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Publication numberUS3614381 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 19, 1971
Filing dateJun 26, 1970
Priority dateJun 26, 1970
Publication numberUS 3614381 A, US 3614381A, US-A-3614381, US3614381 A, US3614381A
InventorsPopeil Samuel J
Original AssigneePopeil Brothers
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hair-setting device
US 3614381 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor Samuel J. Popeil Chicago, Ill.

[21] Appl. No. 50,166

[22] Filed June 26, 1970 Division of Ser. No. 850,308, July 28, 1969, Patent No. 3,565,083, which is a continuation 01' Ser. No. 551,320, May 19, 1966,

abandoned [45] Patented Oct. 19, 1971 [73] Assignee Popeil Brothers, Inc.

Chicago, Ill.

[54] HAIR-SETTING DEVICE 9 Claims, 17 Drawing Figs.

Primary ExaminerA. Bartis AttorneyDominik, Knechtel & Godula ABSTRACT: A hair-setting device including a number of curlers and a steam chest for steaming the curlers to a temperature not exceeding that of boiling water and to coat them with pure distilled water so that the hair is uniformly treated in terms of temperature as well as the type of moisture which contacts the hair. The steam chest includes a closure having an access opening which permits the removal of the curler from its interior, the curler being supported out of contact with the water which is boiled in the steam chest to steam the curler. The curler has a tubular hollow body and has good moisture and heat retention characteristics which permits the same to retain a temperature in the hair of not less than approximately 150 F. for a minimum of approximately 2 minutes after being heated in and removed from a 212 F. aqueous environment.

PATENTEUDBI 19 l97l 3 6 l 4. 381


This application is a division of copending U.S. Pat. application, Ser. No. 850,308, filed July 28, 1969, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,565,083, issued Feb. 23, 1971, the latter being a continuation of U.S. Pat. application, Ser. No. 55l,320,'filed May 19,

' 1966, now abandoned.

The present invention relates to the method and apparatus for setting the hair. More specifically it relates to heating, by steaming or boiling, rollers having a plurality of spines extending radially from the roller body, rolling the hair over the rollers, and securing by clips the rolled strands of hair to the rollers until the rollers have given up their moisture and heat to the hair thereby setting the curl.

l-leretofore the practice of setting the hair, waving the hair, and otherwise conditioning a lady's coiffure has been accomplished either by dry curling irons, or by the application of a whole host of chemical solutions in combination with dryers and the like. The dry curling equipment, such as curling irons, necessarily imposes hazards in its use, not the least of which is the risk of burning the scalp. Furthermore, the tendency is to split or fray the hair ends. Those methods of curling and waving the hair employing wave setting lotions or chemical gels maybe offensive and indeed injurious to persons having certain allergies.

Recently there have been marketed heated dry rollers which are inserted into the hair to set the same, one being im ported from Europe manufactured and sold pursuant to the trademark CARMEN" (see Harper's Bazaar, page 124, Apr. 1966 issue). Because the curlers are heated with electrical rods, they must be open at one end and give up their heat quickly. Furthermore, electric heating units require numerous safety steps to prevent overheating, thus increasing their cost. (French Pat. No 1,362,367).

Also, steaming has long been known as a way of curling hair. For example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,982,684 and 2,880,299, has the distinct disadvantage of a risk of scalding the scalp. Furthermore, where steaming is done by the use of a steam iron or other complex devices, the advantage of using a variety of sizes of rollers to specially style the hair is lost.

Moisture has always brought out the best in natural hair. Under conditions of exceedingly low relative humidity, the hair loses its natural body or resiliency. Conversely, with normal or excessive relative humidity, the hair will wave and be more readily managed. The present invention stems from the discovery that by steaming or boiling curler rolls prior to the insertion of the same into the hair, the hair can be effectively set and styled in a safe and efficient manner, and very quickly.

Accordingly, it is a principal object of the present invention to provide a method and mechanism for setting the hair in a matter of minutes rather than hours. A related advantage results from the ability to remove the curlers within 2 to 3 minutes after they have been inserted and thus there need be no loss of sleep or discomfort from sleeping with curlers.

Because the present invention contemplates steaming or boiling in water to heat the curlers, each curler is sterilized before using so the entire family or others using the same unit at a beauty parlor are hygenically protected.

A further advantage of the present invention stems from the moist drying of the hair which reduces the tendency to split ends of the hair, rather than promoting the same as does hot dry curling. A further and related advantage is that where the hair does have split ends, the moisture on the surface of the curlers picks up the split ends of the hair more readily and permits the hair to be curled tighter and to retain its curl or set longer.

A further and more important advantage of the present invention is the elimination of expensive waving lotions, gels, and the like which can be injurious to the hair, destroy the natural look and high sheen of the natural hair, as well as prevent touching the hair without damage to the coiffure.

Another advantage of the invention stems from the economy of operation which the user enjoys. Expensive trips to the beauty parlor for hair setting are eliminated. n the other hand, by practicing the present invention, hair can be curled and set which has been treated with a permanent wave at the beauty parlor, or even bleached. The present invention is equally efficacious with thin hair or thick hair. Accordingly, when one uses the method and apparatus of the present invention excellent results can be anticipated irrespective of the previous condition of the hair. A related additional advantage to the use of the present invention is that when the hair is set in accordance with the invention, it can be immediately reset or modified to achieve the hairdo which is desired by the user.

Still a further object of the present invention is to eliminate the necessity for hair dryers which both dry the hair and the scalp under long periods of dry heat, oftentimes resulting in falling hair and itching scalp which requires further oil treatments, and may result in headaches and irritated nerves.

In the generally accepted commercial beauty shop methods for setting the hair it is first shampooed. Thereafter several lotions or gels are applied to the hair. Subsequently curlers are inserted while the hair is wet, and then the hair is treated with a fixing solution designed to physically for the curl. A net is placed over the head, and then the customer sits under a hot dryer for approximately 30 minutes or more. After the hair is dry, it is brushed out, teased with a comb, and then sprayed again before styling, and after styling further sprayed. This entire treatment with solutions and fluids renders the hair stiff and unnatural to the touch. The softness of the hair and its natural feel are lost. Furthermore anywhere from 2 to 3 hours of the customer's time can be spent waiting for and in the course of a treatment. 7

According to the present invention, however, the curlers are placed in a steam chest preferably, or even in boiling water. Within approximately 8 to 10 minutes the curlers will have reached their maximum effective temperature and moisture content. Thereafter the ends of the hair are placed on the moist exterior of the curler and the balance of the strands of hair tightly wrapped around the curler. When the wrapping is completed the hair is clipped in place on the curler, and a second curler removed from the heating unit and similarly placed in other strands of the hair.

Within 2 minutes after the hair has been on the curler, the retained moisture from the curler will be transferred to the hair and the higher temperature transfer range traversed. At this time the hair is already set and the moisture dissipated by evaporation. Nevertheless, for best results, and a self-monitoring time schedule, the person treating the hair will wait until all of the curlers have been placed in position. This normally takes 5 to 15 minutes for an average of 10 to 20 curlers. Thereafter the curlers are removed from the hair on a first-on, first-off basis.

After the last curler has been removed, the hair may be brushed or combed or otherwise treated in accordance with conventional techniques. Should one particular area of the hair require further setting or modification, the first curlers removed may be reheated and wetted by the time the hairdo has had its first inspection, and may be reinserted for reshaping in accordance with the user's preference.

Because the spines of the curlers are arranged symmetrically, not only can the curler of the invention be employed to comb and untangle the hair before rolling it on, but it similarly avoids a tangling action of the hair when the curlers are removed. Furthermore, the combination of moisture and heat imparts a body or springy resiliency to the hair coupled with a pennanence of the curl which renders teasing unnecessary, but only optional for styling. This very same body in the hair renders its easier to style, and to retain the style with a natural unchemically treated appearance. Nevertheless, the use of the method of the invention and its equipment for styling the hair does not preclude subsequently spraying where the lady desires it. Best results are achieved when the hair is normally dry before setting. Nevertheless, even with heavy hair after shampooing, if the hair is dried for a short period of time with a towel and followed by a dryer, it can still be very effectively set with the equipment and method of the present invention.

Further objects and advantages and details of the present invention will become apparent as the following description proceeds accompanied by the explanation of the details of the illustrative drawings in which:

FIG. I is a diagrammatic view of a lady in which the curlers have been partially inserted in the manner illustrative of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective partially diagrammatic view showing how the hair is wrapped upon a curler.

FIG. 3 is an end view of the curler illustrating how the hair is rolled underneath.

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 illustrating how the hair ends are rolled over the top of the curler.

FIG. 5 is a front elevation of a curler illustrative of the structure of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is an end view in the same scale as that of FIG. 5 of the curler shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a longitudinal sectional view of the curler taken along section line 77 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a transverse sectional view of the curler taken along section line 8-8 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic perspective view illustrating how the clip is placed in position on a strand of hair to tightly retain the hair strand against the curler after the hair has been rolled on the curler.

FIG. 10 is a front elevation of a clip of the character shown diagrammatically in FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is an end view of the clip shown in the same scale as FIG. 10.

FIG. 12 is a front elevation of the clip shown in FIGS. 9 through 11 inclusive illustrating its conformed relationship to the curler.

FIG. 13 is a perspective partially diagrammatic view of a steam chest of the character useful in preheating and steaming the curlers.

FIG. 14 is an end view of the steam chest shown in FIG. 13 illustrating diagrammatically how the linkage mechanism opens the lid portion for removing the curlers.

FIG. 15 is a front elevation in reduced scale of the steam chest shown in FIGS. 13 and 14, partially broken to illustrate the interior structure.

FIG. 16 is a longitudinal sectional view of the steam chest taken along section line 16-16 of FIG. 15 looking downwardly on the heating element and base of the curler.

FIG. 17 is a perspective view illustrating an alternative form for heating and moistening the curlers.

The apparatus preferably employed in the method of the invention comprises a curler I0 and means for heating the same to the boiling temperature of water. While the heating may be accomplished by boiling the curler 10 in water (see FIG. 17), it is preferred that a steam chest 40 (see FIGS. 13 to 16) be employed which will assure heating and surface retention of distilled water. Before turning to the specific configuration of the curler 10 and steam chest 40, they will be discussed generally in terms of the material and the properties which are desirably exhibited by the material and the particular configuration. While certain plastics are discussed extensively, metals such as aluminum and other materials may be used.

Test results have indicated that it is important that the curler body 18 retain a temperature in the range of 190 F. to 150 F. for 2 minutes. Employing a generally annular cylinder of 2 inches to 4 inches in length, and approximately I inch in diameter with a body wall in the range of one-eighth inch to one-fourth inch will produce a satisfactory usable and manageable curler. When the curler is hollow with closed ends superior thermal results are achieved. Whatever plastic material is employed for molding the curlers should be stable at sustained temperatures in excess of 212 F. Polypropylene will exhibit satisfactory temperature characteristics, although that material marketed under the trademark "DELRIN" which is a generally acetal material produces excellent results. The hollow roller 10 with closed ends is most desirable thermally, and also because of its lighter weight and lower material costs as compared to a solid roller.

The following tables are indicative of the temperature curve at average room temperatures when DELRIN" with a hollow center but open ends, and a hollow center with closedends respectively have been employed after raising to the temperature of boiling water and removing:

Open End DELRIN -hollow Closed End DELRIN-hollow Removal IS seconds 30 seconds 45 seconds I minute I minute 15 seconds I minute 30 seconds I minute 45 seconds 2 minutes 2 minutes l5 seconds 2 minutes 30 seconds 2 minutes 45 seconds 3 minutes 3 minutes l5 seconds 3 minutes 30 seconds 3 minutes 45 seconds 4 minutes characteristics.

Materials such as polyethylene have very low water retention characteristics, and accordingly are less desirable. Furthermore, such materials as styrene and polystyrene distort at relatively low temperatures, and are also less desirable, even through less expensive. In addition, their water retention characteristics are also relatively low. With any material having acceptable thermal characteristics, roughening the curler body exterior surface will improve its moisture retaining properties.

Nylon has good water retention characteristics and temperature characteristics, but is considerably more expensive. As newer and different plastics, metals, alloys and sintered materials are developed, there will undoubtedly be improved materials which can be employed. It will still remain essential to the invention to have good temperature retention characteristics, moisture retention characteristics, and not distort at sustained temperatures of boiling water. The best results are achieved when the curler will remain within the range of l75 F. to I F. for the first 2 minutes after being taken from a 212 F. aqueous environment, and still have a temperatures of F 4 minutes after such removal.

More specifically, it will be noted that the embodiment of the curler 10 as disclosed in the drawings has an exterior cylindrical curler body 18. A plurality of spines 16 are integrally molded into the body 18 and extend therefrom radially a distance anywhere from 5 percent to 15 percent of the diameter of the cylinder and approximately the thickness of the body. The spines are desirably on centers of 30 or less, and repeated along the longitudinal length of the cylinder of a comparable spacing. Best results have been achieved when the spines 16 are oriented in longitudinal spine rows 19 and circumferential spines rows 20 symmetrically arranged with I2 spines in each direction. The symmetrical arrangement of the spines 16 offers the twofold advantage of permitting a combing of the strand of hair before it is curled on the curler, and also reducing the tendency for the curler to tangle in the hair before unrolling. Furthermore, it will be noted that the outer circumferential rows of spines are oriented closely to the ends of the curler body 18 so that the curlers can be gripped by the .hands at their very ends without the fingers touching the curler body I8. While the spines will cool rapidly upon removal from the steam or boiling water, the body portion 18 must necessarily remain hot as long as possible. By arranging the spines in the manner disclosed, comfortable handling is achieved almost immediately after removal. As to size, the diameters of the curler body 18 can vary between five-eighths inch and 2 inches. An ideal length is approximately 3 inches. For the average kit, 12 of the larger diameter rollers will be employed, 6 of the medium size and 2 of the small diameter. Naturally, this mix will vary in accordance with the user depending upon the texture of hair as well as the hair style to be set.

From a manufacturing standpoint, the curler body 18 is molded with a hollow interior 24, and a closed end 22. A recessed collar 26 is molded into the open end of the curler body 18, and an end cap 21 with a stepped end cap shoulder is provided to close the open end of the curler body 18. While the structure is shown here with a collar and stepped shoulder, it will be appreciated that various constructions can be employed, and particularly those with snap-acting interfit.

Irrespective of the type of curler employed, when a lady is setting her own hair, there is always a problem of securing the tightly wrapped hair strand in place. This is particularly true when setting the hair at the rear of the head, where the sense of touch is the only guide available when self-setting techniques are employed. Thus it is highly desirable to have a hair clip which not only will secure the hair tightly in its wrapped configuration about the roller, but also be easy to insert, locate and remove. Turning now to FIGS. 9 through 12 inclusive, it will be seen that a hair clip 30 has been provided which has a looped tab 31 which serves the twofold purpose of providing resiliency to the clip 30, and also rendering it easy to locate, insert, and remove. Referring to FIG. 1, it will be seen there that the looped tabs 31 remain at the outside of the curler, and are easy to observe as well as physically locate.

The looped tab 31 is generally circular terminating in neck bends 35 which define a looped tab neck 36. Extending from the looped tab neck 36 are outer leg 32 and inner leg 34. The base portion of the legs 32, 34 define a crescent-shaped roller body clamping portion 33 (shown in shaded lines in FIG. and 12). A clamp opener portion 38 is reversely bent at the open end of the outer leg 32, and engages the roller body in the manner shown in FIG. 9, thereby springing the two legs 32, 34 outwardly to thereby receive the strand of hair and curlers 10. The blunted ends 39 formed at the tips of the legs 32, 34 are provided to prevent scratching, and assist in rendering the insertion of the clip 30 an easier task. I

More specifically, it will be seen in FIG. 2 that the user is able to hold the curler l0 and manipulate same with the fingers of her right hand 14 twisting the same, and the left hand guiding the hair strands to curl tightly in the curler 10. As illustrated diagrammatically in FIGS. 3 and 4, the fine ends 13 of the hair strand l1 adhere to the curler body 18 because the peripheral portion of the body is moist after having been removed from the steam chest 40 or boiling water. Because the frayed ends 13 adhere closely to the curler body 18, a much tighter wrap can be achieved, the balance of the hair strand ll reinforcing the tightness of the curl until the curler 10 approximates a contact position with the scalp 26 as shown in FIG. I. At this point the clip is positioned with the legs circumferentially opposed over the curler 10 as shown in FIG. 12.

As set forth above, the preferred embodiment contemplates that the interior of the curler 10 have a hollow interior 24, but satisfactory curling results may be achieved in the event one end is open or both ends are open, so long as the curler is first steamed or boiled, or otherwise subjected to an aqueous environment at approximately the boiling point of water.

Referring now to FIGS. 13 through 16, a steam chest is shown which will effectively steam the curlers 10 in accordance with the method of the invention. As shown in FIG.

13, the steam chest 40 has a lid or closure 41 which is secured at its rear portion by means of hinges 42 to the body 43.

The lid or closure 41 is raised by means of the lid release linkage 50 which opens up the interior to provide an access opening where the curlers (as shown in FIG. 15) set upon a perforated base 44. Beneath the perforated base 44 is a water tray 46 which is filled with water. A pair of heated rods are within the water tray, and serve as a safety in that the circuit for heating is not closed unless the tray is full of water.

A divider wall 48 may be provided, or several, to divide various sizes of the curlers.

As noted in FIG. 14, the lid release linkage 50 is activated by a finger tab 51. The finger tab 51 is on the tab crank 52 which is pivoted at a central pivot 55, so that when it is depressed, the end pivot 55 activates the lid lever 54 which is in turn pivotally connected to the lid 41. Therefore, by pressing the finger tab 51, the lid 41 is opened to the position as shown in the phantom lines in FIG. 14.

An alternative form of heating the curlers, most simple, expeditious, and yet useful is shown in FIG. 17. There a pot 60 is selected by the user from many cooking pots, filled with water, and heated over a conventional stove burner 61. Since the curlers 10 are hollow, they will float on top of the water and can be picked out by kitchen tongs or any other conventional method after they have been boiled for approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Since the curlers are light in weight, and only boiling water is required for use, they are ideal for travel use. Indeed with only three curlers, the traveling lady can effectively set her hair in a few minutes.

Because the method of the invention Furthermore, steaming or boiling the curlers, the temperature of each curler is automatically controlled not to exceed 212 F. Furthermore, even where hard water is used to generate the steam, the natural action of evaporation and converting into steam insures that the curlers 10 will only be contacted with pure distilled water. Thus the hair is uniformly treated in terms of temperature as well as the type of moisture which contacts the hair. Furthermore as set forth in the objects of this invention, each curler is necessarily sterilized before use, and cannot be effectively used until it has been sterilized.

While the invention has been described in connection with specific embodiments and applications, it is not applicant's intention to restrict himself thereto, but to include within the invention all of the subject matter defined by the spirit as well as the letter of the annexed claims.


1. A hair-setting device comprising, in combination,

a steam chest,

at least one curler for placing in the hair contained within said steam chest,

said steam chest having an access opening including a closure which can be opened to permit removal of said curler from the interior of the steam chest,

a water compartment within the steam chest,

means associated with said steam chest for heating water placed in said water compartment to generate steam,

said curler having a tubular hollow body of a plastic material of stable thermal characteristics to resist distortion when heated in said steam chest at temperatures to 212 said curler body having good moisture retention characteristics such that a substantial amount of moisture can be retained thereon and transferred to the hair when the curler is placed therein, and further having heat retaining characteristics such that the curler body will retain a temperature in the hair of not less than approximately F., for a minimum of approximately 2 minutes after being heated in and removed from a 212 F. aqueous environment,

hair-engaging means on said curler body, and

means for supporting said curler out of contact with water in said compartment and in opened communication with steam generated in said steam chest, whereby the curler is steamed to a temperature not exceeding that of boiling water and coated with moisture and the hair may be uniformly treated in terms of temperature as well as moisture.

2. The hairsetting device of claim 1, wherein said hollow interior of said curler body is closed at both ends thereof.

3. In the hair-setting device of claim 2, wherein said curler body has a body wall thickness in the range of one-eighth to one-fourth inches.

4. The hair-setting device of claim 1, wherein said hair-engaging means on said curler body comprise a plurality of spines.

5. The hair-setting device of claim 1, wherein the exterior surface of said curler body is roughened so as to improve its moisture retaining characteristics.

6. The hair-setting device of claim 1, wherein said curler body has a body wallthickness in the range of one-eighth to one-fourth inches.

7. In the hair-setting device of claim 1,

said curler body heat retention characteristics being such that a temperature range between approximately 190 F. and F. is retained for approximately 2 minutes.

8. In the hair-setting device of claim 7, wherein said curler body has a body wall thickness in the range of one-eighth to one-fourth inches.

9. In the hair-setting device of claim 1, wherein said hollow interior of said curler is closed at least at one end.

Disclaimer 3,614,38L-Samuel J. Popeil, Chicago, Ill. HAIR SETTING DEVICE. Patent dated Oct. 19, 1971. Disclaimer filed Aug. 6, 1972, by the assignee,

Popeil Bv'othem, I'ne.

Hereby disclaims the portion of the term of the patent s [Ofiicial Gazette September 19, 1.972.]

ubsequent to Feb.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3700853 *Apr 26, 1971Oct 24, 1972Bristol Myers CoApparatus for heating of hairwinders
US3913592 *Aug 30, 1973Oct 21, 1975OrealHeated hair roller
US4164951 *Nov 8, 1976Aug 21, 1979Shaler Amos JHair curler system
US4516011 *Jul 8, 1983May 7, 1985Black & Decker, Inc.Portable electric appliance for steaming hair rollers prior to use
US4771797 *Jul 24, 1987Sep 20, 1988Sharp Kabushiki KaishaSteam hairsetter
US5255694 *Sep 5, 1991Oct 26, 1993Caruso Richard BHair curler steamer having improved curler support
US6604532Aug 28, 2000Aug 12, 2003Deborah A. McClendonMarcel curling iron having insulated rotatable handles
US7150283Aug 15, 2003Dec 19, 2006Deborah A. McClendonMarcel-type curling irons and case having stove
US7202446Mar 13, 2003Apr 10, 2007Radiancy Inc.Electric shaver with vibrating head
US20040050401 *Aug 15, 2003Mar 18, 2004Deborah A. McclendonHign-performance marcel-type curling irons
US20060070988 *Mar 13, 2003Apr 6, 2006Radiancy, Inc.Electric shaver with vibrating head
U.S. Classification219/222, 392/333, 132/228, 219/401
International ClassificationA45D4/00, A45D4/16
Cooperative ClassificationA45D4/16
European ClassificationA45D4/16