|Publication number||USRE41321 E1|
|Application number||US 10/342,306|
|Publication date||May 11, 2010|
|Filing date||Jan 15, 2003|
|Priority date||Jun 29, 1998|
|Also published as||US6173718|
|Publication number||10342306, 342306, US RE41321 E1, US RE41321E1, US-E1-RE41321, USRE41321 E1, USRE41321E1|
|Inventors||Masataka Okumoto, Satoshi Ogawa, Atsuo Niwa, Yasufumi Takeda, Kazuki Fujii, Katsumi Kaneyama|
|Original Assignee||Milbon Company Ltd|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (30), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (9), Classifications (11), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Technical Background of the Invention
The present invention relates to a hair styling iron, and more specifically to a hair styling iron used for giving a press treatment in which the hair is exposed to heat and pressure.
2. Relating Prior Art
Up to now, for giving straight-perm treatment to the hair, the hair is applied with a first perming solution and then smoothed down with a comb on a plastic plate called a “panel” while stroking the hair with the back of the comb. Alternatively, the hair is smoothed down with a comb only, without the help of a panel. Either of these operations, generally called a “strainer operation”, is aimed for providing uniform rearrangement of the cuticle up to the tip of the hair by smoothing down the hair, thereby giving the hair a glossy smooth surface. The use of a panel, however, causes substantial damage to the hair. On the contrary, the operation, when carried out using a comb only, fails to provide uniform rearrangement of the cuticle, thus suffering from uncertain finish.
An objective of the present invention is to provide a device that allows to carry out strainer or the like operations on the hair which is gentler to the hair than the operation employing the aforementioned panel, and of greater certainty than the operation using a comb only. A further objective of the present invention is to provide a hair styling iron which can be handled with ease even on thick and/or long hair and enables application of sufficient pressures. A still further objective of the present invention is to provide a hair styling iron capable of providing simultaneous heating and pressing treatment and yet causing less sensation of heat even when touching the heated portion thereof. A still further objective of the present invention is to provide a hair styling iron that allows an easy operation even on a confined region of short hair such as over the nape (back) or around the ears and yet causes less sensation of heat when holding its heated portions with fingers, thereby making it possible to carry out a delicate operation with certainty.
The hair styling iron of the present invention is characterized in that it comprises (A) a first lever including a grip portion, a plate portion equipped with an electric heater, and a fulcrum portion, and (B) a second lever including another grip portion opposed to the grip portion of the first lever, a plate portion equipped with an electric heater and opposed to the plate portion of the first lever, and a fulcrum portion pivotally supported by the fulcrum portion of the first lever.
In such a type of hair styling iron, a spring is preferably interposed between the first and the second levers to render the plate portions biased in the direction away from each other. Also, it is preferable that the plate portion of the first lever and (or) the second lever has ridges along the perimeter thereof, and it is more preferable that the plate portion of the first lever and (or) the second lever has been subjected to a flocking treatment from the perimeter to the outer surface thereof. Each of the fulcrum portions of the first lever and the second lever may be located between the respective grip and plate portions. In this case, the first lever is preferably provided in two separate parts divided by a median plane along the both sides, which then is assembled and integrally connected after pivotally sandwiching, between the bilateral half bodies of its fulcrum portion, the fulcrum portion of the second lever. It is further more preferable that the present hair styling iron is provided with a pilot lamp which blinks at predetermined intervals while the electric heater thereof is energized.
Furthermore, the fulcrum portions of the first and the second levers may be located at the rear end of the respective grip portions. In this case, it is preferable that a finger resting portion is provided on the outer side of each of the plate portions, with an intervening space for heat insulation being positioned therebetween.
The finger resting portion is preferably made up of a board-like or bar-like element that is continuous at its forward region to the surface of the plate portion, and at its rearward region to the grip portion.
In the hair styling iron of the present invention, the plate portions can be closed toward each other by causing a pivotal motion of the first and the second levers relative to each other around the fulcrum portions by gripping the grip portions of the first and second levers. The temperature of the plate portions can be elevated by energizing the heaters. Therefore, it is possible, by taking a strand of hair in one hand and then sandwiching it between the plate portions of the hair styling iron held in the other hand, to apply to the hair an elevated temperature as well as an evenly distributed pressure. In addition, by gently stroking the hair with the hair styling iron in this situation, a strainer operation can be performed.
Thus, as the hair styling iron of the present invention enables a strainer operation with simultanoues heating, it allows an effective strainer operation even with a perming solution at lower concentrations. Therefore, this is more friendly to the hair than the aforementioned operation where a strong stroke is applied with a comb and a panel. Thus it damaging hair. Moreover, it provides a more reliable strainer operation than the operation by means of a comb only.
The hair styling iron which is provided with a spring to render the plate portions biased in a direction away from each other, opening and closing of the plate portions can be effected simply by controlling the amount of the gripping force applied on the grip portions. It is thus also easy to control the pressure levels. In the hair styling iron provided with ridges formed along the perimeter of the plate portion, the temperature of the ridges, as cooled by surrounding air, remains lower than that of the other part of the plate portion even while the temperature of the latter is elevated. Therefore, an inadvertent contact with the skin would not cause excessive sensation of heat. Further, the hair styling iron which has been subjected to a flocking treatment from the perimeter to the outer surface of its plate portion, due to its lowered thermal conduction, will not cause an excessive sensation of heat when a limited contact with the skin occurs.
In the hair styling iron in which each of the fulcrum portions of the first and the second levers is located between the corresponding grip and plate portions, opening and closing of the plate portions is effected in the same manner as in handling pliers, i.e., by gripping the grip portion of the first lever with, for example, the thumb and the index finger and holding the grip portion of the second lever between, for example, the ring finger and the little finger. This type of hair styling iron is able to generate strong pressures between the plate portions because a sufficiently long distance may be adopted between the grip and the fulcrum portions.
In the hair styling iron in which the first lever is provided in two separate parts divided by a median plane along the both sides, which parts then is assembled and integrally connected after pivotally sandwiching the fulcrum portion of the second lever between the bilateral halves of its fulcrum portion, it is allowed for the second lever to be securely held by the first lever. In the type which is provided with a pilot lamp which blinks at predetermined intervals while the electric heaters are energized, it is allowed for the operator to conveniently follow the time lapse in each treatment by simply counting the blinks while performing thermal press treatment on the sandwiched portion of the hair.
With the hair styling iron in which each of the fulcrum portions is located at the rear end of the corresponding grip portion, it is possible to widely open and close the plate portions by slightly opening and closing the grip portions. In addition, as each of the fulcrum portions is located at the rear end, a compact configuration is possible. In this type of hair styling iron, moreover, when a finger resting portion is provided on the outer side of each of the plate portions, with an intervening space for heat insulation being positioned therebetween, less heat is conducted from the plate portion to the finger resting portion, thereby allowing to firmly close the plate portions using fingers without being disturbed by heat. Also, this configuration enables an easy operation even on a confined region of short hair, such as over the nape or around the ears, for it allows handling with fingers applied in close proximity to the plate portions, i.e. the portions between which a strand of hair is actually sandwiched.
Where the finger resting portion is made up of a board-like or bar-like element that is continuous, at its forward region, to the surface of the plate portion and, at its rearward region to the grip portion, it is allowed to readily mold the finger resting portion, plate portion and grip portion as a unitary part. In addition, as the finger resting portion is supported at its both ends, high flexural rigidity is provided. Furthermore, the wide surface area of the finger resting portion provides efficient cooling.
Embodiments of the hair styling iron of the present invention are described in greater detail below with reference to the drawings.
The hair styling iron A illustrated in
In addition, rectangular openings 9 and 10 are defined in the front face of the fulcrum portion 5 and in the region from the rear end of the fulcrum portion 5 to the lower portion of the forward end of the grip portion 4, respectively, to pass the sandwiching member 2 through them. On the inner walls of the fulcrum portion 5, a protruding cylindrical bearing portion 11 is formed for providing pivotal support to the sandwiching member 2, as well as a spring receptacle 13 for receiving the upper end of a spring 12 is also defined. The spring 12 serves to pivotally bias the sandwiching member 2 so that, as illustrated in
On the other hand, the sandwiching member 2 includes a lever portion 15, a fulcrum portion 16 which extends forwardly from the upper portion of the forward end of the lever portion 15, and a plate portion 17 which extends forwardly from the forward end of the fulcrum portion 16. The lever portion 15, when assembled as illustrated in
The fulcrum portion 16 is of a shape such that the rearward part 16b thereof has undergone a downward translational shift relative to the forward part 16a. As illustrated in
The lever portion 15 of the sandwiching member 2 is angled in its middle, with the rearward part extending obliquely downwardly. This allows secure engagement with the ring finger and the little finger. As is the case of the body 1, also the sandwiching member 2 may be, for example, a molded article of a heat-resistant plastic. As desired, it may also be produced through die casting of metals such as aluminum or zinc.
The plate portions 6 and 17 of the body 1 and the sandwiching member 2, respectively, have been subjected to an electrostatic flocking treatment from the perimeter to the outer surface thereof so as to lessen the sensation of heat when they come into contact with the skin. Flocking treatment may be carried out by embedding nylon pile fibers vertically in the surface layer of the plate portions which has been dissolved with naphtha. In addition, the surface of the plates 8 and 18 has been subjected to a treatment that serves to reduce friction, e.g. Teflon coating, thereby allowing easy slide of the hair therebetween. Teflon coating further improves non-tackiness, heat resistance and erosion resistance.
The body 1 and the sandwiching member 2 thus provided are assembled as follows: First, the sandwiching member 2 is assembled by nesting the heater 18 within the half body 17a of the plate portion 17 of the sandwiching member 2, and then matching and securing therewith the other half body 17b (see FIG. 3). Preferably, one of the half bodies is provided with pin-like projections, which are mated with corresponding bores formed in the other half body, in order to assist positioning and reinforce connection (see FIGS. 4a and 4b). As desired, an adhesive may be applied. Then, the pivot pin 22 is inserted in the bore 21 of the fulcrum portion 16 of the sandwiching member 2. The heater 8 is then nested within the plate portion 6 of the half body 1a of the body 1, the spring 12 is inserted into the bore 23, and then the end of the pivot pin 22 are mated with the bearing portions 11 of the fulcrum portion 5 of the body 1. Finally, the other half body 1b of body 1 is integrally connected, with the fulcrum portion 16 passing through the openings 9 and 10. Thus, the hair styling iron as illustrated in
The reference numeral 24 in
The thus assembled hair styling iron A is used as exemplified in FIG. 6. That is, the hair styling iron A is held, with, for example, the thumb and the index finger, with the grip portion 4 of the body 1 facing upward, a strand of hair P sliced with the left hand is placed between the plate portions, and then pressure is applied by pulling the lever with, for example, the ring and the small fingers. In this manner, a press-treatment is performed in which the hair is subjected to a pressure while being simultaneously heated at an appropriate temperature. The time lapse during the press treatment, e.g. a span of several seconds, can readily be followed based on the blinking of the pilot lamp 24. In addition, a strainer operation can be carried out by sliding the plate portions toward the tip of the hair, with the strand of hair B being lightly sandwiched therebetween. For this purpose, a slice of 1-3 cm wide is proper. While sliding the hair styling iron A, tension is preferably applied to the strand of hair P by lightly pulling it downwardly with the left hand.
With the above hair styling iron A, as heat and pressure can be applied to the hair sandwiched between the plate portions 6 and 17 of the body 1 and the sandwiching member 2, a partially curled area of the hair could be corrected with ease. In addition, as a heater is included in each of the plate portions 6 and 17 of the body 1 and the sandwiching member 2, a simultaneous and uniform heating is effected on both sides of the sandwiched strand of hair P. Furthermore, as the plate portions 6 and 17 of the body 1 and the sandwiching member 2 are biased to open by means of the spring 12, easy control of pressure is available. Still further, each of the plate portions 6 and 17 of the hair styling iron A has been subjected to an electrostatic flocking treatment on its outer surface (i. e. the surface opposite to the side nesting the heater H and the plate 8 or 18) and perimeter, and the ridges 14 are provided on each of the perimeters of the plate portions 6 and 17. Thus, an inadvertent touch on the skin with the outer surface or perimeter of the plate portions 6 or 17 would not cause excessive sensation of heat.
A description is given below to a procedure of carrying out a straight perm operation using the hair styling iron A:
To begin with, a first solution for straight-perming is applied to the hair, and the hair is allowed to stand for a while so as to assure the first solution sufficiently soaking into the hair, thus reducing and softening the hair with the solution. Then after conducting a softening test to confirm that a desired level of softening is reached, the hair is subjected to an intermediate washing with water to wash away the agent adsorbed on the hair. Then, after removing excess water from the hair, the aforementioned strainer treatment is started (2-3 strainer operations for a single slice of hair). A second solution is then applied to the hair, and the hair is allowed to stand, while keeping it extended straight, for effecting oxidation and thereby restoration of elasticity of the hair with the second solution to complete straight-perming.
In this straight-perming treatment, a strainer operation is performed primarily for evenly rearranging cuticle to the tip of the hair, thereby giving the hair a glossy smooth surface.
While in the above embodiment, the sandwiching member 2 is passed through the openings 9 and 10 formed in the body 1, a configuration is also allowed in which a sandwiching member and a body are simply crossed against each other and connected with a pivot pin, as in the manner known for usual scissors.
A hair styling iron B illustrated in
As illustrated in
The plate portion 6, as in the hair styling iron A aforementioned, has flat and generally rectangular configuration, the inner side (the side opposed to the second lever 27) of which is formed with a rectangular recess 7, within which a plate 8 containing a plain heater H is nested, with its outer surface being exposed. The plate 8 is made of a thin metal sheet. As illustrated in
The grip portion 4 is narrower in width than and somewhat elevated compared with the plate portion 6. As
As illustrated in
The inner wall 42a of the rear portion 42 located to rearward of the fulcrum portion 5 of the first lever 26, i.e. the wall opposed to the second lever, is angled relative to the grip portion 4 by half of the aforementioned maximal opening angle. Therefore, inner walls 42a of the rear portions 42 provide a stopper. In the rear end wall 42b is defined an opening 23 for an electric cord. The upper wall 42c of the rear portion 42 is angled upwardly toward the rear end. This angle serves as an anti-slip configuration to prevent the hair styling iron held by the operator from slipping off.
As illustrated in
An example of assembling procedure of the hair styling iron B is described below:
First, one of the shaft members 38a of the spring shaft 38 is fit in the boss 39 of the left half body 26b of the first lever 26, with the locking ridge 41 being engaged with the locking groove 40. Then, the right half body 27b of the second lever 27 is pivoted by 180° about the pivot axis S with respect to the left half body 26b of the first lever 26. In this orientation, the other shaft member 38b of the spring shaft 38 is fit in the boss 39, with the locking ridge 41 being engaged with the locking groove 40. Then, against the biasing force of the torsion coil spring 38c, the right half body 27b of the second lever 27 is pivoted back by 180° for allowing it to meet the half body 26b of the first lever 26. Then, the remaining half bodies 26a and 27a are mated with corresponding half bodies 26b and 27b, respectively. In this process, positioning is made by placing each bearing portion 36 over the corresponding shaft portion 37. Thus, the first lever 26 and the second lever 27, respectively, are integrally assembled.
The heaters H and the plates 8 are inserted into the plate portion 6 of one of the half bodies either before the start of the assembling procedure or just prior to the assembling of the half bodies. The cord Hc of the heater H of the first lever 26 has been connected to the output terminals of the switch SW and the cord from the input terminals of the switch SW is directed out of an opening 43 defined in the rear. As illustrated in
The lamp 24 and the method for controlling its on-off is the same as described with regard to the hair styling iron A.
In the hair styling iron B thus assembled, each of the first lever 26 and the second lever 27 is formed into an integral unit. As the shaft portion 37 of each of the half bodies 26b and 27b is in slidable contact with the inner surface of the bearing portion 36, the first and the second levers are pivotal relative to each other about the pivot axis S. Therefore, the plate portions 8 are brought into abutment against each other by pinching the both finger resting portions 31 together with the thumb and the index finger while holding the hair styling iron on the grip portions 4 (see phantom lines in FIG. 8b). With the switch SW put on beforehand, the temperature of the heaters H has been elevated. Thus, press treatment can be carried out, in which the hair is sandwiched and then pressed between the plates 8 while heating it at an appropriate temperature. As the plates 8 are biased away from each other by the biasing force that the torsion coil spring 38c generates, reduction of gripping force first causes reduction of the pressure and then results in the plate portions 8 going apart from each other. This motion ceases when the inner walls 42a of the rear portions 42 abut against each other.
Also with the hair styling iron B, a strainer operation can be carried out in the same matter as with the aforementioned hair styling iron A. In addition, as it is made compact, the hair styling iron B is easy to handle with one hand. Therefore, it allows a relatively easy press treatment even on a confined region of short hair such as over the nape or around the ears by placing the strand of hair sliced with, for example, the left hand between the plates 8, and appropriately adjusting the force applied to the finger resting portions 31 with the thumb and the index finger while holding the grip portions 4. In such a case, easy operation is allowed as heat conduction to the finger resting portions 31 is hindered by the slit 32 defined between the finger resting portions 31 and the plate portions 6.
In this embodiment, as the first lever 26 and the second lever 27 are given the same shape, there is provided an advantage of lowering the costs of production and maintenance of the metal mold required. However, it is also allowed to adopt other configurations. In the previous embodiment, as the fulcrum portion 5 of the first lever 26 and that of the second lever are combined in nesting fashion, a neat outlook is provided, with the shaft ends or the like being concealed once assembled. However, it is also allowed that the fulcrum portions are simply crossed against each other and connected with a pivot pin, in the same manner as usual scissors. Moreover, it is also allowed that the spring shaft 38 is eliminated and the plate portions are opened with fingers.
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|U.S. Classification||132/224, 219/222, 132/225, 132/229|
|International Classification||A45D1/04, A45D2/40, A45D1/00|
|Cooperative Classification||A45D1/04, A45D2/001|
|European Classification||A45D2/00S, A45D1/04|