Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20080201979 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/678,568
Publication dateAug 28, 2008
Filing dateFeb 23, 2007
Priority dateFeb 23, 2007
Publication number11678568, 678568, US 2008/0201979 A1, US 2008/201979 A1, US 20080201979 A1, US 20080201979A1, US 2008201979 A1, US 2008201979A1, US-A1-20080201979, US-A1-2008201979, US2008/0201979A1, US2008/201979A1, US20080201979 A1, US20080201979A1, US2008201979 A1, US2008201979A1
InventorsDean L. Rhoades
Original AssigneeRhoades Dean L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Illuminating hair styling system
US 20080201979 A1
Abstract
A kit including an air emitting assembly and a directional energy source. The kit further including a brush having a plurality of bristles and a plurality of luminous guide pins extending therefrom. A method including engaging a lock of hair with a brush having a plurality of guide pins that illuminate in the presence of an energy of a defined wavelength. The method further including directing an air flow path and an energy source toward the lock of hair wherein the energy source emits energy of the defined wavelength along the air flow path.
Images(6)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(28)
1. A kit comprising:
an air emitting assembly;
a directional energy source; and
a brush comprising a plurality of bristles and a plurality of luminous guide pins extending therefrom.
2. The kit of claim 1, further comprising:
a spray mechanism.
3. The kit of claim 1, wherein the air emitting assembly is a blow dryer.
4. The kit of claim 1, wherein the plurality of bristles are boar bristles.
5. The kit of claim 1, wherein the plurality of luminous guide pins comprise a material having a property to illuminate when energy from the energy source is directed at the luminous guide pins.
6. The kit of claim 1, wherein the energy source comprises one of a non-coherent light source or a coherent light source having a property to modify a condition of hair.
7. The kit of claim 1, wherein the brush further comprises:
a head defining arcuate tracks to redirect a flow path of air from the air emitting assembly contacting the tracks so that both sides of hair within the flow path are exposed to the air.
8. The kit of claim 1, wherein the plurality of bristles are divided into bristle groups and a luminous guide pin is disposed within at least a subset of the bristle groups.
9. A method comprising:
engaging a lock of hair with a brush having a plurality of guide pins that illuminate in the presence of an energy of a defined wavelength; and
directing an air flow path and an energy source toward the lock of hair wherein the energy source emits energy of the defined wavelength along the air flow path.
10. The method of claim 9, further comprising:
redirecting the flow path to illuminate a plurality of guide pins extending from the brush.
11. The method of claim 9, further comprising:
introducing fine particles of liquid into the air flow path.
12. The method of claim 9, further comprising:
channeling the air flow upon contact with the brush so that both sides of hair within the lock of hair are exposed to the air flow.
13. The method of claim 9, wherein the energy source emits energy primarily of a wavelength within a red portion of a visible color spectrum.
14. A system comprising:
means for directing an air flow path and an energy of a defined wavelength toward a lock of hair; and
means for identifying a portion of the lock of hair within the air flow.
15. The system of claim 14, wherein the means for directing comprises a blow dryer coupled to an energy source.
16. The system of claim 14, wherein the means for identifying comprises a plurality of luminous guide pins extending from a brush coupled to the lock of hair.
17. The system of claim 14, further comprising:
means for introducing fine particles of liquid into the air flow path.
18. The system of claim 16, wherein the brush further comprises:
a plurality of bristles made of a natural material or a synthetic material extending therefrom.
19. The system of claim 16, wherein the brush further comprises:
means for redirecting the air flow path upon contact with the brush so that both sides of hair within the lock of hair are exposed to the air flow.
20. An apparatus comprising:
an air emitting assembly comprising:
a directional energy source to direct light in a direction of hair on a head at a wavelength to modify a condition of the hair; and
a spray mechanism.
21. An apparatus comprising:
a brush head, the brush head comprising a luminous guide pin and a track for channeling an air flow upon contact with the brush head; and
a handle coupled to the brush head.
22. The apparatus of claim 21, wherein the track comprises an arcuate recess having a solid bottom.
23. The apparatus of claim 21, wherein the brush head comprises an inner wall and an outer wall, the inner wall defines the track and the outer wall defines a plurality of openings overlying the track.
24. An apparatus comprising:
a blow dryer;
a reservoir coupled to the blow dryer;
a conduit for transferring a liquid from the reservoir to the blow dryer; and
an actuator for controlling emission of the liquid out an air emitting end of the blow dryer.
25. The apparatus of claim 24, wherein the blow dryer comprises a dispersing member to separate the liquid into particles prior to emission from the air emitting end of the blow dryer.
26. The apparatus of claim 24, wherein the reservoir is removably coupled to the blow dryer.
27. The apparatus of claim 24, wherein the actuator is a switch positioned along a handle of the blow dryer.
28. The apparatus of claim 24, further comprising:
a pump mechanism coupled to the blow dryer to drive transfer of the liquid from the reservoir to the blow dryer
Description
    FIELD
  • [0001]
    Embodiments described herein relate to the field of hair styling, and more particularly to a therapeutic hair styling system including a hair product, energy emitting blow dryer and a fiberoptic illuminating brush.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    There are numerous devices available with which a person can style hair. Many of these devices employ heat and/or elongate members (e.g., bristles on a brush or teeth on a comb) to arrange, straighten, curl, or crimp hair. In some devices the heat is applied directly to the hair by, for example, wrapping hair around a heated rod of a curling iron. In other devices such as, for example, a blow dryer, heated air is blown onto hair held between bristles of a brush. In the case of a blow dryer, although the user typically directs the blow dryer toward the hair, it is often difficult to determine whether the heated air is actually flowing to the desired hair region.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0003]
    The features, aspects, and advantages of the invention will become more thoroughly apparent from the following detailed description, appended claims, and accompanying drawings that are used to illustrate embodiments of the invention. In the drawings:
  • [0004]
    FIG. 1A is a side perspective view of an embodiment of an air emitting assembly and a brush.
  • [0005]
    FIG. 1B illustrates a cross-sectional side view of the brush of FIG. 1A with a lock of hair held therein.
  • [0006]
    FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an embodiment of an air emitting assembly showing internal components of the assembly.
  • [0007]
    FIG. 3 is a front view of an embodiment of the air emitting assembly of FIG. 1A.
  • [0008]
    FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a brush.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0009]
    FIG. 1A is a side perspective view of an embodiment of an air emitting assembly and brush. In some embodiments, the air emitting assembly is a blow dryer 100. Blow dryer 100 includes housing 102 that includes a head portion 104 and a handle portion 106. Housing 102 may be made of any durable material, such as, for example, a plastic material. In some embodiments, housing 102 is formed by molding a plastic material into the desired shape to increase a heat resistance of blow dryer 100. Head portion 104 encloses an electric motor (not shown) connected to an impeller 202 (see FIG. 2) for drawing ambient air into housing 102 through openings 107 in one end of head portion 104 and forcing air out air outlet 140 at an opposite end of head portion 104. Head portion 104 further encloses heating element 206 (see FIG. 2) for heating air as it passes through head portion 104.
  • [0010]
    An air directing mechanism 128 may be removably connected to an air emitting end 142 of head 104 to control emission of air from blow dryer 100 through air outlet 140. For example, air directing mechanism 128 may be a heat concentrator, heat diffuser or any other type of mechanism suitable for directing an air flow from blow dryer 100 deemed desirable. Mechanism 128 and head 104 may be connected by, for example, a push-fit, complimentary threading or any other similarly suitable attachment mechanism that allows mechanism 128 to be quickly and easily connected to or removed from head 104.
  • [0011]
    Handle portion 106 is formed by an elongated structure which extends substantially perpendicular to head portion 104. In this aspect, handle portion 106 may be held within a user's hand and used to direct head portion 104 in a direction of a lock of hair held within brush 101. Handle portion 106 is dimensioned to enclose various components of blow dryer 100 and support control assembly 110.
  • [0012]
    Control assembly 110 includes a variety of switches 112, 114 and 116 for controlling various components of blow dryer 100. In some embodiments, switches 112, 114 and 116 may be used to select a variety of air flow and temperature settings. For example, switches 112, 114 and/or 116 may be used to turn blow dryer 100 on or off, select a high heat or low heat mode or select for the emission of cool air from blow dryer 100. Still further, one of switches 112, 114 and 116 may be used to control, e.g., turn on/off or otherwise modify, an energy source 302 (See FIG. 2) mounted within head portion 104 as will be described in more detail in reference to FIG. 2. In other embodiments, depression of one of switches 112, 114 or 116 may control a rate of rotation of impeller 202 to modify the rate at which air flows from blow dryer 200. For example, in some embodiments, depression of one of switches 112, 114 or 116 may turn on or off a motor assembly (not shown) connected to impeller 202 which in turn starts or stops rotation of impeller 202.
  • [0013]
    Power cord 108 is partially enclosed within handle 106 and supplies an electric current to impeller 202, heating element 206 as well as various other components of blow dryer 100 requiring an electric current to function. The electrical connections of the various components, associated wires and electronic circuit components may be any conventional components and are therefore not described in detail herein. Although power cord 108 is shown, it is further contemplated that blow dryer 100 may be battery operated and power cord 108 omitted.
  • [0014]
    Assembly 100 further includes spray mechanism 118 for releasing fine particles of liquid into air emitted from blow dryer 100. In some embodiments, spray mechanism 118 is positioned adjacent housing 102 such that particles of liquid may be carried by air emitted from blow dryer 100 to the hair. In some embodiments, spray mechanism 118 is positioned such that the liquid emitted from spray mechanism 118 is warmed by air emitted from blow dryer 100 to thermally activate and/or help infuse the liquid into the hair. Alternatively, the liquid from spray mechanism 118 may be cooled via air emitted from blow dryer 100. A variety of liquids may be selected for release from spray mechanism 118 depending upon the desired results of the user. For example, in some embodiments, a hair coloring solution may be released from spray mechanism 118 for coloring of the hair. Alternatively, a conditioning solution (e.g. silicon solution), humectant or non-humectant may be released from spray mechanism 118. In still further embodiments, water may be released from spray mechanism 118.
  • [0015]
    In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1A, spray mechanism 118 includes container 120 for holding a fluid and nozzle 122 for directing a low of fluid from container 120. Spray mechanism 118 may be similar to conventional spray mechanisms and is therefore generally described herein. For example, spray mechanism 118 may be a manually operated pump type dispenser having an actuator 130 which, when pulled in a direction of handle 106, causes release of the fluid held within spray mechanism 118. Container 120 may be removably connected to nozzle 122 to facilitate filling or emptying of container 120. For example, container 120 and nozzle 122 may include complimentary threading such that container 120 may be removed from nozzle 122 by rotating it in one direction and secured by rotating it in an opposite direction.
  • [0016]
    Spray mechanism 118 may be of any durable material (e.g., a plastic material) and have a size and shape suitable for removably securing spray mechanism 118 to housing 102 while still allowing a user to grasp handle 106 with their hand and operate blow dryer 100 using control mechanism 110. In some embodiments, nozzle 122 and, in turn, spray mechanism 118, is positioned in a region defined by an underside of barrel 105 of head portion 104 and an adjacent front surface of handle 106. In this aspect, nozzle 122 is dimensioned to follow the contours of a portion of the underside of barrel 105 and front side of handle 106. In some embodiments, nozzle 122 may include an outer housing dimensioned to follow the contours of barrel 105 and encase an inner housing in fluid communication with container 120.
  • [0017]
    Although one spray mechanism 118 is shown affixed to housing 102, it is contemplated that a plurality of spray mechanisms 118 may be affixed to housing 102 such that more than one type of fluid may be emitted from blow dryer 100. In this aspect, each of the plurality of spray mechanisms 118 may have a size and dimension suitable for releasing a fluid yet small enough so as not to render blow dryer 100 inoperable (e.g., too heavy for comfortable hair styling). Still further, in some embodiments, each of the plurality of spray mechanisms may be controlled by a single actuator or separate actuators corresponding to each spray mechanism.
  • [0018]
    Cuff 144 may be provided to removably secure spray mechanism 118 to blow dryer 100. In some embodiments, cuff 144 is a substantially circular structure that extends from a top surface of nozzle 122. Cuff 144 may be made of a durable material, such as a plastic, and define an opening of a sufficient diameter such that it may be positioned around barrel 105 of blow dryer 100. A user may secure spray mechanism 118 to blow dryer 100 by sliding cuff 144 of spray mechanism 118 over air directing mechanism 128 and barrel 105 until a circumference of barrel 105 becomes greater than the opening of cuff 144 and/or nozzle end 146 contacts handle 106. Once cuff 144 is in position, frictional forces between an inner surface of cuff 144 and an outer surface of housing 102 may be relied upon to hold cuff 144 and, in turn, spray mechanism 118 in place. In some embodiments, an inner surface of cuff 144 may include a coating of, for example, a rubber material, to further prevent sliding of cuff 144 along barrel 105 once in position. Spray mechanism 118 may then be removed from blow dryer 100 by sliding cuff 144 in the opposite direction along barrel 105.
  • [0019]
    It is further contemplated that cuff 144 may have a modifiable diameter to accommodate a variety of blow dryer sizes. For example, cuff 144 may have two flexible ends which define a small gap between the ends. The diameter of the opening of cuff 144 may be increased from its natural diameter by pushing the ends away from one another (i.e. increasing the gap width). Alternatively, cuff 144 may be made of, for example, a resilient material, such as rubber or elastic, which may be expanded or contracted to fit around different sized blow dryers. Where cuff 144 is made of a more resilient material such as elastic, contraction of the elastic material may help to hold cuff 144 and, in turn, spray mechanism 118 in place.
  • [0020]
    In still further embodiments, a top surface of nozzle 122 (shown adjacent barrel 105) and an underside of barrel 105 of head 104 may include complimentary attachment mechanisms. For example, the top surface of nozzle 122 may include a channel dimensioned to slide along a rail protruding from the underside of barrel 105. Alternatively, spray mechanism 118 may be releasably connected to another region of blow dryer 100 by any attachment mechanism which allows for release of spray mechanism 118 from housing 102.
  • [0021]
    In other embodiments, spray mechanism 118 may be mounted within housing 102. For example, spray mechanism 118 may be an electronic mechanism including an electronic pump having a chamber for holding liquids mounted within housing 102 and a conduit which extends from the chamber to air emitting end 142 of blow dryer 100. The electronic spray mechanism may be electrically connected to a control assembly within handle portion 106 such that depression of, for example, switch 112 initiates release of a liquid from the chamber and out an end of the conduit terminating at end 142. Still further, spray mechanism 118 may include a gravity drip or drip pump system which releases drops of water into a grid at end 142 of blow dryer 100 for emission along with air flowing out of blow dryer 100.
  • [0022]
    Returning to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1A, conduit 124 may be connected to nozzle 122 and housing 102 to facilitate delivery of a fluid emitted from container 120 within the flow of air emitted from blow dryer 100. Conduit 124 may include, for example, minute perforations, to create a mist of the fluid for release within air directing mechanism 128. Alternatively, conduit 124 may terminate within a component having one or multiple openings of a diameter much smaller than that of a lumen of conduit 124 such that a misting effect is created when the fluid is forced through the openings. In some embodiments, one end of conduit 124 is positioned over an outlet port 126 of nozzle 122 and an opposite end is positioned near air emission end 142 of barrel 105. For example, where air is emitted from air directing mechanism 128 connected to barrel 105 of head 104, the opposite end of conduit 124 is positioned adjacent to or within air directing mechanism 128. In this aspect, a hole for receiving conduit 124 may be formed by any conventional technique through air directing mechanism 128. Still further, in an embodiment where air directing mechanism 128 is omitted, the opposite end of conduit 124 may be positioned adjacent to or through a hole in air emission end 142 of barrel 105. Conduit 124 may be made of any durable material and have any dimension suitable for delivery of a fluid from spray mechanism 118 to a region of head 104 where air is emitted. Representatively, conduit 124 may be made of a rubber or plastic material.
  • [0023]
    Actuator 130 for controlling a release of fluid from spray mechanism 118 may be connected to a suction tube (not shown) disposed within container 120. In this aspect, when a user pulls actuator 130 toward handle 106, a fluid within container 120 may travel from nozzle 122 through outlet port 126 to conduit 124 and be released through outlet 140. Alternatively, as previously discussed, spray mechanism 118 may include an electronic pump mechanism and actuator 130 may be omitted.
  • [0024]
    An energy source 302 is further provided within housing 102 as will be described in more detail in reference to FIG. 2 and FIG. 3. Energy source 302 may be positioned within housing 102 such that energy of a defined wavelength is directed in substantially the same direction as the air flowing from blow dryer 100, for example, longitudinally from energy source 302 towards hair held within brush 101. In some embodiments, energy source 302 may serve as both a source of light energy and heat energy for blow dryer. For example, in embodiments where the energy source is a halogen bulb, in addition to visible light, the bulb emits infrared radiation which gives off heat thereby increasing a temperature within barrel 105. Air flowing from impeller 202 then passes through this heated region and is emitted from outlet 140 at a temperature sufficient to dry and/or style a user's hair. In addition to drying the hair, it is believed that the combined light energy and heat energy from light source 302 has a therapeutic effect on the hair and/or scalp. This effect is generally referred to herein as “thermal light therapy.”
  • [0025]
    Brush 101 may be provided to position a user's hair in front of blow dryer 100. Brush 101 includes brush head 130 extending from one end of handle 132. Brush head 130 and handle 132 may be integrally formed or separate components connected together by, for example, an adhesive or screws secured to adjacent ends of brush head 130 and handle 132. Brush 101 may be made of a generally durable material such as a plastic, a metal or a wood as deemed desirable. Brush head 130 and handle 132 may have any dimension and shape deemed desirable for styling a user's hair in conjunction with a blow dryer. For example, in some embodiments, brush head 130 may have an elongated body with a substantially rectangular or cylindrical shape.
  • [0026]
    In some embodiments, handle 132 may include gripping mechanism 150 around an outer surface of handle 132 to provide a comfortable gripping surface for a user. Gripping mechanism 150 may be, for example, a rubber material wrapped around handle 132 and affixed to handle, by for example, an adhesive. Alternatively, gripping mechanism 150 may be of any material and have any configuration suitable for facilitating gripping of handle 106 by a user.
  • [0027]
    Bristles 134 may extend from a surface of brush head 130. In various embodiments, bristles 134 may be made of any natural or synthetic material. For example, bristles 134 may be a natural material such as boar hair or a synthetic material such as nylon. The bristles may be affixed (e.g. glued or otherwise secured) to brush head 130 in groups (e.g. bristle groups) and extend perpendicularly from the surface of brush head 130.
  • [0028]
    Bristles 134 may be placed in any configuration alone or in groups on brush head 130 that is suitable for styling hair in conjunction with blow dryer 100. For example, bristles 134 may be placed in bristle groups in a grid or row configuration on one side of brush head 130. Alternatively, bristles 134 may be disposed around an entire periphery of brush head 130 or on multiple sides of brush head 130 and extend in any direction from brush head 130 deemed desirable.
  • [0029]
    Guide pins 136 may further extend from the surface of brush head 130. Similar to bristles 134, guide pins 136 may be glued or otherwise secured to brush head 130 and extend perpendicularly from the surface of brush head 130. Guide pins 136 may be disposed within one or more bristle groups. In the embodiment shown, each bristle group includes a guide pin that extends farther from brush head 130 than bristles 134 to help guide bristles 134 through the hair. In one embodiment, a group of bristles extends approximately 7 millimeters (mm) to 9 mm from the surface of brush head 130 and guide pins 136 may extend 10 mm to 12 mm or more from the surface of brush head 130. It is, however, contemplated that bristles 134 and guide pins 136 may extend any distance from the surface of brush head 130 deemed desirable.
  • [0030]
    Guide pins 136 may be of any synthetic or natural material suitable for guiding bristles 134 through the hair. In some embodiments, guide pins 136 are of a material having a property to illuminate (e.g. reflect light) when energy from energy source 302 is directed at them. For example, guide pins 136 may be made of a fiber optic material. Representative materials include, but are not limited to, silica, fluorozirconate, fluoroaluminate, chalcogenide glasses and plastic optical fibers such as step-index multimode fibers. In this aspect, when guide pins 136 are contacted by energy, in for example, a visible light wavelength, emitted from energy source 302, the light is guided along a length of each of the contacted guide pins 136 by reflection and illuminates guide pins 136. Since energy source 302 and, in turn, the emitted energy, travel in substantially the same direction as the air flow from blow dryer 100, illumination of guide pins 136 indicates to a user which portions of hair held within brush 101 are being contacted by the air. This allows the user to ensure the desired portions of the hair are being contacted by air from blow dryer 100. In this aspect, styling can be focused to the desired hair regions.
  • [0031]
    For example, the user may hold a lock of hair with brush 101 and simultaneously position blow dryer 100 to blow a stream of air onto the lock of hair. The user will know that the air is being directed at the desired hair region upon illumination of guide pins 136 within this region. If guide pins 136 within this region do not illuminate, the user may re-focus the air flow to the desired region by adjusting the position of blow dryer 100 until guide pins 136 within the desired region illuminate. In this aspect, the user is able to more accurately and quickly achieve a desired hair style. In some embodiments, some of guide pins 136 are made of different materials (e.g., illuminating and non-illuminating materials) such that some of guide pins 136 illuminate while others do not.
  • [0032]
    To further facilitate faster hair styling, tracks 138 may be formed in the surface of brush 101 to channel air flowing from blow dryer 100 along brush 101 so that both sides of hair held by brush 101 within the flow of air from blow dryer 100 are exposed to the air. By exposing both sides of the hair to the air, styling time may be significantly reduced. Tracks 138 may be grooves or channels having a solid bottom surface 158 (see FIG. 1B). Tracks 138 may be formed in parallel across a surface of brush head 130. In some embodiments, tracks 138 may be formed by a substantially rectangular cut out in a surface of brush 101 having a length of approximately 1 inches, a width of approximately inch and a depth of approximately ⅛ inch. It is, however, contemplated that the dimensions of tracks 138 may vary depending upon factors such as the size of head 130, number of bristles 134, and desired styling effect.
  • [0033]
    As shown in FIG. 1A and FIG. 1B, tracks 138 extend across a width dimension of a surface of brush head 130. It is contemplated that tracks 138 may be formed along any surface of head 130 having bristles 134. For example, in some embodiments, tracks 138 are formed along one side of brush 101. In other embodiments, tracks 138 may be formed around an entire periphery of brush head 130 such that each side of head 130 may be used for hair styling in the manner described herein. Some of bristles 134 and guide pins 136 may be positioned within tracks 138. For example, in some embodiments, every other row of bristles 134 and guide pins 136 may be positioned within tracks 138.
  • [0034]
    A lock of hair may be held within brush 101 as shown in FIG. 1B. In this embodiment, a lock of hair 152 from head 154 is shown held by brush 101 between bristles 134 and guide pins 136 within one of tracks 138. A stream of air 150 from blow dryer 100 directed toward brush 101 travels through a top layer of hair 152 along a path which flows along first edge 156 of track 138 to bottom surface 158. Air 150 flows along bottom surface 156 of track 138 until it hits second edge 160. Edge 160 re-directs air 150 away from head 130 and back up through the under layer of hair 152. In this aspect, both sides of hair within the flow of air 150 from blow dryer 100 are exposed to the air.
  • [0035]
    In some embodiments, first edge 156, bottom surface 158 and second edge 160 of tracks 138 form an arcuate surface as shown in FIG. 1B such that air 150 from blow dryer 100 curves around the arcuate surface. Alternatively, tracks 138 may be formed by first edge 156 and second edge 160 at right angles to bottom surface 158 or by any other configuration suitable for allowing for exposure of both sides of hair within head 130 of brush 101 to the flow of air from blow dryer 100. Alternatively, tracks 138 may be omitted and an entire surface of head 130 may have a concave shape to direct air around the hair held by bristles 134 and guide pins 136 as described herein.
  • [0036]
    Beyond bristles 134, guide pins 136 and tracks 138, brush 101 may have other structural aspects that yield advantages when styling hair. For example, brush head 130 may have a ceramic material disposed on a surface thereof. The ceramic material may substantially cover the entire surface of brush head 130. Alternatively, the ceramic material may cover only a portion of the surface of brush head 130. In this aspect, the ceramic coating facilitates an even distribution of heat from blow dryer 100. Besides distributing heat evenly, the ceramic coating helps to retain heat for a longer period of time while styling hair. Additionally, components of brush 101 and/or blow dryer 100 (see FIG. 2) may be coated with or emit ions to facilitate inactivation or removal of ions from the hair during styling.
  • [0037]
    FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an embodiment of an air emitting assembly showing internal components of the assembly. Blow dryer 200 may be a blow dryer having similar components to that described in reference to FIG. 1A. In this embodiment, spray mechanism 118 is not shown connected to blow dryer 200. It is contemplated, however, that blow dryer 200 can still accommodate spray mechanism 118 as described in reference to FIG. 1A.
  • [0038]
    Power cord 108 is shown connected to handle 106 and switch 112 is shown connected to components within handle 106. Although switches 114 and 116 are not shown, it is further contemplated switches 114 and 116 are connected to components within handle 106 in a similar manner to that of switch 112. Such components may include wires and/or electronic circuit components for providing power to or for controlling a temperature or flow rate of air emitted from blow dryer 200.
  • [0039]
    Impeller 202 is positioned within head 104 in a direction such that air blown from impeller 202 is directed along a length of head 104 and out air directing mechanism 128. Impeller 202 may be any conventional impeller suitable for blowing air out of blow dryer 200.
  • [0040]
    Heating element 206 may be mounted (e.g. screwed) within housing 102 to modify a temperature of air flowing from blow dryer 200. Heating element 206 may be an elongated substantially cylindrical structure made of a material, for example, a ceramic, a metal or glass, to retain heat when an electric current is supplied to heating element 206. For example, an electric current, such as a household alternating current from a 120 Volt (V) alternating current (AC) source may be provided through power cord 108 to increase a temperature of heating element 206. Heating element 206 may include a plurality of fin like structures to increase a surface area of heating element 206 in contact with air blown from impeller 202. In this aspect, when a temperature of heating element 206 is increased, air blown from impeller 202 is warmed as it flows across surfaces of the fin like structures of heating element 206 such that warm air may be emitted from air outlet 140 of blow dryer 200. Alternatively, heating element 206 may be any structure or of any dimensions suitable for heating air circulating within blow dryer 200. For example, heating element 206 may be a convection heating element including heating coils or a radiant heating element including a halogen lamp.
  • [0041]
    Energy source 302 (see FIG. 3) is further provided to direct energy of a defined wavelength in substantially the same direction as the air flow. Energy source 302 is positioned between heating element 206 and air directing mechanism 128. In some embodiments, energy source 302 is affixed to guard member 210 as shown in FIG. 3 by any suitable technique (e.g. screwed). For example, in some embodiments, guard member 210 is a substantially circular rim with rods extending from the rim to a hub at the center of the rim to prevent hair from being pulled into blow dryer 200. Energy source 302 may then be mounted to the hub or other region of guard member 210. In this aspect, when blow dryer 200 is directed at a lock of hair held within a brush, the energy will contact substantially the same region of the lock of hair as the air flowing from blow dryer 200. Guide pins 136 within this region of the hair will in turn be illuminated by the energy to indicate to a user which hair regions are within the flow of air.
  • [0042]
    Energy source 302 may be a light source capable of emitting energy of any wavelength suitable for illuminating guide pins 136. In some embodiments, energy source 302 is a non-coherent (i.e. non-laser) light source capable of emitting energy of wavelengths in for example, the infrared, ultraviolet and visible spectrums. Representative non-coherent light sources may include, but are not limited to, a halogen bulb, a light-emitting diode (LED), a fluorescent lamp or an incandescent lamp. In some embodiments, energy source 302 may be a coherent light source (i.e. a laser). It is contemplated that any number of energy sources deemed desirable may be used. For example, in some embodiments, three or four LED lights may be mounted to guard member 210. It is further contemplated that energy source 302 may include a combination of any number of coherent and non-coherent light sources.
  • [0043]
    In some embodiments, an energy source may be selected which emits energy of a wavelength having therapeutic effects on the scalp and/or hair. It is recognized under the scientific principle of photobiostimulation that when energy, for example, in the form of light is used on the scalp and hair follicles it is converted by the cells in the scalp and hair to chemical energy. The cells may then use the chemical energy to assist in chemical processes performed by those cells (e.g., hair regeneration and growth). It is further recognized that energy wavelengths of some frequency ranges, for example, a pure wavelength at the peak of red light in the visible color spectrum such as that produced by cold-beam, red-light laser, may cause vibrations within soft tissues and fluids of cells which are believed to facilitate cell communication needed for healthy exchange of energy and information between cells. For example, it is recognized that energy of this wavelength may stimulate hair follicles, stop excessive hair loss, relieve various scalp conditions, repair and improve hair quality, and provide various other benefits to the scalp and hair. In this aspect, not only does blow dryer 200 stimulate the scalp via blowing of the hair back and forth, it further treats the scalp and helps thicken and restore hair through the emission of a wavelength of energy. Although use of a red light wavelength is mentioned, it is further contemplated that coherent and/or non-coherent energy sources which emit energy of various other wavelengths may be used to provide therapeutic effects on the scalp and/or hair. In addition, energy source 302 may emit heat energy along with a wavelength of light to provide thermal light therapy to the hair and/or scalp.
  • [0044]
    In some embodiments, blow dryer 200 may further include ion generator 208 to facilitate inactivation and/or removal of free radicals from the hair which can leave hair with a dull damaged appearance once styled. Ion generator 208 may be any conventional ion generator capable of emitting negative and/or positive ions into air circulating within blow dryer 200. Ion generator 208 may be mounted to blow dryer 200 between heating element 206 and impeller 202 by any suitable mounting technique (e.g. screwed). Representatively, in one embodiment, ion generator 208 is a negative ion generator mounted within blow dryer 100. Representatively, ion generator 208 may include a high voltage generator that generates high voltage pulses which negatively charge discharge points (e.g. wires) of the generator within a flow of air through blow dryer 200. The negative voltage at the discharge points negatively charges air forced past the discharge points by impeller 202. In some embodiments, an electric current may be supplied to ion generator 208 through wires electrically connecting ion generator 208 to power cord 108. Alternatively, ion generator 208 may be battery operated. During operation of blow dryer 200, electrically generated ions are emitted through head portion 104 and out outlet port 140 toward a lock of hair. Upon contact with the hair, the ions facilitate styling of the hair by, for example, helping to lay the cuticle of the hair down so that the hair looks and feels more hydrated. In addition, the ions may help break apart water molecules thereby reducing the time required to dry wet hair.
  • [0045]
    In still further embodiments, the ion generator may be a natural ion emitting ceramic material positioned within blow dryer 200. Emission of negative ions from the ceramic material is enhanced by hot air flowing through blow dryer 200. In some embodiments, the natural ceramic material further emits far infrared rays (FIR) to help condition the hair. The negative ions from the ceramic material and FIR in conjunction with the hot air from blow dryer 200 improve the appearance of the hair (e.g., give the hair a smooth, silky and shiny appearance). In particular, FIR penetrates into an inner shaft of the hair to dry the hair from the inside out. Drying the hair from the inside out prevents damage to the hair in that it does not over dry a surface of the hair. The ceramic material may be a material made of a combination of various compounds, including, but not limited to SiO2, Al2O3, FE2O3, TiO2, CaO, MgO, K2O and Na2O. In some embodiments, a solid piece of the ceramic material may be affixed to heating element 206 by any suitable technique (e.g. screwed, clipped or the like). In this aspect, hot air within blow dryer 200 contacts the ceramic material and carries emitted ions out of blow dryer 200 to the hair.
  • [0046]
    Additionally, heating element 206 may be coated with ions, such as, for example, charged mineral particles. In this aspect, air flowing over heating element 206 from impeller 202 releases the ions from the surface of heating element 206 carrying them out of blow dryer 200 to the hair. Hair styled using blow dryer 200 with charged mineral particles is then left with a clean, lustrous shine.
  • [0047]
    FIG. 3 shows a front view of an embodiment of the air emitting assembly of FIG. 1A. In this aspect, assembly 300 includes substantially the same components as those described in reference to FIG. 1A. It can be seen from this view that energy source 302 is mounted to hub 304 positioned within a center of guard member 210. In this aspect, energy of a desired wavelength emitted from energy source 302 travels in the same direction as air flowing through barrel 105 and out outlet 140 of air directing mechanism 128. FIG. 3 further illustrates conduit 124 connected to an outlet component 306 positioned within air directing mechanism 128 such that particles of fluid emitted from spray mechanism 118 may be introduced into air flowing through barrel 105 and out air directing mechanism 128. Outlet component 306 may include a housing having one or multiple openings of a smaller diameter than the lumen of conduit 124. In this aspect, fluid forced through conduit 124 and out the openings of outlet component 306 is emitted from outlet component 306 as a fine mist.
  • [0048]
    FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a brush. Brush 400 is similar in some respects to brush 101 described in reference to FIGS. 1A and 1B. In this aspect, brush 400 includes a brush head 402 extending from one end of handle 404. Brush head 402 may include an inner wall 406A and an outer wall 406B. Inner wall 406A and outer wall 406B are dimensioned to channel or redirect air from a blow dryer so that it travels through a top layer of hair and back up through a bottom layer of hair. In this aspect, inner wall 406A may form tracks 408 positioned along an inner surface of outer wall 406B and outer wall 406B may define openings 416 adjacent tracks 408. In some embodiments, tracks 408 have an arcuate bottom surface 410 and edges 412 and 414 at opposite ends of arcuate bottom surface 410 to help redirect the flow of air 422. In other embodiments, tracks 408 may have any dimension capable of redirecting a flow of air as described herein.
  • [0049]
    Openings 416 may be formed along a length of brush head 402. Openings 416 are positioned within a region of brush head 402 above each of tracks 408 such that air 422 directed over brush head 402 flows through openings 416 toward one of tracks 408. Once through openings 416, air 422 travels deeper into brush head 402 along edge 412 until it reaches arcuate bottom surface 410. Upon contacting bottom surface 410, air 422 is directed along the arcuate surface to edge 414 where it is redirected toward outer wall 406B and out openings 416. Although not shown in detail to facilitate easier understanding of air flow through brush head 402, it is contemplated that bristles 424 and guide pins 426 such as those described in reference to FIGS. 1A and 1B extend from brush head 402 at points 418 shown around a surface of brush head to hold a lock of hair within brush head 402. In this aspect, air directed at brush head 402 with hair therein contacts both an upper layer and under layer of the hair as it travels through openings 416 and along tracks 408.
  • [0050]
    Brush head 402 may have any dimension and be made of any material (e.g. a ceramic, metal or the like) suitable for channeling air flow from a blow dryer as previously described. For example, in one embodiment, brush head 402 has a cylindrical dimension with a plurality of tracks 408 and corresponding openings 416 as illustrated in FIG. 4. Although four tracks 408 with three openings 416 corresponding to each of the tracks 408 are shown, it is recognized that the number of tracks and openings may vary depending upon factors such as the dimensions and size of brush head 402. Although substantially rectangular openings are illustrated in FIG. 4, it is further contemplated that the dimensions of tracks 408 and openings 416 may vary depending upon the dimensions of brush head 402 and desired styling results. It is further contemplated that brush head 402 may have a rectangular dimension such as that illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B. In this embodiment, a track may be positioned adjacent each of the four sides of the rectangular brush head or less than all four sides.
  • [0051]
    Brush 400 may further include gripping mechanism 420 around handle 404. Gripping mechanism 420 may be substantially similar to the gripping mechanisms described in reference to FIG. 1A.
  • [0052]
    Although not shown, brush 400 may further include a heating element within brush head 402 to heat hair held within bristles of brush 400. In some embodiments, the heating element may be positioned within a chamber defined by inner wall 406A. The heating element may be a conducting element which relies upon heated air from a blow dryer to heat up. For example, the heating element may be a ceramic or metal rod within brush head 402. Alternatively, the heating element may be an electrical heating element such as heating element 206 described in reference to FIG. 1B which is heated using an electric current. In this aspect, a power cord may be connected to handle 404 and electrical wires may extend from the power cord to the heating element within brush head 402. It is further contemplated that the heating element may be battery operated such that a battery is removably connected to a portion (e.g., within handle 404) of brush 400.
  • [0053]
    It should be appreciated that reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Therefore, it is emphasized and should be appreciated that two or more references to “an embodiment” or “one embodiment” or “an alternative embodiment” in various portions of this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the particular features, structures or characteristics may be combined as suitable in one or more embodiments of the invention.
  • [0054]
    In the foregoing specification, the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments thereof. It will, however, be evident that various modifications and changes can be made thereto without departing from the broader spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims. The specification and drawings are, accordingly, to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4114022 *Aug 16, 1977Sep 12, 1978Braulke Iii Herbert ACombined hot air and steam hair dryer
US4934855 *Jan 3, 1989Jun 19, 1990A-Veda CorporationSpray brush for simultaneous use with a hand-held hair dryer
US4944319 *Dec 9, 1988Jul 31, 1990Ken TrombleyHair styling device
US5279256 *Mar 1, 1993Jan 18, 1994Brite Alan DPet flea elimination device with light and air sources
US5642570 *Apr 9, 1996Jul 1, 1997Lee; Tzung ShengStructure of hair drier
US5781691 *Jun 24, 1996Jul 14, 1998Kwok; Daniel S. C.Hand held steam dispensing hair-care apparatus
US5868148 *Jun 9, 1998Feb 9, 1999Conair CorporationHair styler
US5911226 *Apr 20, 1998Jun 15, 1999Vecchiola; Michael VictorTemperature indicating hair brush
US5975090 *Sep 29, 1998Nov 2, 1999Sharper Image CorporationIon emitting grooming brush
US6024101 *Aug 18, 1998Feb 15, 2000Garner; KerryHair styling brush having two temperature sensitive colon-change materials and method of use
US6158073 *Feb 1, 1999Dec 12, 2000Jiovanni; MatthewRound brush apparatus for brushing a person's hair
US6202242 *Aug 4, 1999Mar 20, 2001Zephyr Design, Inc.Light emitting electric toothbrush
US6285828 *May 23, 2000Sep 4, 2001Helen Of TroyInfrared hair dryer heater
US6363215 *Jun 12, 2000Mar 26, 2002Helen Of Troy, L.P.Hot air and light emitting curling brush
US6450941 *Jan 18, 1995Sep 17, 2002Eric LarsenDevice for the stimulation of body cells through electromagnetic radiation
US6497719 *Jun 15, 2001Dec 24, 2002Henry PearlApparatus and method for stimulating hair growth
US6499491 *Aug 6, 2001Dec 31, 2002Kennedy/Matsumoto Design AssociatesHair styling device
US20030079367 *Sep 30, 2002May 1, 2003Adriano TrolettiHair dryer with high handiness
US20030093915 *Nov 15, 2002May 22, 2003Henry PearlApparatus and method for stimulating hair growth
US20030163884 *Jun 28, 2001Sep 4, 2003Georg WeihrauchMethod and device for producing bristle products and bristle products
US20050166863 *Aug 13, 2004Aug 4, 2005Won Shik ShinSterilizing comb for pets
US20050251242 *May 7, 2004Nov 10, 2005Elysee Beauty Products, Ltd.Hair comb, circuitry, and method for laser and galvanic scalp treatment
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7984567 *Jul 26, 2011Christ Bill BertakisApparatus for cleaning simulated hair articles
US8424543Jun 15, 2011Apr 23, 2013Elc Management LlcRed light emitting device for use with hair product and blow dryer
US8800163 *Mar 19, 2012Aug 12, 2014Heidi SchmidHair care appliance and method of using same
US20090100698 *Oct 22, 2007Apr 23, 2009Elizabeth PrimmDiffuser for hair dryer
US20120186599 *Jul 26, 2012Heidi SchmidHair care appliance and method of using same
US20150069263 *Feb 14, 2013Mar 12, 2015Daniel MoyalLight Emitting Disconnectable Blow-Dry Brush
EP2807945A1 *May 30, 2013Dec 3, 2014Johnson Elettrodomestici S.p.A.Electric hairdryer with a white light emitting device
Classifications
U.S. Classification34/283, 34/101
International ClassificationA45D1/04, A45D20/00
Cooperative ClassificationA46B15/0002, A46B2200/104, A45D44/00, A46B15/0034, A45D20/10, A46B15/0036, A45D19/00
European ClassificationA46B15/00B3J, A46B15/00B3K, A45D20/10, A46B15/00B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 23, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: DERMANEW INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RHOADES, DEAN L.;REEL/FRAME:018929/0110
Effective date: 20070223
Owner name: DERMANEW INC.,CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RHOADES, DEAN L.;REEL/FRAME:018929/0110
Effective date: 20070223
Sep 26, 2011ASAssignment
Owner name: EAST WEST BANK, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: COMMERCIAL PLEDGE AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:DERMANEW, INC.;REEL/FRAME:027083/0276
Effective date: 20100215