BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to hair extension and in particular to a hair extension system and method with the extension hair already installed on the extension connector for speed and ease of application.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Hair extension is a natural looking way to have longer hair of any desired length in one installation session. Prior art systems and methods often involve painstaking and time consuming ways of braiding small quantities of existing hair with small quantities of extension hair, either shorn human hair or synthetic hair and then connecting the two together in a somewhat secure way to maintain the extension hair in place and achieve a natural looking long head of hair.
Because the look is more natural looking and more secure by interconnecting small strands of existing hair with extension hair, the process requires many small operations of interconnecting the small strands. Most of the prior art attempts at creating systems and methods of hair extension require lengthy expensive sessions to carry out the extension treatment.
Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 6,405,736, issued Jun. 18, 2002 to Townsend, shows self adhesive hair extensions and a method of attaching then to the head of a wearer. The self adhesive hair extensions comprise a plurality of either natural or synthetic hair strands attached to a base support comprising a strip of woven material or hair attachment weave or welt at one end. A fastener comprising a self adhesive tape portion and removable backing is sewn or otherwise secured by stitching to the hair extensions in order to prevent the adhesive tape from being separated or repositioned during use. The method of use comprise separating a users hair along a part line into an upper portion and a lower portion wherein the upper portion is temporarily swept up and away from the part line. The removable backing is removed from the adhesive hair fastener exposing the removable self-adhesive tape, said self-adhesive tape is applied to the scalp or back of head of user.
Prior art U.S. Pat. No. D447,286, issued Aug. 28, 2001 to Diaz, claims the ornamental design for a hair extension.
Prior art U.S. Pat. No. D433,774, issued Nov. 14, 2000 to Diaz, also describes the ornamental design for a hair extension.
Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 5,899,211, issued May 4, 1999 to Brown, discloses an artificial hair piece that includes an independent extension of synthetic human hair secured at one end to a stretchable, twistable, and foldable elastic loop or band. The opposite end of the extension can either be free or can be gathered and tied or otherwise bound. The elastic loop can be used to secure gathered actual hair of a user into, for example, a ponytail. The hair extension can then be wrapped around the elastic loop to hide it from view and give the impression that the hair extension is securing the ponytail in place. The hair extension can be selected to match one or more characteristic of the user's own hair.
Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 5,899,209, issued May 4, 1999 to McDonald, indicates a hair extension that includes hair strands affixed to a ring assembly. The ring assembly comprises an inner ring and an outer ring. The inner ring is configured to nest within the outer ring, with distal ends of the hair strands impinged between the inner and outer rings. A plait of a user's hair is inserted through the ring assembly of the hair extension. In one embodiment, the hair extension is attached to the plait with a band, or by sewing the hair extension to the plait. In another embodiment, the ring assembly is modified with a fastening assembly for fastening the hair extension to the plait.
Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 5,894,846, issued Apr. 20, 1999 to Gang, puts forth a device for lengthening a person's own hair using artificial and/or genuine hair and for the permanent fastening of artificial and/or genuine hair. The invention is characterized in that a tube, which can be shrunk when energy is applied, is disposed above a thickened portion, secured in position, in particular a knot in a strand of a person's own hair and above an extension piece of artificial and/or genuine hair. An energy-application device, in particular in the form of heating irons, transfers thermal energy in a deliberate manner to the shrinkable tube. The method in which the device is used is characterized by the following steps; knotting a strand of the person's own hair, sliding onto the knot in the hair strand a fastening element which can shrink when energy is applied, sliding an extension strand of artificial and/or genuine hair into the tube; and shrinking the shrinkable fastening element by the application of energy.
Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 5,868,145, issued Feb. 9, 1999 to Spann, concerns an improved hair extension and thickening process which reduces shedding, resists physical and chemical degradation, and which, further, provides for safely, easily, and cleanly removing the supplemental hair from the natural hair. A weft of natural or synthetic supplemental hair is suspended upon a mounting surface. A small bundle of supplemental hair is segregated from the weft. Liquid latex is applied thereto, and the latex is twisted into it so that the supplemental hair is thoroughly coated, intertwined, and bonded together at the junction so formed. Cyanoacrylate adhesive is applied to further bond the bundle of supplemental hair. The supplemental bundles are then permanently separated from the weft. The supplemental bundle may later be bonded to a person's natural hair through the use of a hot melt acrylic adhesive. Release and separation of the supplemental bundle from the person's natural hair is conveniently, safely, and cleanly obtained through the use of acetone.
Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 5,813,418, issued Sep. 29, 1998 to Pillars, illustrates a color matched hair clip device with and without an unlocking key combination, and a method for adding and removing multiple hair extensions or tracks to a person's head without resorting to sewing or gluing as practiced conventionally. The hair clip device is made up of a comb element and a cover element which “Ziplocs”.TM., with a locking guard element in the first embodiment. The U-shaped locking guard has a hooked sheath at each end. The cover element has two track snaps or hair extension holders under which the hair extensions are attached. The second embodiment dispenses with the locking guard and utilizes plastic snaps for both the hair extension holders, the comb teeth and the cover element for securing the hair extensions. The method of use comprises placing the comb element close to the scalp, engaging the end teeth of the comb with the sheathed ends of the locking guard, wrapping the natural hair around the comb to be held initially by the sheathed locking guard's external hooks, and either interlocking the cover element with the locking guard or snapping the hair extension holders and the cover element for securing the hair extensions. A special key is provided for removal of the locking guard or the snaps of the hair clip device and the attached hair extensions. The key is designed to effectively perform the operation with a minimum of effort and without damaging the hair clip device.
Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 5,752,530, issued May 19, 1998 to Traintinger, is for a method of attaching foreign hair to naturally grown scalp hair. First, a strand of scalp hair is combined with a strand of foreign hair. A clamping sleeve is slipped onto the loop of a loop catcher. Then the combined strand is inserted into loop and it is pulled into and through the clamping sleeve with the loop catcher. The combined strand of scalp hair and foreign hair are then preliminarily attached by pre-squeezing the sleeve. After the sleeve is properly placed in the vicinity of the scalp, the sleeve is finally pressed so as to clamp the foreign hair to the scalp hair. The sleeve, which is preferably of the same color as the hair, may be removed by prying it open with bent-nose pliers provided with the invention.
Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 5,121,761, issued Jun. 16, 1992 to Meister, provides a method for the attachment of extensions or wefts of hair to the naturally growing hair of a person. First, the location of where the extension is to be attached to the person is determined. Then, the hair is parted along that location. The hair along the part is gathered together in small clumps. A crimpable anchor device is located onto each clump of hair. Each anchor device is positioned along the respective hair clump to a position near the scalp of the person. The anchor devices are crimped so as to secure their positions. Then, the extension is sewn to the clumps of hair using needle and thread. The needle and thread pass through the respective clumps at locations between the anchor devices and the scalp. The naturally growing hair is allowed to fall in place so as to cover the points of attachment.
Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 5,107,867, issued Apr. 28, 1992 to Barrington, shows a reversible process for attaching permanent extensions to human hair in which strands of supplemental hair are joined with a thermostable adhesive to form a plug of supplemental hair. A coating of thermosetting adhesive is applied over the thermostable adhesive and cured. Strands of the person's natural hair are threaded through a section of heat shrinkable tubing, the plug of supplemental hair is inserted into the heat shrinkable tubing, and heat is applied to the heat shrinkable tubing so that the thermosetting adhesive liquifies and joins the plug of supplemental hair and natural hair, and the heat shrinkable tubing shrinks in size to compress and seal the junction. The permanent extension can be removed by reapplication of heat to the heat shrinkable tubing.
Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 4,934,387, issued Jun. 19, 1990 to Megna, describes a process for lengthening the hair of persons who have short hair and for thickening the hair for those who have a relatively small amount of hair. The process comprises the steps of aligning supplemental hair with the natural hair, adhering the supplemental hair to the natural hair utilizing a colored thermoplastic glue, intertwining the warm adhered natural and supplemental hair together to permit a binding of the supplemental to the natural hair, and then styling the combined hair. A technique for preparing the thermoplastic glue is also disclosed.
Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 3,530,862 issued Sep. 29, 1970 to Hudson, provides a hair piece made by aligning hair to a rod-like member, trimming the hair ends, grouping the hair covered rods together and coating the trimmed ends with an elastomeric binder to form a web-like base.
Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 2,621,663, issued Dec. 16, 1952 to Jenkins, discloses a method for permanently attaching commercial hair to live hair in which the attachment point is rendered invisible.
What is needed is a system and method of quickly interconnecting each small strand of existing hair with each small strand of extension hair to speed up the process while still retaining the natural look and strength of each connection.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
An object of the present invention is to provide hair extension connecting tubes with extension hair already attached to the connecting tubes for a hair extension system and method of quickly interconnecting each small strand of existing hair with each small strand of extension hair to speed up the process while still retaining the natural look and strength of each connection.
Another object of the present invention is to provide small inexpensive hair extension connector tubes with the extension hair preinstalled in half the tube, which makes the process of hair extension much easier for the hair stylist and much more affordable to the client due to the cost and time saved by the salon, requiring that the existing strand of hair merely be pulled through the tube adjacent to the strand of extension hair and the tube sealed to secure the two strands together
One more object of the present invention is to provide soft metal tubes that match the existing hair color which are fabricated from a very malleable metal, such as copper creates a highly effective and speedy device and method for hair extension by simply crimping the tube closed tight in a flat configuration securing the existing strand and extension strand together in the tube
An additional object of the present invention is to provide soft metal tubes, which also enable easy loosening of the tubes by prying them apart. The stylist can then push the tubes closer to the scalp and recrimp after existing hair growth has occurred to maintain the tubes close to the scalp so that they are covered by a layer of hair and not visible
In brief, a hair extension system comprises a series of short malleable tubes, each of which has a central tube opening therethrough. The tube formed of a malleable material, such as copper, is capable of being flattened and opened reversibly. A strand of extension hair, either shorn human hair or synthetic hair, is inserted through the tube opening and affixed to the tube by an attaching means, preferably strong glue, on one side, leaving room to draw existing hair through the tube. The extension hair strand may be affixed to the tube by a sewing means in addition or as an alternative to an adhesive means. The tube is capable of being opened at a later date to permit the tube to be repositioned on the stand of existing hair, closer to the scalp, and recompressed to bind the two strands therein. The tube in easily concealed by the client's hair when it is positioned near the scalp. The tube may be manufactured in colors to match shades of existing hair, making it even lower in visibility.
A second embodiment of the hair extension tube has a longitudinal split in the tube running parallel to the strand of extension hair and is capable of being folded in half into a compressed V shape after being compressed flat.
The system also provides crimping and opening tools for flattening and reversibly opening the hair extension tube.
An advantage of the present invention is that the extension hair is preinstalled in half of the tube saving time in the installation process.
Another advantage of the present invention is that it is a highly effective and speedy device to use.
An additional advantage of the present invention is that the soft metal tubes are easily opened and closed.
One more advantage of the present invention is that it is the device may be adjusted closer to the scalp as the client's hair grows out.
Yet another advantage of the present invention is that the tubes are positioned close to the scalp so that they are covered by a layer of hair and not visible.
Still another advantage of the present invention is that the color of the tubes can be matched to the color of the client's hair.
A final advantage of the present invention is that it is much more affordable to the client due to the cost and time saved by the salon.