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Publication numberUS3654935 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 11, 1972
Filing dateMay 25, 1970
Priority dateMay 25, 1970
Publication numberUS 3654935 A, US 3654935A, US-A-3654935, US3654935 A, US3654935A
InventorsBrown Manuel
Original AssigneeBrown Manuel
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hair prosthesis for a bald head and a method of making it and a method of securing it
US 3654935 A
Abstract
A hair prosthesis or hairpiece to fit a measured bald area on a human head, consisting of a mesh network with a contour perimeter thread formed and disposed to lie along the contour of the bald area, with the mesh network having warp and woof loop and lock-stitched threads within the internal space defined by the contour perimeter thread, with the warp and woof threads tied securely at all crossovers to avoid relative slippage of warp and woof threads; and with their wefts fastened to the warp and woof threads and held with pre-selected lay position thereon; and with anchoring means on the bald head to be fitted, such means consisting of head base rails anchored to a series of growing their tufts in full or part outline around the bald area, with means on the prosthesis, such as Velcro pile sections for anchoring on co-operating Velcro hook sections tied to the head base rails to releasably hold the Velcro pile sections and thereby the hair prosthesis.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Brown as] 3,654,935 1451 Apr. 11,1972

[72] Inventor: Manuel Brown, 95 Marcus Avenue, New

Hyde Park, NY. 11040 [22] Filed: May 25, 1970 [21] Appl. No.: 40,045

52 us. c1 ..132/5, 132/53 51 int c: ..A4lg 5/00 Primary Examiner-Russell R. Kinsey Assistant Examiner-Jay N. Eskovitz Attorney-Julius E. Foster ABSTRACT A hair prosthesis or hairpiece to fit a measured bald area on a human head, consisting of a mesh network with a contour perimeter thread formed and disposed to lie along the contour of the bald area, with the mesh network having warp and woof loop and lock-stitched threads within the internal space defined by the contour perimeter thread, with the warp and woof threads tied securely at all crossovers to avoid relative slippage of warp and woof threads; and with their wefts fastened to the warp and woof threads and held with preselected lay position thereon; and with anchoring means on the bald head to be fitted, such means consisting of head base rails anchored to a series of growing their tufts in full or part outline around the bald area, with means on the prosthesis, such as Velcro pile sections for anchoring on co-operating Velcro hook sections tied to the head base rails to releasably hold the Velcro pile sections and thereby the hair prosthesis.

9 Claims, 17 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPR 1 1 I912 3,654,935

SHEET 1v 0F 5 Z, I AAQ \l v mvsmm Manuel Brown ATTORNEY PATENTEDAFR 1 1 I972 SHEET 4 OF 5 FIG.1I

FIG. l0

HAIR PROSTl-IESIS FOR A BALD HEAD AND A METHOD OF MAKING IT AND A METHOD OF SECURING IT DISC LOSU RE OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to hair prostheses, or hairpieces, as hair cover replacements for bald areas on human heads, and it relates also to the product as a novel construction, and it relates also to a novel method of making the product, and to novel methods and constructions for anchoring a prosthesis on a head to be fitted, one method anchoring the prosthesis against simple removal by the wearer, and the other method and construction permitting simple direct application and removal by the wearer.

The problem of fabricating and applying a hair prosthesis for a bald head involves several subsidiary problems, including the method of making the prosthesis, its construction, and the manner of applying and anchoring such a hair prosthesis on a human head so the prosthesis will serve its purpose both esthetically and functionally.

Obviously, if a hair prosthesis does not have the appearance of a natural array of human hair on the head to which it is applied, it is completely devoid of any esthetic value, and presents an awkward and ungraceful appearance.

Aside from the difficulty in fabricating such a hairpiece to fit and to cover a bald spot on a human head and to look natural, many toupees, and the manner of securing them to the head, have caused eczema of various forms to affect the scalp where it is covered by such toupees. In those cases that show some such eczematous skin condition, it has usually arisen from the lack of air movement at the scalp or from the difficulty of washing or cleansing the covered bald area due to the non-pervious structure of the toupee. Such condition is not only hazardous to the health of the skin itself, but results in an offensive odor that is difficult to suppress or remove, so long as the eczematous condition remains. Such eczematous condition of the scalp arises not only from the inaccessibility of the air to the scalp, but is also due to accumulated oils that are inaccessible to soap and water that would ordinarily be used to wash the hair of the head.

Thus, not only the appearance of the hair on the head, but the health of the scalp itself, must be considered where a hairpiece or hair prosthesis is to be applied to a head to cover a bald spot.

An important object of the present invention is to provide a hair prosthesis, or hairpiece, that has a construction or hair arrangement that will present an esthetic appearance corresponding to a natural normal arrangement of hair on the human head.

Another object of the invention is to provide a hair prosthesis that is pervious to air and to applied soap and water, to such an extent that the scalp underneath the prosthesis of this invention may be kept in a healthy and clean condition to the same extent that a natural head of hair would enjoy in the absence of a bald condition, and with the presence of normal hair growth on the head of that individual.

One of the disadvantages of current conventional procedures for making a prosthesis involves working on the head of the patron to be served, during the operation of making the prosthesis. This invention avoids such operation of making the prosthesis on the head itself.

Another object of the invention, therefore, which is particularly important in the fabrication of such a hair prosthesis, or hairpiece, is to provide a method of making such a hairpiece off the head of the patron for whom it is being made, so that the patron is not subjected to any discomfort, or loss of time sitting and waiting, while the hairpiece is being made.

In hairpieces made according to prior methods, the base structure upon which the hair was laid and fastened to make the hairpiece, was in some instances of such nature as to be not freely pervious to air and water. In other cases, where a mesh base has been used, and was pervious, the mesh has been formed in such a way that the warp and woof elements have been loose and left free to shift undesirably, from initial designed position, in response to external casual conditions, both undesired and unforeseen, so that the pre-designed hair lay becomes distorted.

One of the important objects of this invention is to provide a web or network mesh base, for a hairpiece, with relatively large spaces or meshes, and with a small strong thread provided as a contour or perimeter-outlining thread with a continuous series or chain of loop stitches to provide locking loops substantially along the full length of the thread, to permit warp and woof threads, similarly formed, to be anchored on such a peripheral outline thread, with a minimum of time and labor, so the final hairpiece will have a strong substantial network base, with the warp and woof threads tightly interlocked at all crossover points, so that the network base will be firmly formed and be exceedingly strong, light in weight, to support applied hairwefts, and yet be readily pervious to air and water.

As a result, the prosthesis or hairpiece of this invention may readily breathe, to permit access of ambient air to the scalp, and movement of the air to maintain a clean and healthy condition, and at the same time also to permit soap and water to be applied to the hairpiece, for shampooing or during shower baths, with adequate accessibility of water through the hairpiece to permit rinsing and cleansing of the hairpiece while on the head, in exactly the same manner as natural hair on the head would permit.

After a hair prosthesis is made, there remains the problem of anchoring it on the head. This invention contemplates and discloses two modifications and two methods of anchoring the hairpiece involved.

A further desirable feature in a hairpiece, depending upon its intended location on a bald head, is to provide a simulated crown or apex from which the hair will tend to lay naturally in all directions from such apex.

When a prosthesis made according to this invention is to be applied to a top or apex region of the head, where a crown at that point, as characterized by the natural lay of the hair, would have hair extending in all directions from that crown point, the process disclosed herein, and the prosthesis made according to the process herein, provides for a construction of the prosthesis that embodies a crown portion from which the hair does have a natural lay in all directions from that crown, thus characteristically duplicating the appearance of the hair lay and its distribution on a normal head.

Thus, one of the additional objects and features of this invention is the provision of a prosthesis in which such a crown is embodied in the structure of the prosthesis, to create the condition and appearance of a natural hair lay with distribution of hair in all directions from that crown point.

In general, the procedure in accordance with the method of this invention, involves first making a template of the size, shape and dimensions corresponding to the bald spot to be covered on the head of the patron. The manner in which such template is made is rather simple and is illustrated in the drawings to which descriptive reference hereinafter is made.

As an important feature of this invention, the template is then utilized off the head of the patron to make the hairpiece, while he is free to go about his business after the short time required to prepare the template on his head.

From such template, off the head, an open mesh network is fabricated, of warp and woof construction. Wefts of hair are then attached to selected warp and woof elements, in positions and directions to cause the wefts of the hair to lie in appropriate directions in which they will normally be brushed for proper arrangement on the head. According to the position in which the hairpiece is to be used and applied on the head, a crown may be provided, if appropriate, so the hair of the crown will have a natural disposition and lay to radiate in all directions from that crown point. For that purpose a weft of hair is especially arranged so that when attached to and embodied in the hair prosthesis, the hair from that weft will assume the desired lay in all directions from that crown point.

After the prosthesis is fabricated, the problem still remains of providing a suitable base on the head to receive and hold the prosthesis, and of providing a suitable method of applying the prosthesis to such base formed on the head, so that not only the esthetic appearance of the assembly is satisfied, but also the natural comfort of the wearer is not disturbed.

The invention is disclosed herein in two modifications of the prosthesis, and of the method of anchoring it to the head of the wearer.

In one modification, a hair base, continuous or in sectional rails, is secured in position in the hair of the wearer bordering the periphery of the bald area to be covered, and the prosthesis is applied by sewing it to that hair base. That modification remains attached at all times, and may be adjusted when necessary, as the hair in the hair base grows and changes the anchoring effect on the hairpiece.

In a second modification, the hair base on the wearers head is provided with two spaced strips of Velcro material, and the inner surface of the hairpiece is provided with co-operating Velcro strips to permit easy application of the hairpiece to the hair base on the head, and easy removal when desired for any period of time. There, again the hair base may be continuous or in sections.

In both modifications, the open network foundation of the hairpiece assures free air flow through the hairpiece, and free water flow when the hairpiece is washed or shampooed with the remainder of the head while anchored to the hair base of either modification. In the case of the Velcro modification, of course, the hairpiece may be removed during a shampooing operation, or for separate cleaning and washing, or for any other desired reason, such as during a sleeping period.

The method of forming a template, and the constructional features of the prosthesis of this invention, and the method of fabricating the prosthesis, and the manner in which a prosthesis is anchored to the existing hair of a bald head taken where the existing hair surrounds and is adjacent to a bald spot to be covered, are described in more detail in the following specification, taken together with the accompanying drawings, in which FIG. I is a perspective view of a human head, showing a bald area covered by and seen through a transparent flexible plastic sheet to permit marking an outline of the bald area on the sheet with a suitable pencil, to enable the sheet to serve as a guide off the head in making a prosthesis;

FIG. 2 is a similar perspective view of the arrangement in FIG. 1, with tapes pasted in overlapping relation on the sheet to give body and self-supporting strength to the sheet for use as a template;

F IG. 3 is a perspective view of a head block, on which the working template from FIG, 2 is temporarily disposed to define a working perimeter outline for the prosthesis to be made on the head block;

FIG. 4 is a schematic view that shows a loop stitch chain being formed from a single thread;

FIG. 5 is a plan view of a portion of thread formed into a loop stitch chain from the operation of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of the perimeter thread, with one woof or track shown, and another being started, and shows the manner in which horizontal tracks, or woof threads, are formed and disposed and anchored onto opposite sides of the perimeter thread;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the perimeter thread, with horizontal threads as parallel tracks formed thereon, all still on the head block;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the entire webbed thread structure, as a base for the hairpiece, or prosthesis, after addition of vertical warp threads, as parallel grids, are secured and anchored to the horizontal track or woof threads at all crossover points, and are secured and anchored to the front and to the rear sections of the perimeter thread, to constitute a webbed network foundation for the hair to be applied to constitute the prosthesis;

FIG. 9 is a front elevational view of a commercial weft of hair to be attached to one of the horizontal track or vertical grid threads, and shows the weft sewed to one of said threads;

FIG. 10 is a vertical section through the weft and thread of FIG. 9, taken along 1010;

FIG. 11 is a plan view of an open network web of chain loop threads, similar to that in FIG. 8, and illustrates the sequence in which the hair wefts are applied and secured to the track and to the grid threads in one pre-designed sequence to form a prosthesis of one desired style, with much of the hair of the wefts not being shown, for greater cleamess of illustration;

FIG. 12 shows a weft of FIG. 9 rolled into a spiral and inverted to provide an omnidirectional hair fall or hair lay to serve as a crown, as shown applied in FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a schematic view to illustrate the manner and procedure in which a hair rope or base rail is formed from living hair on a human head, bordering a bald area, to serve as an anchoring element, or one of a pair of anchoring elements to which the prosthesis of FIG. 11 is secured by sewing the prosthesis thereto;

FIG. 14 is a schematic view of a pair of spaced hair base rails or ropes of the type shown in FIG. 13, used alone for the first modification of a prosthesis;

FIG. 15 is a view similar to FIG. 14, with two Velcro strips fastened in place between the two hair rails or ropes, to receive and hold a hairpiece of the second modification;

FIG. 16 is a plan view of the inside of a prosthesis of FIG. 11, provided with two strips of Velcro pile sections, to fit onto the two Velcro hook sections of FIG. 15, for locating and anchoring a prosthesis of the second modification, while permitting simple removal when desired; and

FIG. 17 shows a second form of the hairpiece, in which a box structure of Velcro strips may be applied to a hairpiece for greater anchorage, where so desired, to a similar arrangement of Velcro elements on the head of the wearer.

TI-IE TEMPLATE FOR THE HAIR PROSTHESIS As shown in FIG. 1, in the operation of making a template 25 for the hair prosthesis, or hairpiece, a sheet of a flexible transparent plastic material 26, such as Saran wrap, about 2 feet long is placed on top of the head 27 of a patron, to cover and extend beyond the bald area 28 involved. The two ends 26A and 26B of the transparent sheet 26 are permitted to extend down on each side of the patrons head 27, so the patron can hold both ends to keep the transparent sheet 26 firmly in place on the head 27, while the template 25 is being made. With a grease pencil the entire outline 29 of the bald area 28 of the scalp is marked on the transparent sheet, where the scalp is to be covered by the hair prosthesis to be made. The center back line 30 of that bald area is also marked for later guidance.

As shown in FIG. 2, while the transparent sheet 26 is thus held, strips of masking tape 32 are measured off and applied in parallel overlapping relation onto the transparent sheet, to cover the entire area 28 within the marked outline 29, and to extend about an inch beyond that marked outline 29, to con? stitute excess material 33, beyond the marked outline 29, that is to be later removed to define the actual template 25. The overlapping of the parallel tape strips 32 along the strip edges 32A, provides body strength to the transparent sheet 26 to render it self-supporting as a template.

When the entire area and pencilled outline has been completely covered by the tape strips 32, including the excess border area 33 beyond the outline, the template body 25 is removed from the head, and turned upside down, and the excess material 33 of the template 25 is cut away at the outer edges of the outline 29 formed by the marking pencil.

The template 25 is then complete, and ready to be used, off the patrons head, to provide the measure and form of the outline dimensions and of the contour arrangement for the hairpiece to be made to fit the bald area.

The next set of operations is to prepare a web foundation for the hairpiece.

THE PREPARATION OF A WEBBED FOUNDATION FOR THE HAIR PROSTHESIS As shown in FIG. 3, the template 25, after being trimmed to proper size, by removal of the excess material 33, outside the pencilled contour line 29, is placed on a head block 34. A pin 35 in the front of the template and a pin 35A in back serve to hold the template 25 in place on the head block 34, temporarily, until the perimeter of the template 25 can be outlined on the head block 34, to then serve as a perimeter outline for the hairpiece. That is done by outlining the template 25 with pins 36 stuck into the head block 34, by starting at the center back point 37 of the template and placing pins 36 in the head block 34 about 1 V2 inches apart, proceeding both toward left and right from the center back point 37, keeping the pins 36 as close as possible to the template 25. The two holding pins 35 and 35A that hold the template down are then removed, and the template 25 is removed, its function and service completed, for locating the pins 36 to determine an outline or perimeter 38 for a web foundation for the hairpiece.

The outlining perimeter 38 for the web foundation for the hairpiece is now to be made. That is done, as a feature of this invention, on the head block 34 itself, by providing or forming a thread 39 with a loop stitch, and disposing the loop stitched thread as a chain 39 along the outer outline 38 defined by the pins 36 on the head block 34, which corresponds substantially and closely to the outline 29 on the template 25. That perimeter thread 39 serves to perform a desired function of providing a chain of fixed loops closely disposed to be available along the length of the thread 39 for receiving and holding an external thread in position locked against relative slipping on thread 39, when secured by any such loop at any selected position on the perimeter thread 39 of the foundation.

As shown in FIG. 4, a thread 43 is modified to embody a continuous loop stitch chain to define and to serve as the desired perimeter for the foundation of the hairpiece to be made. A needle 42 is first threaded with the single thread 43 about 2 yards long. A double knot 44 is made with one of the loose ends 45 of said thread 43, around a corner pin 36A, for example, at the left front of the pin array around the area on the head block 34 defined by the template. That anchors one end of the thread 43 at that corner pin 36A. With the needle 42 in the right hand a loop stitch chain is started by putting the needle 42 through the knot 44 that was made around said front pin 36A, as in FIG. 4, and by pulling the needle 42 and thread 43 almost through the knot 44 to form a first loop 46 as a static loop on the left side of the knot 44 with the long string 43A of the thread 43 still held to the right of corner pin 36A. The needle 42 is temporarily suitably anchored on a soft area of head block 34 to hold that long string 43A of the thread, while a second loop 48 is formed as an active loop by pulling the thread 43A back through the first loop 46 while it is a static loop, to form such a second loop 48, as in FIG. 4, after which the static first loop 46 is pulled tight around said temporarily static second loop 48, as in FIG. 4, to form a first tightly closed loop 46 in the loop stitch chain.

Thus each loop has three statuses in sequence in the loop stitch chain. It starts as an active open loop when first formed. Then remains static while a second loop is projected as an active loop through the static first loop; then the first loop, now static, is tightened to a closed tight loop around said active second loop, which now is in second stage as a static loop.

For that operation of closing the first loop stitch 46 after the second loop 48 of the thread 43A as an active loop is pulled through static first loop 46, the loose end 50 of first loop 46 is pulled tightly to close loop 46 to its closed state around said now static second loop 48, and said second loop 48 is then treated as a static loop through which a third loop of the long thread 43A is pulled and formed, and said second loop 48 is then tightened to its closed state around said third loop, as loop 46 was tightened around loop 48.

For the manipulation of this loop stitch chain operation, with the right hand the loose long thread 43A is held about 3 inches away from the loop 46, or any subsequent open loop,

and the left hand is slid through that open loop 46, or subsequent open loop, to take hold of the loose long thread 43A that is being held by the right hand, and as that long thread 43A is pulled by the left hand through the first loop 46, or any subsequent open loop, thread 43A becomes the next loop 48, or subsequent loop, while the preceding loop is pulled tight, to become essentially a tight fastening loop for the next following loop. As the remaining long thread is pulled through each preceding loop, and that preceding loop is tightened, a loop stitch chain is formed, and here made long enough to go around the pin outline 38. The loop stitch chain thus formed is continued until it returns to the beginning of the loop stitch chain on the left front corner pin 36A. The last loop stitch is then secured by pulling the needle through the original knot loop over pin 36A, and by tying or tacking the loop at that pin 36A to lock the loop stitch chain against loosening and unraveling, and thereby locking the perimeter thread as a completed outline thread 39, embodying and constituting a loop stitch chain, as in FIG. 5, along its full length, as in FIG. 6, to serve as the web perimeter of the foundation to be formed for the hairpiece. The perimeter outline thread 39 is made as the first operation, and is left on the head block 34 for the subsequent operations, to permit the web foundation to be completed, on and within outline thread 39.

The next operation is to make parallel tracks, corresponding to transverse woof elements, from side to side of the perimeter outline thread 39, as in FIG. 6, resulting in the partweb of FIG. 7.

With either remaining thread of the original length, if sufficient, or with a new or additional thread, if needed, the operation is continued by taking three small stitches into the perimeter outline thread 39, toward the back, on left side 52, to a point 54 about one-half inch away from the front knot 44, at pin 36A, of the perimeter outline thread 39. At that point 54, a pin 56 is placed in the head block 34 as representing the start of a first track 58-] across the area space, and again a loop stitch chain is formed, in the same manner as the perimeter outline thread 39 was formed, but to extend from left side section 52 across the open area space to the right side section 60 to a point 62 of the perimeter outline thread 29, about onehalf inch backwards from the front section 64 of the perimeter outline thread 39. Upon reaching the right side section 60 of perimeter outline thread 39, the needle is pulled through the loop found at that point 62 of the perimeter outline thread 39, thereby locking the end loop of the track 58-1, and then the needle is again suitably inserted into the perimeter outline thread 39 at section 60 on the right side of the outline thread 39, to lock the end loop of the track 58-1, and to tack it firmly in place at that point 62.

Then a few stitches with the needle are made into the perimeter thread 39 on right side 60 to a point 64 spaced back about one-half inch toward the back of outline thread section 60, and on the fourth stitch a loop is formed and locked on right side section 60 to start a new loop stitch chain to constitute a second transverse track 58-2 going back toward the left side section 52 of the outline thread 39.

The transverse tracks 58 are continued to be made alternately from side to side across the top of the head block 34 until the entire area within the perimeter outline thread 39 is covered with transverse tracks about one-half inch apart, in the manner indicated in FIG. 6, to form a series of tracks between the two sides 52 and 60 of the perimeter 39, with the result as shown in FIG. 7. When new thread is to be added, a last loop-stitch must be locked first, by inserting the needle through the loop and pulling to tighten and tack the last loop. A one-half inch space is allowed between adjacent tracks, and the last space near the back perimeter section 68 should not be more than one-half inch, although it may be less.

After the transverse tracks 58-1 to 58-6 are all made and anchored at both ends to the two opposite sides 52 and 60 of the perimeter outline thread 39, as in FIG. 7, the next operation is to form the grids, as the warp or longitudinal elements, to be anchored at both ends on the front and the back of the perimeter outline thread 39 and tied securely at all crossover points to the tracks 58 now connected to said perimeter outline thread 39.

In this operation of forming the grids, the same loop stitch procedure is employed, starting from the front section 64 of the perimeter, about one-half inch from the left side of the perimeter, and forming the loop stitch chain as before. The loop stitch chain is made long enough to reach across from the front perimeter section 64, to the first track 58-1 and is there securely tied to the first track 58-l by pulling the needle and thread through the loop encountered on the track, and tacking the thread at that loop. In each last loop stitch, upon reaching each track, the needle is inserted through a loop and tightened and the needle inserted into the loop at that point of the track. The needle is pulled through and tacked, and continued to loop stitch to the next track. This procedure is repeated until the back perimeter section 68 is reached. The grid is there locked in place by sliding the needle through a loop and tacking. Three stitches are then taken into the back perimeter, to a distance about one-half inch away. On the fourth stitch on the perimeter section 68, the loop stitch chain is started going forward toward the front section 64 of the perimeter, and the grid chain is locked at the loop at each intersection or crossover of the grid chain and each transverse track, and finally anchored on the front section 64. That operation is continued until the grids and the tracks are all formed and interlocked, and anchored, to each other and to the perimeter thread.

The webbed foundation 75 of the hairpiece as shown in FIG. 8, with all tracks and grids in place and interlocked, to each other and to the perimeter thread, is then complete and ready to accept the hair to be attached and supported on the webbed foundation 75 to constitute the hairpiece.

For convenience of reference, in describing the application of hair to the webbed foundation 75, the tracks are now renumbered from T-l to T-6 respectively, and the grids are renumbered from GA to G-F respectively, in FIG. .11.

THE APPLICATION OF THE HAIR TO THE WEBBED FOUNDATION In FIGS. 9 and 10, a weft of hair 76, in form to be applied to the foundation, is commercially available in the form shown; and consists of a fabric back strip 77 into which strands 78 of hair are sewed and anchored at one end. The back strip 77 is in the form of a channel strip and one end of each hair strand is held in the channel space, and the two sides of the channel strip are sewed tightly together, along stitching 77A, and thus hold the anchored ends of the hair strands tightly, permitting the entire weft 76 to be held and handled and manually manipulated by the back strip 77.

In applying a weft 76 to the webbed foundation, the fabric back strip 77 of the weft is placed with its outer edge 79 along a warp or woof thread 80 of the foundation, with the thread 80 substantially co-planar with the back strip 77, and the back strip 77 is sewed tightly to the looped stitched thread 80 with surrounding over stitches to encircle the supporting thread 80, and with through stitches formed by directing the needle through the loops formed in the looped stitch thread 80 and thus locking the weft to and along the looped stitch thread 80.

Referring now to FIG. 11, the disposition of the wefts is shown. As previously mentioned, the tracks or horizontal threads are numbered T-l to T-6, respectively, and the grids, or vertical threads, are numbered GA to GF, respectively. The wefts are identified by Roman numerals and indicate the sequence of disposition on the foundation 75. The foundation is similar to that in FIG. 8, for illustrating a typical arrangement of hair wefts, and the manner and sequence of their application for a hairpiece in which a crown is to be incorporated.

A first weft of hair 76 numbered I, is applied to the frontal side 64 of the perimeter thread with the hair strands 78 falling to the front. The weft I is first measured and cut to fit the space from front left corner 52A to front right comer 64A.

The cut weft I is positioned to meet the front edge of the frontal perimeter 64 perfectly, and is sewed to the perimeter as shown in FIG. 9. Starting on the left comer the needle is inserted to join the perimeter thread to the weft of hair I with an overcast stitch. The needle is pulled through and inserted in the corner again to make a lock stitch to anchor weft I at corner 52A. The needle is inserted again through the weft back border strip 77 and through the perimeter thread, and every fourth stitch a lock stitch is made. The stitching is continued in this manner until the entire weft I and the front perimeter thread section 64 are completely joined together.

Next, a second weft of hair 11 is cut to size and sewed to the front edge of the first track T-l, to grid G-E, using the same method, with the hair of the weft also falling forward.

The next operation is on the back perimeter section 68, working from the back edge, with the weft III cut to the dimension of the back section 68, and with the hair of the weft falling backward.

Next, weft IV is sewed to the track T-6, adjacent to rear perimeter section 68, from left side section 52 to the right section 60, a point where grid GE meets track T-6. The two spaces from grid G-E to the right side 60 are left uncovered and without a hair weft, to allow space for a crown to be added later.

A next weft of hair V is sewed along track T-5 from left side section 52 to right side section 60 to grid G-E, again leaving out two spaces from grid GE to side 60.

A next weft of hair VI is sewed along the outer right edge of right outline section 60, of the perimeter from front right comer 64A to the right end 68A of back perimeter section 68, with the hair to fall to the right side from right section 60.

The next weft of hair VII is sewed along the righvhand edge of grid GF, from front perimeter edge 64, to and across tracks T-l and T-2, to anchor on track T-3, leaving spaces to track T-4 and t-5 uncovered, for later accommodation of a crown, and the hair from weft VII falling to the right, over side section 60.

The next seven wefts are sewed to let the hair fall to the left.

Weft VIII is sewed along the left edge of the left side section 52 of perimeter thread, from front corner 52A to left hand back corner 68B of back section 68, with appropriate stitching and tacking to secure the weft, and to let the hair fall to the left, away from left perimeter section 52.

Weft IX is sewed along grid G-A, in Fig. 11, from track T-l to track T-S with an extra lock stitch at each crossover of track and grid, and the hair directed to fall to the left over the left side 52 of the perimeter.

Next, weft X is sewed along grid G-B, in FIG. 11, from track T-l to track T-S, with lock-stitching at each crossover of track and grid, and the hair directed to fall to the left over the left side 52 of the perimeter.

Next, weft XI is sewed on grid G-C, from track T-l to track T-5, with suitable stitching, with the hair of that weft directed to fall to the left, over left side 52.

Similarly, next weft XII is sewed on grid GD, from track T-l to track T-S, with hair directed to fall to the left.

The next weft XIII is sewed to grid G-E with the hair to fall to the left. Weft XIV is sewed to grid GF, from track T-l to track T-3, with hair to fall to left, while VII, previously was mentioned as attached to grid G-F.

The four squares, 81, 82, 83 and 84 between tracks T-3 and T-S, and between grid G-E and right side section 60, of the perimeter, are now empty and provide space to receive and accommodate a crown 86, shown in FIG. 12.

A crown 86 is formed by rolling a weft 76, from flat shape, as in FIG. 9, to form the back strip 77 into a spiraled shape 88, as in FIG. 12, with the hair strands suspended in a spiral curtain 90. When the spiraled back strip 88 is inverted, the hair 90 from the spiraled back strip 88 is now free to fall in all directions from the spiral, as in FIG. 12.

The spiraled back strip 88 is disposed in the space of the open squares 81, 82, 83 and 84, of web 75, and is securely stitched and anchored to the track T-4 and the grid GF, and

the hair from the spiral back strip 88 diverges from the spiral in all directions.

With the hair from the various wefts disposed to have a natural lay in the directions indicated, the effect of a natural hair lay is established, and the desired esthetic effect is achieved. With the arrangement and hair lays as shown, the effect of a natural crown is achieved, and the appearance of an equivalent parting line in the hair is established along the grid G-F.

The arrangement shown in FIG. 11 is merely one arrange ment of many. The spiral crown may be located wherever desired, for the style of hair lay desired. Similarly, the double arrangement of two wefts back to back, such as wefts VII and XIV on grid G-F may be variously disposed to locate a part wherever desired. The locations of the wefts may be arranged to establish a hair lay in any direction desired, while the warp and woof threads, here referred to as tracks and grids, are shown in conventional coordinate arrangement. They may be disposed to provide for any desired hair lay and direction.

The open mesh structure, of FIG. 8, even though covered with hair as in Fig. 11, permits relatively free air movement through to the scalp, in the same manner as occurs in the case of natural hair on the scalp. The weight of the hairpiece is essentially the same as natural hair would present, and no unnatural pressure or weight is felt by a wearer, that would make the hairpiece presence felt as a foreign body.

The first modification of the hair prosthesis of this invention is now complete, as in FIG. 11.

The next steps are to provide for anchoring the prosthesis on the head.

HEAD HAIR BASE FOR ANCHORING THE PROSTHESIS To anchor the first modification of the hair prosthesis, a suitable base is formed from the living hair on the head of the wearer, in at least two opposite regions adjacent the border of the bald area.

FIG. 13 shows schematically the method of forming a hair base rail 96 which may be formed in separate sections, or as a continuous U-shaped hair base rail, corresponding generally to the outline shape of the bald area which is to be covered. To form the hair base rail 96, for example, several small tufts 981 to 984 of hair along the line of the indicated hair base rail will be utilized, and each separately and then progressively suitably tied together with a thread to hold the series of tufts horizontal in overlapping relation from the front end of the hair rail towards the back end. Normally the hair base rail will be started at the front end. A tuft 98-1 of about fifteen hairs closely located along the locus of the intended base will be held temporarily erect, and looped by a double thread 99 on a needle, and the thread crossed and lock stitched around and through the tuft 98-1 to lock the thread on the tuft 981. Care is taken in tying the thread around the tuft 98 to ensure there is no tension on any of the threads in the tuft, so there will be no discomfort to the person whose head is being prepared for the prosthesis. After tying the thread 99 to the first tuft 98-1, a next adjacent tuft 982 is held temporarily erect, while the thread is crossed around the tuft and then sewed through the tuft to tack the thread tightly on the tuft 982, while the respective hairs of the tuft are kept completely free of any tension that would cause discomfort to the scalp. The first tuft 98-1 is then bent over the second tuft 982 and both are looped and tied by the thread 99 in a second or continuing loop 101. A third tuft 983 is similarly tied tightly with the continuing thread 99. By this time, the two tufts 98-1 and 982 may now be folded downward along the line of the hair rope or rail 96 to be formed so that tuft 981 will overlie 982, and both 98-1 and 982 may overlie 98-3. The next tuft 98-4 is similarly encircled and sewed tightly by the thread 99, close to the roots, so the threads of the tuft are held tightly as a group, but nevertheless are not under tension with respect to the scalp, and that tuft may be folded downward along the scalp along the line of the hair rope or base rail 100.

This procedure is continued from tuft to tuft, with each tuft separated from the preceding tuft by a small distance of threeeighths to one-half inch to permit the preceding tuft to be folded over and lie on and in the direction of the next succeeding tuft without creating too thick a hair rope or base rail. When the hair rope or base rail is finished, the last tuft is suitably tied and tacked to hold the thread closed and anchored on the tufted hair rope or rail base with the several tufts lying horizontally on the scalp to constitute a hair rope or rail.

The second rail or rope 96-A on the opposite side of the bald area between the two base rails is similarly formed, so that the two hair ropes or base rails 96 and 96A are available on both sides of the bald area of the scalp to be covered, and serve to receive and hold a prosthesis, as shown in FIG. 14.

The prosthesis shown in FIG. 11 may now be applied to the two hair ropes or base rails 96 and 96A, of FIG. 14, by sewing the prosthesis to the two hair ropes or base rails, and that may be done with a thread of different color or of the same color as the hair of the prosthesis.

The hair used in tying the tufts down horizontally to form the base rails for the prosthesis is preferably made of a color that will readily distinguish from the color of the hair, so the location of the hair base rails will be manifest when it is necessary to readjust the hair base rails after some 6 or 8 weeks of growth, so the hair base rails will again be formed close to the scalp, to hold the prosthesis close to the scalp and to avoid any unseemly looseness and undesired free movement of the prosthesis.

This prosthesis just described, which is sewed to the hair base rails, is worn continuously, allowing of course for the time for readjustments of the hair base rails, at which time the prosthesis is temporarily removed.

Because of the large open weave network structure of the foundation, ambient air will readily penetrate the hair and the foundation of the prosthesis to reach the scalp and provide a drying and cleansing action.

Similarly, when the prosthesis is thus worn continuously, the wearer may shampoo or wash his hair, or subject it to the action of a shower, or may swim while wearing the prosthesis, and again the open network construction of the prosthesis will permit water or shampooing liquids and lather to penetrate through the prosthesis and to wash out any accumulated oils or any foreign matter from the scalp or the prosthesis in the same manner as would be possible with normal human hair.

In the second modification, both the hair ropes or base rails and the prosthesis are modified to permit the prosthesis to be removed easily and readily at the will and desire of the wearer, as for example, for a short period, such as washing or bathing, swimming or sleeping, while also then permitting very simple restoration of the prosthesis to the supporting hair ropes or base rails.

The manner in which that is accomplished is illustrated by the constructions shown in FIGS. l5, l6 and 17.

In FIG. 15 two hair ropes or base rails and 106 are first prepared in the same manner as explained in connection with FIGS. 13 and 14. That construction is then modified by the addition of two strips 107 and 108 of Velcro pile, which are loosely laid on the scalp and sewed to the inner edges 105A and 106A of the two hair ropes or base rails 105 and 106, respectively. As indicated in FIG. 15, the two Velcro strips 107 and 108 are just of sufficient length to lie loosely between the two hair ropes or base rails 105 and 106, so the Velcro strips are relatively and substantially co-planar with the two hair base rails 105 and 106, and are sewed at the respective ends of those strips 107 and 108 to the two base rails 105 and 106. Those two Velcro strips 107 and 108 are then ready to receive corresponding hook elements that are appropriately secured to the inner, or under, surface 112 of the prosthesis 75.

When the hairpiece has been worn for a period of time, for example, several weeks, the hair ropes and the Velcro strips are adjusted by slightly shortening the Velcro strips and resewing them between the hair ropes.

As shown in FIG. 16, the under surface 112 of the prosthesis 75 has two Velcro hook sections 114 and 115 sewed to the foundation web of the prosthesis, in appropriate positions to locate the prosthesis properly on the bald area in FIG. 15 when the Velcro strips 114 and 115 are properly aligned with and applied to the Velcro strips 107 and 108 of FIG. 15.

FIG. 17 shows a prosthesis 76 onto which four Velcro strips are sewed, where a location of a bald spot or a head shape may dictate more holding power to be desirable. The head of the wearer will then be suitably provided with a similar set of anchoring strips.

The invention disclosed herein thus discloses a simple method of preparing a template on a bald head to measure the outline and shape of the bald area, which may then be employed to provide a corresponding measure off the human head as an outline and size measurement for guiding the making of a hair prosthesis for the bald area.

This invention further discloses a novel construction of a prosthesis with a freely pervious foundation, and discloses the method of making the foundation and the method of applying hair wefts thereto to fabricate a prosthesis in two modifications, one of which may be secured to be worn continuously and the other to be applied and removed at will.

The invention further discloses an arrangement for anchoring the two modifications; with one modification sewed on for continuous wear and occasional adjustments to compensate for growth of hair shaped to constitute anchoring hair bases for the prosthesis; and with the second modification provided with co-operating Velcro strips for permitting easy coupling and decoupling of the prosthesis to and from the hair bases at the will of the wearer.

Various changes may be made in the structural features and procedures within the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined in the claims.

What is claimed is:

1. The method of fabricating a hair prosthesis which comprises l. resting a premade template on a curved supporting surface, such as a head block, off the head, to support the template substantially in its proper full form;

2. outlining the boundary contour of said template with closely spaced retaining elements, such as pins, to correspondingly define the outline perimeter of a base area on which to form a hair prosthesis to be applied to the head to be fitted;

3. removing the template while leaving the retaining pins in place to define the area to be covered;

4. forming an outlining thread-like perimeter element along the outline of said retaining pins and then fabricating an open web or mesh network structure of thread-like warp and woof elements anchored to said outlining perimeter element and tied to each other at crossover points within the encompassed area to prevent the warp and woof elements of said web network structure from shifting at said crossover point; and

5. attaching hair to said web network structure.

2. The method of making a prosthesis for covering a bald area on a human head surrounded by growing hair, which comprises the steps of:

l. measuring the bald area including its general contour outline or perimeter;

2. laying out an equivalent working area and contour outline on a suitable working surface off the head;

3. constructing an open mesh web or network of warp and woof elements over said equivalent working surface area and closing the web network around the equivalent boundary contour outline with a perforated strip element;

4. applying and anchoring individual hair wefts progressively to warp and woof elements of said open mesh network to provide a complete hair cover on said web network, to constitute the prosthesis.

3. The method of claim 2, comprising further,

the step of applying an anchoring strip to the growing hair on two opposite sides of said bald area on said human head adjacent the boundary contour of said bald area; and

attaching said prosthesis to said anchoring strips.

4. The method of claim 2 in which said operation of forming said prosthesis comprises the steps of;

forming said perimeter or contour outlining thread to provide regularly spaced loop elements along the thread;

connecting parallel thread elements between opposite sides of said perimeter thread with said parallel thread elements disposed in generally equally spaced relation from front to rear of said perimeter outlining thread; and

connecting parallel thread elements between the front and the rear portions of said perimeter thread with those parallel thread elements disposed in generally equally spaced relation from side to side of said perimeter outlining thread;

both of said sets of parallel threads being tied at each crossover point to hold the open-mesh network thus fabricated in fixed and non-slipping relation at said points to maintain the network and the meshes in relatively fixed dimensional relation against casual distortion or slippage.

5. The method of claim 2, in which said operation of fabricating the prosthesis comprises the steps of:

l. forming a perimeter or contour outlining thread element shaped by a continuous series of closely disposed lock stitches to form and constitute a series of spaced integral loops in and on said lock-stitched thread element;

2. forming a plurality of parallel spaced woof or track thread elements of similarly lock-stitched thread, and anchoring said parallel track elements at their terminal ends in opposite sides of said perimeter or contour outlining thread element;

3. forming a plurality of parallel spaced warp or grid thread elements, and anchoring said parallel warp elements at their terminal ends to opposite sides of said perimeter or contour outlining thread element, and lock-tying said parallel warp or grid elements at crossover points with said woof or track thread elements by tying through said lock stitch loops on said woof or track elements to prevent separation of the woof or track elements beyond predetermined spacing and to prevent slippages or shifting of woof elements with respect to the warp elements, thereby to maintain the mesh relationship as fabricated and to prevent mesh distortion.

6. The method of claim 2, in which the operation of fabricating said prosthesis includes:

the steps of shaping a weft of hair and applying it to said prosthesis to constitute a crown tuft at a selected region of said prosthesis.

7. The method of claim 2, including the operation of fabricating a hair base around the boundary of said bald area, comprising the step of locking and tying and anchoring a thread progressively around a consecutive series of hair tufts along the border of hair bounding said bald area, to fabricate a hair base of confined hair strands onto which said hair prosthesis may be applied and anchored.

8. The method of claim 7, including the steps of progressively anchoring the thread in a loop on and around each tuft of hair in the sequence; and then laying each so-anchored tuft towards the next tuft in sequence to be included in an anchoring loop associated with the progressively next succeeding tuft, so the hair base when completed will be relatively flat on the head and ready to receive said prosthesis.

9. The method of claim 6, in which said shaped weft of hair for the crown is caused to assume a natural lay in opposite directions on said prosthesis.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3777768 *Aug 21, 1972Dec 11, 1973Gabor E Int LtdWefted hair structure and method of construction
US3811453 *Sep 25, 1972May 21, 1974Allen Arthur Co IncMethod and means for attaching a hair supplement
US5044382 *Oct 9, 1990Sep 3, 1991Aderans Co., Ltd.Wig
US5133370 *Aug 8, 1989Jul 28, 1992Duffel Dale LMethod for construction of hairpiece and article thereof
US5875787 *Apr 27, 1995Mar 2, 1999The Cleveland Clinic FoundationHairpiece retention device and system
US5915389 *Dec 22, 1997Jun 29, 1999Tang; GordonApparatus and methods for fastening a hairpiece
US5957139 *Nov 20, 1995Sep 28, 1999Interlego AgMethod of producing a wig for a toy figure
US6016814 *Oct 20, 1998Jan 25, 2000Elliott; James E.Method for manufacturing a hair piece
EP0517940A1 *Jun 12, 1991Dec 16, 1992Aderans Co., Ltd.Wig
Classifications
U.S. Classification132/201, 132/53
International ClassificationA41G3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA41G3/00
European ClassificationA41G3/00