and/or flow at times when higher settings are unnecessary, the efficiency of the appliance may be improved.

The control unit 60 determines when to transition between the modes. The control unit 60 may determine when to transition based on a time spent in a mode. For example, the control unit 60 may determine that it is time to transition from the first mode to the second mode when the time spent in the first mode exceeds a threshold. This then provides a relatively simple method for determining when to transition between modes.

The control unit 60 may determine when to transition based on the presence of hair. In one example, the appliance 10 may comprise a capacitive sensor to determine the presence of hair. In another example, the appliance may determine the presence of hair based on changes in the airflow and/or the speed of the airflow unit. As hair engages an attachment 100,200 of the appliance 10, the hair restricts the outlets 103,203. As a result, the pressure within the attachment increases. This increase in pressure may then be sensed by a pressure sensor. Additionally, with outlets 103,203 of the attachment 100,200 restricted, the speed of the airflow unit 40 may increase, which may be sensed by the control module 62. As the amount of hair on the attachment increases, the degree of restriction may increase. Accordingly, in addition to determining whether hair is present or not, the control unit 60 may determine the amount of hair that is present.

Determining when to transition based on the presence of hair may improve styling results without damaging the hair, and/or improve the efficiency of the appliance. For example, with no hair present, the control unit 60 may operate in a mode in which the flow rate and/or the heat setting are set to low or off, thereby improving the efficiency. In another example, a larger amount of hair may require a longer dwell time in one or more of the modes in order to achieve the desired style. The control unit 60 may therefore determine when to transition based on the presence of hair; in this regard the term ‘presence of hair’ should be understood to include the amount of hair that is present.

Different amounts of hair on the attachment 100,200 may require different flow rates and/or a different heat settings in order to achieve the desired style. Accordingly, in addition to determining when to transition based on the presence of hair, the control unit 60 may also define the flow rate and/or the heat setting within one or more modes based on the presence of hair. Moreover, the control unit 60 may define the number of modes and/or the order of the modes in response to the presence of hair. Accordingly, the control unit may be said to define the parameters of the sequence of modes based on the presence of hair, where the parameters are any of: the number of modes, the order of the modes, the durations of the modes, the heat settings within the modes, and the flow rates within the modes.

The control unit 60 may also determine when to transition between modes based on a characteristic of the hair. In particular, the control unit 60 may determine when to transition based on the temperature or moisture content of the hair. The appliance 10 may therefore comprise one or more sensors to sense the temperature and/or moisture content of the hair. The control unit 60 may determine when to transition between modes when the temperature or moisture content of the hair reaches a threshold. For example, the control unit 60 may determine when to transition when the temperature of the hair is greater than a threshold, or when the moisture content of the hair is less than a threshold. By determining when to transition based on a characteristic of the hair, styling results may be improved. Moreover, potential damage to the hair, such as over drying, may be avoided, and the efficiency of the appliance 10 may be improved.

In addition to determining when to transition, the control unit 60 may also define the flow rate and/or the heat setting within one or more of the modes based on the characteristic of the hair. For example, cooler hair and/or hair with a higher moisture content may require a higher flow rate and/or a higher heat setting in order to achieve the desired style. The control unit 60 may also define the number of modes and/or the order of the modes in response to the characteristic of the hair. Accordingly, as with the presence of hair described above, the control unit may define the parameters of the sequence of modes based on a characteristic of the hair. Again, the parameters may be any of: the number of modes, the order of the modes, the durations of the modes, the heat settings within the modes, and the flow rates within the modes. The control unit 60 may automatically transition between modes in response to determining when to transition. By way of example, the control unit 60 may sense a characteristic of the hair (e.g. temperature or moisture content) and then automatically transition from one mode to the next when the characteristic reaches a threshold. By automatically transitioning between modes, improved styling results may be achieved. Additionally, potential damage to the hair may be avoided, and/or improved efficiency may be achieved. Furthermore, styling may be more convenient for the user, since the user is not required to do anything in order to transition between modes.

The control unit 60 may alternatively generate a user alert in response to determining when to transition. The control unit 60 then transitions between modes in response to a user input (e.g. such as a button on the user controls 61 ). The user is therefore provided with an alert of when to transition, but the user nevertheless has the ability to remain longer within a particular mode, if desired. The user therefore has greater control over the styling process. For example, the user may wish to remain longer in a particular mode if the temperature or moisture content of the hair is, in the view of the user, unsatisfactory.

Figure 5 illustrates an example of a sequence of modes 300a when the first attachment 100 is attached to the handle unit 20. The sequence of modes may be initiated upon powering on the appliance 10. Alternatively, the sequence may be initiated upon actuation of a dedicated switch on the user controls 61 . The sequence of modes 300a comprises four modes 301 a, 302a, 303a, 304a. The first mode 301 a is used to wrap and tension the hair. The second mode 302a is used to shape the hair. The third mode 303a is used to lock in the shape of the hair, and the fourth mode 304a is used to release the styled hair from the appliance 10.

The first mode 301 a has a high flow rate and a high heat setting which helps to wrap and tension the hair. The high heat setting lowers the density and increases the pressure of the airflow within the attachment 100. This, together with the high flow rate, results in a higher air velocity at the outlets 103 of the attachment 100, which in turn better encourages the hair to wrap around the barrel 101. Additionally, the high heat setting reduces the stiffness of the hair, which also improves wrapping of the hair around the barrel 101 . The attachment 100 comprises a capacitive sensor, which the control unit 60 uses to determine the presence of hair. Upon determining that the hair has wrapped around the barrel 101 , the control unit 60 transitions to the second mode 302a.

The second mode 302a has a medium flow rate and a high heat setting. The medium flow rate is sufficient to retain the hair on the barrel 101 , whilst the high heat setting breaks hydrogen bonds within the hair. Conceivably, the flow rate in the second mode could be high. However, by operating the airflow unit at a medium flow rate, the efficiency of the appliance is improved. The control unit 60 remains in the second mode for a set period of time, at the end of which the control unit transitions to the third mode. The set of period of time may depend on the amount of hair that is present on the attachment 100, as determined by the capacitive sensor. For example, the control unit 60 may remain in the second mode for a longer period of time in response to a larger amount of hair on the barrel 101. Conceivably, the attachment 100 may comprise one or more sensors for sensing the temperature and/or the moisture content of the hair. The control unit 60 then uses the temperature and/or moisture content of the hair to determine when to transition to the third mode. In this way, improved styling results may be achieved without potentially over-drying the hair.

The third mode 303a has a low flow rate and a low or off heat setting. As a result, the hair is cooled to lock in the shape that was created in the second mode. By having a low flow rate, the hair may be locked without disturbing or otherwise spoiling the shape of the hair. The control unit 60 remains in the third mode for a set period of time, at the end of which the control unit transitions to the fourth mode. Again, the set of period of time may depend on the amount of hair that is present on the attachment 100. Moreover, should the attachment 100 comprise a sensor(s) for sensing the temperature and/or the moisture content of the hair, the control unit 60 may use this information to determine when to transition to the fourth mode. For example, the control unit may transition when the temperature of the hair drops below a threshold, thus ensuring that the shape of the hair is locked. Alternatively, the control unit may transition to the fourth mode when the moisture content of the hair drops below a threshold, thereby avoiding over-drying of the hair.

In the fourth mode 304a, the airflow unit 40 and the heating unit 50 are powered off. The hair may then be released from the attachment 100 without spoiling the shape or style of the hair.

Figure 6 illustrates an example of a sequence of modes 300b when the second attachment 200 is attached to the handle unit 20. Again, the sequence of modes may be initiated upon powering on the appliance 10 or in response to actuation of a dedicated switch on the user controls 61 . The attachment 200 is used to style the hair in multiple passes. In this particular example, the appliance 10 is used to style a section of hair in four passes. With each successive pass, the heat setting of the appliance 10 is reduced. This then helps avoid over-drying of the section of hair. Moreover, between each pass, the flow rate of the airflow unit is set to low, thereby improving the efficiency of the appliance. The attachment 200 comprises a capacitive sensor for sensing the presence of hair. The control unit 60 uses the output of the capacitive sensor to determine the start and end of each pass, and thus when to transition between modes.

The sequence of modes 300b comprises eight modes 301 b-308b.

In the first mode 301 b, the flow rate is low and the heating setting is medium. The control unit 60 employs the first mode 301 b at the start of the styling sequence before the attachment 200 contacts the section of hair to be styled. Employing a low flow rate has two advantages. First, it improves the efficiency of the appliance 10 by operating the airflow unit 40 at lower power when hair is not present. Second, as the appliance 10 is brought towards the hair for the first pass, the airflow does not blow the hair around. By employing a medium heat setting, the efficiency of the appliance may be improved. The efficiency could, of course, be improved further by turning off the heating unit 50. However, a longer time would then be required to increase the heat setting to high, which is employed in the second mode. By employing a heat setting of medium, the efficiency may be improved without adversely affecting the response time of the heating unit 50. The control unit 60 remains in the first mode 301 b until such time as the control unit determines that hair is present, at which point the control unit 60 transitions to the second mode 302b.

In the second mode 302b, the flow rate is high and the heating setting is high. As the attachment 200 is pulled through the hair, the bristles 204 act to detangle the hair. The airflow discharged from the attachment 200 acts to both dry and style the hair. In particular, the heat from the airflow helps to soften and break hydrogen bonds within the hair. The control unit 60 remains in the second mode 302b until such time as the control unit 60 determines that hair is no longer present. The control unit 60 therefore remains in the second mode as the attachment 200 is pulled down through the section of hair. At the end of the pass through the hair, the hair separates from the attachment 200. The control unit 60 determines that hair is no longer present and transitions to the third mode 303b.

In the third mode 303b, the flow rate is low and the heat setting is medium. Again, with hair not present, the efficiency of the appliance may be improved by employing a low flow rate. Additionally, as the appliance is brought back towards the hair for the second pass, the hair is not blown around excessively by the airflow. The heat setting corresponds to that of the next mode, which in this instance is medium. As a result, the heating unit 50 is ready for the next pass. The control unit 60 remains in the third mode 303b until such time as the control unit 60 determines that hair is present, at which point the control unit 60 transitions to the fourth mode 302b.

The fourth mode 304b is identical to the second mode 302b with the exception that the heat setting is medium. The control unit 60 therefore remains in the fourth mode 304b as the attachment is pulled through the hair during the second pass. At the end of the second pass, the control unit 60, upon determining that hair is no longer present, transitions to the fifth mode 305b.

The control unit 60 continues in this way with each successive pass, as illustrated in Figure 6. The control unit 60 reduces the heat setting with each successive pass, and sets the flow rate to low between successive passes. At the end of the fourth pass, corresponding to the eighth mode 308b, the control unit 60 may start a new sequence (e.g. by transitioning to the first mode 301 b) ready to style the next section of hair. The control unit 60 may generate a user alert when a particular sequence of modes 300 has been completed such that the user knows when to move on to the next section of hair.

The control unit 60 may define the sequence of modes 300 based on user data received by the control unit 60. The user data may be received via the user controls 61 . Alternatively, as illustrated in Figure 7, the control unit 60 may comprise a wireless interface 63 for receiving user data wirelessly from a remote device 70. The remote device 70 may comprise a computing device such as a mobile device, and the user data may be entered via an app.

The user data may be used to define the parameters of the sequence of modes. In particular, the user data may be used to define one or more of: the number of modes in the sequence, the order of modes within a sequence, the durations of the modes, the heat settings within the modes, and the flow rates within the modes.

The user data may relate to a desired style. For example, when using the first attachment 100, the user may select a style that results in either loose or tight curls. The control unit 60 may then define the sequence of modes so as to achieve the desired style. For example, in order to achieve looser curls, the control unit 60 may spend a shorter time and/or employ a lower heat setting in the second mode of Figure 5.

The user data may relate to the hair type of the user. For example, the user data may include information about hair thickness (e.g. fine or thick), hair length (e.g. short or long), natural hair style (e.g. straight or curly), size of hair section (e.g. narrow or wide), the condition of the hair (e.g. wet, damp, dry, over dry), the presence of hair product, and/or the presence of hair dye. The control unit 60 then defines the sequence of modes 300 so as to achieve good styling results for different hair types. By way of example, the user may indicate that their hair is fine. Fine hair generally has a lower moisture content owing the smaller diameter strands. Accordingly, when using the first attachment 100, the control unit 60 may spend a shorter time in the second mode so as to avoid over-drying of the hair. When using the second attachment 200, the control unit 60 may employ fewer modes such that each section of hair is styled following three passes rather than the four passes of Figure 6.

The user data may relate to a previous styling by the appliance 10. For example, the user may provide a user satisfaction rating and/or an indication of the quality of the previous style performed by the appliance. The control unit 60 may then use the user data to define the sequence of modes and improve upon the previous styling, according to feedback provided by the user. For example, the previous styling may have been achieved using a sequence of modes having a first set of parameters. Based on the user data, the control unit 60 may adapt the first set of parameters to create a second set of parameters, which the control unit 60 then uses to subsequently style the hair. The quality of styled hair may include, for example, a measure the condition of the styled hair (e.g. wet, dry, over dry), the retention of the styled hair (e.g. how long the style lasted), the shape of the styled hair (e.g. tight or loose curls) and/or a user rating on the overall quality of the style.

The user data may comprise user settings data, which the control unit then uses to define the sequence of modes. For example, following repeated use of the appliance, the user may have a preferred set of parameters (e.g. duration, flow rate and/or heat setting for one or more modes) for achieving a given style. The user is then able to override the settings of the control unit 60 to better control the styling process according to the user’s preference.

The control unit 60 may store a predefined sequence of modes, which the control unit 60 employs in the event that there are no user data. For example, the predefined sequence of modes may correspond to those sequences described above and illustrated in Figure 5 (first attachment) and Figure 6 (second attachment). This then has the advantage that the appliance 10 may still be used in the absence of any user data. For example, a user may use the appliance out of the box without first having to input user data.

The appliance 10 of Figure 1 comprises two different attachments 100,200. The control unit 60 then defines the sequence of modes according to which attachment 100, 200 is attached to the handle unit 20. The attachments 100, 200 of Figure 1 are provided by way of example only; the appliance 10 may comprise fewer, additional or alternative attachments. By way of example, the appliance 10 may include the round volumizing brush of the Dyson Airwrap® hair styler. Alternatively, the appliance 10 may comprise a single, fixed attachment that is non- removeable.

Whilst particular embodiments have thus far been described, it will be understood that various modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the claims.