US 20100037908 A1
A method and an apparatus is provided for hair enhancement. The apparatus comprises an adjustable head cap having a rim and at least one strip disposed selectively around the rim. The strip is secured to the rim and extending away from it. The strip(s) is enabled to receive one or more hair pieces and hair tracks. The hair tracks are secured to the strips by interlocking the underside of their fastening component with a portion of the outwardly facing surface of the strip having a complementary design.
1. A hair enhancement apparatus, comprising:
an adjustable head cap having modular pieces including a rim and at least one strip securably disposed to said rim to extend away therefrom; said strip having an outwardly facing surface for receiving hair pieces.
2. A hair enhancement apparatus, comprising:
an adjustable head cap having a rim and at least one strip securably disposed to said rim to extend away therefrom; said strip having an outwardly facing surface that enables securing said strip to at least one hair track;
said at least one hair track having a hair portion and an underside with a complementary fastening component securable to said strip.
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19. A method of providing hair enhancement solutions, said method comprising:
assembling an adjustable head cap by securing a plurality of strips around a rim and extending away there from such as to allow selective gaps in said head cap through which a user's own hair may pass;
securing one or more hair tracks having hair portions to said strips by interlocking fastening components provided on an underside of said tracks with outer surfaces on said strips enabled to receive said track(s).
20. The method of
The present application claims priority under the provisional application filed on Aug. 13, 2008, Ser. No. 61/188,649 by same inventors.
The present invention relates broadly to a hair enhancement method and apparatus and more particularly to an adjustable head cap having modular components enabled to receive a plurality of hair tracks.
Hair enhancement products including full or partial wigs, hair pieces and hair additions are used as a cosmetic tool to enhance the appearance of the user for a variety of reasons. Full or partial wigs are often used by those wanting to change their appearance completely. They can also be used in instances where some or most of user's hair is lost due to an illness or condition such as alopecia or subsequent medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation given to cancer patients. On the other hand, hair pieces and hair additions are increasingly used by individuals with a full set of hair who want to change the length, the texture or the tinting or coloring of their hair. These pieces are added or incorporated for aesthetic reasons or to enhance fullness and volume in very fine or thinning hair.
Many of the existing products, as captured by the prior art, provide disadvantages for the individual users. Full or large sectional wigs are often bulky and heavy, creating an unnatural look. They are also pre-groomed and offer very little options for style management or change. Their bulk also makes them more noticeable along the seams and other areas, especially when contrasted against the user's skin along the forehead. To reduce the bulk and enhance the natural look, while providing a secure fit, these wigs are usually attached to the head/scalp through friction. To this end, the structural make up and overall weight also provides discomfort to the user. Prolonged or frequent use often causes head aches and an itchy scalp among other problems. Heat dissipation remains another major issue. In order to allow adequate friction to secure the wig, the underlying material used is often thick or alternatively nonporous, causing the heat to be trapped between the hair/scalp and the wig. This only adds to the level of discomfort of the user.
Hair additions and pieces also have their own set of problems. These are often difficult to apply or alternatively provide insecure fastening means such as plastic clips and elastics. Wind force, sudden rotations or prolonged movements can cause the pieces to shift or even to come off entirely, causing embarrassing situations for the user. Blend-ability is another issue as these pieces/additions can be easily identified. Because of these reasons, unfortunately, most users of hair enhancement products often abandon their use shortly following their initial purchase.
Consequently, a new and improved hair enhancement method and apparatus is needed to provide an aesthetically natural and pleasing look while providing a comfortable but secure fit for an individual over prolonged periods of use.
The shortcomings of the prior art are overcome and additional advantages are provided through the provision of a method and apparatus for hair enhancement. The apparatus comprises an adjustable head cap having modular pieces including a rim and at least one strip securably disposed to the rim to extend away therefrom. The strip has an outwardly facing surface for receiving hair pieces.
In an alternate embodiment, the strip is securable to at least one hair track. The hair track has a hair portion and an underside with a complementary fastening component securable to the strip.
Additional features and advantages are realized through the techniques of the present invention. Other embodiments and aspects of the invention are described in detail herein and are considered a part of the claimed invention.
The subject matter which is regarded as the invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of the specification. The invention, however, both as to organization and method of practice, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
In accordance with an embodiment of the invention,
Alternatively, the rim can be fastened at any location along its perimeter to provide a customized fit. A variety of fastening means can be incorporated such as known to those skilled in the art. Some examples include complementary designs such as loop and hook (such as sold under the VelcroŽ trademark), perforations and locking units (often used in visors and baseball caps), buttons and button holes, complementary adhesive surfaces, or metal hooks. In yet another embodiment, the rim may be sewn for a customized pre-order fit as desired.
In a preferred embodiment, the rim is fastened at the back of the individual user's head where it can be covered by hair and become hidden from the view. However, it is conceivable, depending on the hair length and style, that such an arrangement may not be ideal and therefore the rim 110 can be alternatively secured and adjusted at a more desirable location. When fastening means are used, they can be incorporated as part of the rim 110 itself, or be alternatively disposed on a strap or other such structures.
The adjustability of the rim 110 will allow its disposition at different locations along user's head/scalp to enhance comfort and optimize blend-ability. For example, the rim 110 can be worn over the ears, below the ears, far above the forehead or even on a slant.
A plurality of strips, collectively referenced as 120, will then be disposed over the area covering at least part of the user's head to create a cap or cap like structure. The strips 120 have outwardly facing surfaces (away from or opposite side from head/hair) that are enabled to subsequently receive hair pieces such as from hair tracks discussed in conjunction with
The strips 120, once secured to the rim will extend away from it such that together they form a cap (100). In the embodiment shown, the strips 120 are secured at one end to the rim along its periphery as shown. The strips 120 can also be secured to one another at any place, to other areas of the rim's periphery, or alternatively to one or more intervening sections selectively to assemble the cap 100. As before, a variety of fastening means known to those skilled in the art can be provided to secure the strips 120 and form the cap 100.
The strips can be evenly or selectively spaced to allow the user to incorporate part of his/her own hair with the covering 100. This is made possible by the user pulling out portions of user's hair through created gaps/spaces provided between adjacent strips or between portions of the same strip.
The strips 120 can be of varying widths and lengths. In one embodiment, the strips can be connected to one another to provide a wider or longer strip through fastening means as known to those skilled in the art.
In the preferred embodiment of
The rim 110, strips 120 and any intervening sections can be also manufactured from a variety of materials including nylon and meshed or netted fabrics such as those that may improve ventilation. They can also be manufactured in a variety of colors and patterns to achieve a better blend with the user's skin tone and hair color. The strips of different or same color (as well as the intervening sections) can be used in conjunction with a rim of the same and or different color also to better achieve a desired result.
It should be noted that while the preferred embodiment as discussed in conjunction with
In addition, instead of using a plurality of strips as shown in
The underlying cap 310 and all other sections can incorporate gaps/openings such that user's hair can be pulled through them to achieve optimum blend-ability. As desired, adjustment straps and/or fastening means can also be provided and incorporated into the design of the underlying cap 310. The underlying cap 310 can provide coverage for a full scalp/head or may be fabricated in components to cover only partial areas of the head such as the front or back portions.
The hair track 500 also has a hair portion 520 that can include large or small pieces of hair, such as in weaves, rows, tufts or other arrangements. Once the head cap is assembled, whether spontaneously in situ (such as over the user's head) or alternatively disposed and adjusted (as in case of pre-fabricated caps), one or more hair tracks can be secured to it cap until the desired result is achieved. If the user is not bald and natural hair is to be combined with the track(s) or when small tracks are used only for effects, the user's hair is pulled through and blended in achieve a final optimal effect.
Hair track(s) can be manufactured as full wigs, sectional hair additions that cover large sectional portions of the head (back, front) or in modular, smaller sections. As discussed, the hair portion can include one or more rows or tufts of hair. The hair itself can be comprised of synthetic material or can be fabricated of human or animal hair. The length, color and the texture of the hair can be varied or can be uniform on each track and among the different tracks.
Smaller hair tracks can also be used to construct partial or full wigs. For example these smaller pieces can be applied, starting from the back of the head, even in slightly varying shades and lengths as desired, to replicate natural hair growth in realistic patterns to cover an entire head. Alternatively, smaller hair tracks can be used independently, in a variety of colors and textures, to create natural highlights, frosting, or a splash of color in natural or unnatural tints.
When a larger hair track is used, such as one that resembles a full or partial wig, the fit and look will still be improved over traditional products due to the structure of the cap incorporating the interlocking design. In addition, the construct of the head cap and material used in its fabrication resolves comfort issues such as proper heat dissipation. Furthermore, the wig will have a more natural, less bulky look, which will be less identifiable.
The hair tracks can be fabricated and made available for use in a number of sizes, with varying length of hair as desired. They can also be specifically groomed for particular areas and be marked as such in alternate embodiments. For example, special tracks can be made for bangs and for side burns. In addition, the hair can be precut and styled or may alternatively be provided in a manner that allows for additional trimming and restyling.
A variety of pieces and components, modular or partly/fully pre-arranged including the rim, one or more strips, at least one hair track and any desired intervening sections (sectional areas) can be assembled together such as in a kit and subsequently provided to the customers as a unit.
While the invention has been described in accordance with certain preferred embodiments thereof, those skilled in the art will understand the many modifications and enhancements which can be made thereto without departing from the true scope and spirit of the invention, which is limited only by the claims appended below.