CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
This present application claims the benefit of, and hereby incorporates by reference, Provisional Application No. 61/600,474 filed Feb. 17, 2012.
- SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM
Hair extensions are a method of adding length to human hair by incorporating artificial hair or natural hair collected from other individuals. The hair extensions are attached to the base of the recipient's natural hair.
Current hair extension attachment techniques include the use of clips, rings, glue, and other attachment means that cause the hair to look bulky and unnatural. Moreover, such means of attachment are time-consuming. For example, hair must be strung through a small ring with a very narrow opening using an instrument to pull hair through the narrow opening. Due to hair growth, such attachment means last for only 2-3 months before the attachment means begin to slide off.
For the foregoing reasons, there is a need for an attachment means that secures hair extensions in a manner that makes the hair look natural, that is less time-consuming, and that grips onto hair for a longer period of time. The solution is in the form of the present invention that comprises a flat clip with an open end through which hair can be passed through. The overall flatness of the clip removes the bulky look when the hair extensions are applied, providing a natural looking hair extension. More importantly, the inside of the clip comprises knurling, which creates friction against the hairs natural tendency to slide out of the clip. A first utensil is used to clamp down on the clip, closing the open end and further flattening the clip. A second utensil is used to open the clips and release the hair extensions.
The present invention is directed to a method and device that satisfies this need to attach hair extensions in a manner that looks natural, is less time-consuming, and that remains attached for a longer period of time. The device comprises a clip that is substantially flat with an open end. The clip preferably has two interior walls and two curved corners. At least one of the interior walls has a knurling to keep hair firmly secured within the clip. The open end of the clip slightly overlaps with an exterior wall of the clip when clamped down. Once clamped down, the clip is flattened, providing for a more natural looking hair extension. The simple clamping method presses the clip walls and knurling together creating friction between the hairs so that they remain attached for a longer period of time.
The clamping method is achieved by using the first utensil of the present invention. The utensil comprises prongs having ridged interior surfaces. The utensil is used to clamp down the clip's open end, secure the hair, and flatten the clip. The utensil can also be used to add knurling to clips that have no knurling, or to add an additional knurling to clips. With the use of a knurled interior surface, either pre-embedded in the clip or added to the clip with the first utensil, the clip can maintain the hair extension for up to 4-5 months, as compared to conventional hair extensions that last for only 2-3 months. A second utensil with pointed prongs can be used to remove the clip and hair extension if desired.
FIG. 1A illustrates a perspective view of a clip embodying features of the present invention.
FIG. 2A illustrates a side view of a clip embodying features of the present invention in the open position.
FIG. 2B illustrates a sectional view of a clip embodying features of the present invention as shown in FIG. 2A.
FIG. 3 illustrates a top view of a clip embodying features of the present invention.
FIG. 4 illustrates a side view of a clip embodying features of the present invention in the closed position.
FIG. 5 illustrates a side view of an alternate embodiment of a clip embodying features of the present invention in the open position.
FIG. 6A illustrates a first utensil embodying features of the present invention used to clamp down the clip and create knurling on the clip.
FIG. 6B illustrates a close-up view of the first utensil prongs shown in FIG. 6A.
FIG. 7 illustrates a second utensil embodying features of the present invention used to open and remove the clip and hair extension.
FIGS. 1-7 illustrate a method and lock for hair extensions. The method and lock for hair extensions comprises a clip 100 that is substantially flat with an open end 108 as best shown in FIGS. 1-5. The clip further comprises two interior walls 102 and two curved corners 104, with the ends of the clip 100 wrapping towards each other. FIGS. 6A-B illustrates a first plyer-shaped utensil 600 comprising a ridged interior surface 604 on the utensil prongs 602 used to clamp down the clip's open end 108, secure the hair, and flatten the clip 100. Also, the ridged interior surface 604 allows the utensil 600 to be used for creating a knurling texture on the clip's 100 interior walls 102. FIG. 7 illustrates a second plyer-shaped utensil 700 comprising pointed prongs 702 to open and remove the clip and hair extension.
Referring to FIG. 1-4, at least one of the clip's 100 interior walls has a knurled surface 106. In a preferred embodiment, the clips 100 are made of copper for pliability and improved grip. Although copper is a preferred material, other metallic or composite materials that may be formed into a clip 100 as described may be used. After the hair is passed through the clip's 100 interior walls, the open clip 100 is inserted into the first plyer-shaped utensil 600 to be closed by compression. When the clip 100 is compressed using the first plyer-shaped utensil 600, the open end 108 of the clip 100 slightly overlaps with the exterior wall 110 as best shown in FIGS. 3-4. Once compressed closed, the walls and knurling 106 are pressed towards each other, flattening the clip 100 and creating friction to securely hold the hair in the clip 100.
In a preferred embodiment, the inside of the clip 100 is entirely knurled 106 for better grip. Also, in a preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 5, the clip 100 has a stepped shape on the exterior wall 110, so that when the clip 100 is closed down, the open end 108 of the clip 100 that slightly overlaps with exterior wall 110 of the clip 100 is almost completely flush.
The first plyer-shaped utensil 600 shown in FIGS. 6A-B comprises prongs 602 with interior ridged surfaces 604 shown in FIG. 6B. In a preferred embodiment, the first plyer-shaped utensil 600 is made of a metal or other material suitable to withstand the forces necessary to compress and knurl the clip 100. The second plyer-shaped utensil 700 shown in FIG. 7 comprises prongs 702 that are pointed.
The clip 100 and first plyer-shaped utensil 600 is used together for the attachment of hair extensions. If the clip 100 is not knurled, or needs additional knurling, the first plyer-shaped utensil 600 can be used by inserting the ridged interior surface 604 of the prongs 602 into the clip 100 so that the ridged interior surface 604 is in contact with the interior wall 102 of the clip. The first plyer-shaped utensil 600 handles 606 are then squeezed together, compressing the clip 100 wall between the prongs 602. The resulting compression creates a knurled surface 106 on the interior surface of the clip 100. Next, The natural hair of the person receiving the hair extensions is passed through the clip 100 along with the hair extension so that they overlap across interior walls 102 and curved corners 104 of the clip 100. The first plyer-shaped utensil 600 is positioned so that the ridged interior surface 604 of the prongs 602 are on the open end 108 of the clip 100. Next, the handles 606 are squeezed together, compressing the clip's 100 open end 108 and exterior walls 110 together. After being compressed, the clip's 100 is flattened, allowing the hairs to be secured between the interior walls 102 and knurling 106. When the clip 100 is to be removed, the second plyer-shaped utensil 700 with pointed prongs 702, as illustrated in FIG. 7, is inserted into the clip 100. When the second plyer-shaped utensil 700 handles 706 (not shown) are squeezed, the clip's 100 open end 108 is opened, allowing the clip and hair to be released.
All features disclosed in this specification, including any accompanying claim, abstract, and drawings, may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise, each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features.
Any element in a claim that does not explicitly state “means for” performing a specified function, or “step for” performing a specific function, is not to be interpreted as a “means” or “step” clause as specified in 35 U.S.C. §112, paragraph 6. In particular, the use of “step of” in the claims herein is not intended to invoke the provisions of 35 U.S.C. §112, paragraph 6.
Although preferred embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, various modifications and substitutions may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is to be understood that the present invention has been described by way of illustration and not limitation.