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Patentes

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Número de publicaçãoUS20140338689 A1
Tipo de publicaçãoCandidatura
Número de candidaturaUS 13/895,350
Data de publicação20 Nov 2014
Data de apresentação15 Mai 2013
Data de prioridade15 Mai 2013
Número de publicação13895350, 895350, US 2014/0338689 A1, US 2014/338689 A1, US 20140338689 A1, US 20140338689A1, US 2014338689 A1, US 2014338689A1, US-A1-20140338689, US-A1-2014338689, US2014/0338689A1, US2014/338689A1, US20140338689 A1, US20140338689A1, US2014338689 A1, US2014338689A1
InventoresAmanda Louise Shuttleworth
Beneficiário OriginalAmanda Louise Shuttleworth
Exportar citaçãoBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Links Externos: USPTO, Atribuição na USPTO, Espacenet
Hair Extension Beads and Tip
US 20140338689 A1
Resumo
A device for attaching hair extensions is provided. In one embodiment, an oblong-shaped bead includes an exterior surface. The exterior surface includes a first longitudinal section, a second longitudinal section, a first lateral section, and a second lateral section. A length of a longitudinal section is greater than a length of a lateral section of the oblong-shaped bead. A first aperture at a first end of the oblong-shaped bead is adapted to receive a lock of the native hair of a wearer. A second aperture is at a second end of the oblong-shaped bead. An interior surface of the bead defines a channel adapted to enclose a portion of the lock of the native hair and a tip of the hair extension. The oblong-shaped bead is composed of a material capable of being constricted to attach the hair extension to the lock of native hair.
Imagens(8)
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Reivindicações(20)
What is claimed is:
1. A device for attaching a hair extension, the device comprising:
a bead having an oblong-shape, the oblong-shaped bead further comprising:
an exterior surface of the oblong-shaped bead, the exterior surface further comprising a first longitudinal section, a second longitudinal section, a first lateral section, and a second lateral section, wherein a length of a longitudinal section of the oblong-shaped bead is greater than a length of a lateral section of the oblong-shaped bead;
a first aperture at a first end of the oblong-shaped bead, wherein the aperture is adapted to receive a lock of native hair of a wearer, and wherein the lock of the native hair of the wearer comprises a number of strands of the native hair;
a second aperture at a second end of the oblong-shaped bead; and
an interior surface of the bead, wherein the first aperture in the first end of the bead, the second aperture in the second end of the bead, and the interior surface of the bead define a channel adapted to enclose a portion of the lock of the native hair and a tip of the hair extension, and wherein the oblong-shaped bead is composed of a material capable of being constricted to attach the hair extension to a lock of native hair of a wearer.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein the oblong-shape of the bead is a substantially rectangular shape.
3. The device of claim 1 wherein the oblong-shape of the bead is a substantially oval shape.
4. The device of claim 1 wherein the oblong-shaped bead is coated with a colored powder paint to resemble a color of the native hair.
5. The device of claim 1 further comprising:
a diameter of the channel of the bead, wherein the diameter of the channel is a length within a range from 1.5 millimeters to 4.0 millimeters.
6. The device of claim 1 further comprising:
a vertical height of the oblong-shaped bead, wherein the vertical height of the oblong-shaped bead is within a range from 1.75 millimeters to 3.9 millimeters, and wherein the vertical height of the oblong-shaped bead is a measure of a distance from a point associated with the first end of the oblong-shaped bead to a point associated with the second end of the oblong-shaped bead.
7. The device of claim 1 further comprising a length of the longitudinal section is within a range from 2.0 to 20.0 millimeters.
8. The device of claim 1 further comprising:
a vertical height of the bead, wherein the vertical height of the bead is a measure of a distance from a point associated with the first end of the bead to a point associated with the second end the bead, and wherein the vertical height of the bead is a length within a range from 4.0 millimeters to 7.0 millimeters.
9. The device of claim 1 further comprising:
the hair extension, wherein the hair extension further comprises a hair accessory and a tip of the hair accessory, and wherein a shape of the tip is an oblong shape adapted to be threaded into the channel of the oblong-shaped bead.
10. A hair extension comprising:
a hair accessory; and
a moldable bond material, wherein a tip of the hair accessory is embedded within the moldable bond material to form an oblong-shaped bonded tip, wherein the oblong-shaped bonded tip is adapted to be threaded through an oblong-shaped bead for attaching the hair extension to a lock of native hair of a wearer.
11. The hair extension of claim 10 further comprising:
a length of a longitudinal section of the oblong-shaped bonded tip, wherein the length is within a range from 2.0 millimeters to 20 millimeters.
12. The hair extension of claim 10 further comprising:
an oblong-shaped bead comprising:
an exterior surface of the bead comprising a first longitudinal section, a second longitudinal section, a first lateral section, and a second lateral section, wherein a length of a longitudinal section is greater than a length of a lateral section;
a first aperture at a first end of the bead;
a second aperture at a second end of the bead; and
an interior surface of the bead defining a channel adapted to enclose a portion of the lock of the native hair and the tip of the hair accessory.
13. The hair extension of claim 12 wherein the shape of the oblong-shaped bead is a rectangle shape.
14. The hair extension of claim 12 wherein the shape of the oblong-shaped bead is an oval shape.
15. The hair extension of claim 12 further comprising:
a vertical height of the bead, wherein the vertical height of the bead is a measure of a distance from a point associated with the first end of the bead to a point associated with the second end of the bead, and wherein the vertical height of the bead is a length within a range from 1.75 millimeters to 3.9 millimeters; and
a length of the longitudinal section is within a range from 2.0 to 20.0 millimeters.
16. The hair extension of claim 12 further comprising:
a vertical height of the bead, wherein the vertical height of the bead is a measure of a distance from a point associated with the first end of the bead to a point associated with the second end the bead, and wherein the vertical height of the bead is a length within a range from 4.0 millimeters to 7.0 millimeters; and
a length of the longitudinal section is within a range from 5 millimeters to 20.0 millimeters.
17. The hair extension of claim 12 further comprising:
a coating of colored powder paint on the exterior surface of the oblong-shaped bead.
18. A method for creating a hair extension, the method comprising:
selecting a material capable of being constricted; and
creating an oblong-shaped bead adapted to attach a hair extension to native hair of a wearer from the material capable of being constricted, wherein the oblong-shaped bead is adapted to be constricted around a section of a lock of native hair of a wearer and a tip of a hair extension to attach the hair extension to the lock of the native hair of the wearer.
19. The method of claim 18 further comprising:
embedding the tip of the hair extension within a moldable bond material; and
manipulating the moldable bond material to form an oblong-shaped bonded tip of the hair extension, wherein a longitudinal length of the oblong-shaped bonded tip is greater than a lateral length of the oblong-shaped bonded tip.
20. A method for applying hair extensions, the method comprising:
threading a lock of native hair of a wearer through a channel within a main body of an oblong-shaped bead, wherein the channel encloses a portion of the lock of the native hair, and wherein a length of a longitudinal section of the oblong-shaped bead is greater than a length of a lateral section of the oblong-shaped bead;
inserting a tip of a hair extension into an aperture at an end of the oblong-shaped bead; and
constricting the main body of the oblong-shaped bead to attach the hair extension to the lock of the native hair of the wearer.
Descrição
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    1. Field
  • [0002]
    The illustrative embodiments relate generally to hair extensions, and more particularly, to a method and apparatus for improved hair extension beads and hair extension tips.
  • [0003]
    2. Background
  • [0004]
    A hair extension is a natural or synthetic hair accessory that may be attached to native hair of a wearer to enhance, lengthen, or otherwise alter the appearance of the native hair. For example, hair extensions may be utilized to add length to hair, increase hair volume, add color or highlights to hair, cover damaged hair, minimize hair loss, hide imperfections in hair and/or add hair accessories to the native hair of the wearer. As used herein, the term “native hair” refers to hair that grows naturally from the scalp of the wearer.
  • [0005]
    A hair extension may be attached to the native hair using a variety of current methods, including a micro-ring attachment method. In the prior art micro-ring attachment method, a number of strands of native hair of a wearer are threaded through a circular micro-ring positioned along the strands of the native hair near the scalp of the wearer. A tip of the hair extension is inserted into the micro-ring. A tool, such as pliers, is used to compress the micro-ring around the hair extension tip and a section of the strands of the native hair. This process attaches a hair extension and bead to the strands of the native hair.
  • [0006]
    The micro-ring attachment method is frequently used to minimize damage to the native hair of the wearer when hair extensions are attached to the native hair or removed from the native hair. However, attaching hair extensions using the micro-ring attachment method is a time consuming process.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0007]
    An illustrative embodiment provides a device for attaching a hair extension. An exterior surface of an oblong-shaped bead includes a first longitudinal section, a second longitudinal section, a first lateral section, and a second lateral section. A length of a longitudinal section of the oblong-shaped bead is greater than a length of a lateral section of the oblong-shaped bead. The bead includes a first aperture at a first end of the oblong-shaped bead. The first aperture is adapted to receive a lock of the native hair of a wearer. The lock of the native hair of the wearer comprises a number of strands of the native hair. The bead includes a second aperture at a second end of the oblong-shaped bead. The first aperture, the second aperture, and an interior surface of the bead define a channel. The channel is adapted to enclose a portion of the lock of the native hair and a tip of the hair extension. The oblong-shaped bead is composed of a material capable of being constricted to attach the hair extension to a lock of native hair of a wearer.
  • [0008]
    Another embodiment provides a hair extension. The hair extension includes a hair accessory and a moldable bond material. A tip of the hair accessory is embedded within the moldable bond material to form an oblong-shaped bonded tip of the hair extension. The oblong-shaped bonded tip is adapted to be threaded through an oblong-shaped bead for attaching the hair extension to a lock of native hair of a wearer.
  • [0009]
    Yet another embodiment provides a method for creating a hair extension bead. A material capable of being constricted is selected. An oblong-shaped bead is created from the material capable of being constricted. The oblong-shaped bead is adapted to be constricted around a section of the lock of the native hair and a tip of a hair extension to attach the hair extension to the lock of the native hair of a wearer.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0010]
    The novel features believed characteristic of the invention are set forth in the appended claims. The illustrative embodiments, as well as a preferred mode of use, further objectives and advantages thereof, will best be understood by reference to the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
  • [0011]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an oblong-shaped bead in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;
  • [0012]
    FIG. 2 is a side view of the oblong-shaped bead in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;
  • [0013]
    FIG. 3 is an illustration of an oblong-shaped bead having a rectangular shape in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 4 is an illustration of an oblong-shaped bead having an oval shape in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;
  • [0015]
    FIG. 5 is an illustration of a hair extension in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;
  • [0016]
    FIG. 6 is an illustration of a hair extension tip threaded at least partially through an oblong-shaped bead in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;
  • [0017]
    FIG. 7 is an illustration of oblong-shaped beads attaching hair extensions to the native hair of a wearer in accordance with an illustrative embodiment;
  • [0018]
    FIG. 8 is a flowchart illustrating a process for attaching a hair extension using an oblong-shaped bead in accordance with an illustrative embodiment; and
  • [0019]
    FIG. 9 is a flowchart illustrating a process for creating an oblong-shaped bead in accordance with an illustrative embodiment.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0020]
    In the currently known micro-ring attachment method, a hair extension is coupled to the native hair of a wearer by threading a small number of strands of the native hair and a tip of a hair extension through a small, round micro-ring. A micro-ring is a very small round tube. A micro-ring may also be known as a ring, cylinder, micro-cylinder, link, mini-link, connector, tube, trumpet tube, or pro-tube.
  • [0021]
    The user compresses the micro-ring around the strands of native hair and the tip of the hair extension near the scalp to attach the hair extension to the native hair. The user may compress the micro-ring using pliers or other appropriate tool to compress or deform the micro-ring around the tip of the hair extension and the strands of the native hair.
  • [0022]
    The different illustrative embodiments recognize that attaching hair extensions to the native hair of a wearer using currently available micro-rings and/or the micro-ring attachment method is a slow, labor-intensive, cumbersome, and time-consuming process. The embodiments recognize that users spend many hours applying each tiny micro-ring and hair extension to thin strands of the native hair of a wearer by hand. This work is slow and uncomfortable for the user who must tediously thread each thin strand of native hair and each hair extension through each tiny micro-ring.
  • [0023]
    Furthermore, the embodiments recognize that currently available hair extensions and/or use of currently available methods for attaching hair extensions results in a sub-optimal application of hair extensions to the native hair of the wearer. Thus, the different illustrative embodiments recognize that there is a need for a faster and more effective hair extension attachment device and/or method that will reduce the time and difficulty of attaching hair extensions to native hair of a wearer.
  • [0024]
    Moreover, the different illustrative embodiments also recognize that attaching hair extensions using prior art methods is expensive and that many people may not be able to afford to afford hair extensions due to the costs. Thus, a need exists for an improved method for creating hair extensions and coupling the hair extensions to the native hair that will provide improved coverage, resulting in more time efficient and cost-effective application of hair extensions.
  • [0025]
    Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, an oblong-shaped bead is shown in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. The bead 100 includes a first end 118 defined by two longitudinal lengths 104 and 106, and two lateral lengths 108 and 110. In addition, bead 100 includes a second end 122 opposite the first end 118 having substantially similar dimensions.
  • [0026]
    A shape of the first end 118 and second end 122 may be generally described as oblong. An oblong shape may be described as an elongated form. An oblong shape may be achieved when the lateral lengths of a face of bead 100 differ from the longitudinal lengths of the face. In other words, the dimension of one of the longitudinal sections of bead 100 is greater than the dimension of one of the lateral sections. With respect to FIG. 1, the oblong shape of the first and second end of bead 100 is defined by longitudinal lengths 104 and 106 that are greater than the lateral lengths 108 and 110. Thus, a length 112 of the longitudinal section 106 is greater than a length 114 of the lateral section 110 of bead 100, giving bead 100 an oblong or elongated shape.
  • [0027]
    For example, but without limitation, an oblong-shape may be a rectangle shape or an oval shape. A rectangle may be a rectangle having pointed corners or a rectangle having rounded corners. An oval shape may include, without limitation, an ovoid, ellipse, or ovaliform. For example, but without limitation, an oval shaped bead may have a shape substantially in the form of the outline of an egg, a pear, a football, a lemon, or a racetrack shape.
  • [0028]
    Bead 100 is composed of a material capable of being constricted to attach a hair extension to a lock of native hair of a wearer. The material of bead 100 may be, for example but without limitation, copper, aluminum, heat-shrink plastic, or any other material capable of being constricted to attach a hair extension to a lock of the native hair of a wearer. The term “constricted” refers to compressing, crimping, squeezing, shrinking, or contracting.
  • [0029]
    As used herein, the term “hair extension” refers to a hair accessory attached to a lock of the native hair of a wearer using a bead. The term “hair accessory” refers to any object that may form a body of a hair extension. A hair accessory may include, for example, but without limitation, natural hair, artificial hair, feathers, ribbons, tinsel, strings of lights, strings of beads, leaves, or any other type of hair accessory that may be part of a hair extension.
  • [0030]
    As used herein, the term “natural hair” includes human hair or animal hair. Animal hair may be hair from a horse, angora, yak, sheep, or any other animal having hair appropriate in a hair extension. Artificial hair may be any type of synthetic fibers made to have an appearance and/or texture similar to natural human hair.
  • [0031]
    Likewise, as used herein, the term “feathers” refers to any type of natural or artificial feathers capable of being used in a hair extension. Natural feathers may include, for example, but without limitation, one or more rooster feathers, ostrich feathers, peacock feathers, or any other type of feathers. Artificial feathers may be any type of synthetic fibers made to mimic an appearance and/or texture of natural feathers.
  • [0032]
    A lock of native hair of a wearer includes a number of strands of the native hair of the wearer. The term “a number of strands” refers to one or more individual strands of the native hair.
  • [0033]
    An exterior surface 102 of a main body 103 of the bead 100 may optionally be coated in a powdered paint or other coloring to blend with the color of the native hair of the wearer. The powdered paint or other coloring on the exterior surface 102 of the bead 100 may be, without limitation, blond, black, dark brown, light brown, medium brown, red, auburn, burgundy, or any other color to match the color of human hair.
  • [0034]
    In this embodiment, but without limitation, a length 112 of longitudinal section 106 ranges from two (2.0) millimeters to twenty (20.0) millimeters in length. In this example, but without limitation, the length 112 of the longitudinal section 106 of bead 100 is ten (10.0) millimeters in length.
  • [0035]
    The bead 100 has a first aperture 116 at a first end 118 of the bead 100 which joins a second aperture 120 at a second end 122 of the bead 100 forming a channel 126 through the main body 103 of the bead 100. In this embodiment, but without limitation, a lock of the native hair of the wearer may be threaded into the first aperture 116, through the channel 126, and out of the second aperture 120. In other words, the lock of the native hair may be inserted into the bead 100 through the first aperture 116 as the lock of the native hair is threaded through the bead 100.
  • [0036]
    A tip of a hair extension maybe inserted into the bead 100 through the first aperture 116 or through the second aperture 120. A tip of the hair extension is a portion of a hair extension at one end that is embedded in a bond. In this example, but without limitation, a tip of a hair extension is inserted through the second aperture 120 and at least partially through the channel 126 of the main body 103 of the bead 100.
  • [0037]
    An interior surface 124 of the main body 103 of the bead 100 may optionally be grooved, lined, notched, or coated to protect the lock of the native hair, minimize damage to native hair, and/or facilitate attachment of the hair extension to the lock of the native hair. For example, but without limitation, the interior surface 124 may be lined or coated in silicone.
  • [0038]
    The first aperture 116, the second aperture 120, and the interior surface 124 define a channel 126 of the bead 100. The channel 126 is adapted to enclose a portion of the lock of the native hair and a tip of a hair extension. In other words, the lock of the native hair and/or the tip of the hair extension are threaded through the channel 126.
  • [0039]
    As shown in FIG. 2, which is a side view of the oblong-shaped bead, the bead 100 has a diameter 130. The diameter 130 is a measure of a line through a center of the bead 100. The diameter 130 may be a diameter through the center of the channel 126. The diameter 130 may also be defined as a diameter of the first aperture 116 or a diameter of the second aperture 120. The diameter 130 of bead 100 in this example may be from one point five (1.5) millimeters to four (4.0) millimeters. In this illustrative embodiment, but without limitation, the diameter 130 is two (2.0) millimeters in length.
  • [0040]
    The bead 100 has a vertical height 132. The vertical height 132 of the bead 100 is a measure of a vertical distance from a point associated with the first end 118 of the bead 100 to a point associated with the second end 122 of the bead 100. In the alternative, the vertical height 132 may be described as a measure of a distance from a point associated with the first aperture 116 to a point associated with the second aperture 120.
  • [0041]
    In this illustrative embodiment, the vertical height 132 of the bead 100 may be within a range from one point seventy-five (1.75) millimeters to seven (7.0) millimeters. For example, but without limitation, in one embodiment, the bead 100 may have a vertical height 132 that is one point seventy-five (1.75) millimeters and a length 112 of the longitudinal section 106 of the bead that is within a range from two (2.0) millimeters to four (4.0) millimeters.
  • [0042]
    In another embodiment, the vertical height 132 is one point eight (1.8) millimeters and the length 112 is within a range from three (3.0) millimeters to twenty (20) millimeters. In other words, in this embodiment, where the vertical height 132 is one pint eight (1.8) millimeters, the length 112 of the longitudinal section 106 may be three (3.0) millimeters, five (5.0) millimeters, seven (7.0) millimeters, ten (10.0) millimeters, thirteen (13.0) millimeters, seventeen (17.0) millimeters, or twenty (20.0) millimeters long.
  • [0043]
    In yet another embodiment, the bead 100 may have a vertical height 132 within a range from two point two (2.2) millimeters to five (5) millimeters and have with a length 112 of the longitudinal section 106 within a range from five (5) millimeters to twenty (20) millimeters. For example, but without limitation, the vertical height 132 may be two point five (2.5 millimeters with a length 112 of five (5.0) millimeters. In another non-limiting example, the vertical height 132 may be three point five (3.5) millimeters with a length 112 of thirteen (13.0) millimeters.
  • [0044]
    In still another embodiment, the bead 100 may have a vertical height 132 within a range from five point five (5.5) millimeters to twenty (20.0) millimeters and have a length 112 of the longitudinal section 106 within a range from seven (7.0) millimeters to twenty (20) millimeters. In a non-limiting example, the bead 100 may have a vertical height 132 may be 6.0 millimeters with a length 112 of the longitudinal section 106 of seventeen (17.0) millimeters. In another non-limiting example, the bead 100 may have a vertical height 132 of six point nine (6.9) millimeters with a length 112 of ten (10) millimeters. In still another example, but without limitation, the bead may have a vertical height 132 of six point five (6.5) millimeters and a length 112 of seven (7.0) millimeters.
  • [0045]
    In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1-2, the oblong-shape of the bead 100 is an oval 128 shape. The oval 128 shape of the bead 100 permits a user to thread a thicker and/or wider tip of a hair extension and/or a larger, thicker, and/or wider lock of the native hair, containing a greater number of individual native hairs, through the channel 126 of the bead 100 than a prior art micro-ring. For example, where a prior art micro-ring may only allow a thin lock of native hair of only one (1) millimeter or less to be threaded through the prior art micro-ring, the bead 100 of the illustrative embodiments permits a user to thread a lock of native hair through the bead 100 that is from one (1) to twenty (20) millimeters wide while still providing a secure and efficient attachment of one or more hair extensions to the native hair. The main body 103 of the bead 100 may then be constricted around the lock of the native hair and the tip of the hair extension to attach the hair extension to the lock of the native hair of the wearer.
  • [0046]
    In one embodiment, the bead 100 may be composed of copper, silicone, or other appropriate material. In this example, the bead 100 may be constricted using a tool, such as pliers, to compress or deform the bead 100. However, in another embodiment, the bead 100 may be composed of a heat shrink plastic. In this instance, the heat shrink plastic of the bead 100 may be heated to constrict the bead 100 around the tip of the hair extension to attach the hair extension to the lock of the native hair of the wearer.
  • [0047]
    Turning now to FIG. 3, an illustration of an oblong-shaped bead having a rectangular shape is shown in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. The exterior surface 302 of the bead 300 may optionally be colored to match or closely approximate a color of the native hair of the wearer. The dimension of one of the longitudinal sections 306 of bead 300 is greater than the dimension of one of the lateral sections 310, giving the bead 300 an elongated or oblong appearance.
  • [0048]
    A first aperture 316 at a first end 318, a second aperture 320 at a second end 322, and an interior surface 324 of the bead 300 define a channel 326. The interior surface 324 may optionally be coated in silicone or any other appropriate substance for coating or lining the interior surface 324 of the bead 300.
  • [0049]
    In this non-limiting illustrative embodiment, the bead 300 has a rectangular shape 328 with substantially rounded corners, such as rounded corners 334 and 336. However, the embodiments are not limited to a bead having exactly the same rectangular shape 328 as the bead 300 shown in FIG. 3. In another embodiment, the bead 300 may have any type of substantially rectangular shape. For example, the bead 300 may have a rectangular shape 328 with substantially pointed corners instead of rounded corners. Likewise, in another embodiment, the bead 300 may be implemented as a rectangular shape 328 bead 300 having a combination of one or more rounded corners and one or more pointed corners of the rectangular shape 328.
  • [0050]
    Referring now to FIG. 4, an illustration of an oblong-shaped bead having an oval shape is depicted in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. A bead 400 has an exterior surface 402 that may optionally be coated in a powdered paint or other coloring to match a color of human hair. A longitudinal section 406 has a greater length than a lateral section 410. A first aperture 416 in a first end 418, a second aperture 420 in a second end 422, and an interior surface 424 define a channel 426.
  • [0051]
    The bead has an oval shape 428. In this example, the oval shape 428 is substantially similar to the shape of an outline of a lemon, football, almond, or other substantially oval shape.
  • [0052]
    The diameter 430 of the bead 400 is a measure of a straight line passing through the center of the oval shaped bead 400. In this non-limiting embodiment, the diameter 430 may be a measure within a range from one point five (1.5) millimeters to four (4.0) millimeters. More specifically, in this illustrative example, but without limitation, the diameter is three point five (3.5) millimeters.
  • [0053]
    The bead 400 has a vertical height 432. The vertical height 432 is a measure of a vertical distance from a point associated with the first aperture 416 at a first end 418 of the bead 400 to a point associated with the second aperture 420 at the second end 422 of the bead 400. The vertical height 432 may alternatively be defined as a measure of a distance from a point associated with the first end 418 of the bead 400 to the second end 422 of the bead 400.
  • [0054]
    In this embodiment, the vertical height 432 may be within a range from one point seventy-five (1.75) millimeters to seven (7.0) millimeters. More particularly, in this non-limiting example, the vertical height is six point five (6.5) millimeters.
  • [0055]
    The embodiments are not limited to a bead having exactly the same oval shape 428 as the bead 400 shown in FIG. 4 or the oval shape 138 of bead 100 shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2. In this non-limiting illustrative embodiment, the bead 400 has an oval shape 428 with substantially pointed ends 434 and 436.
  • [0056]
    However, in another embodiment, the bead 400 may have any type of substantially oval shape. For example, the bead 400 may have an oval shape 428 with substantially rounded ends 434 and 436 instead of pointed ends. Likewise, in another embodiment, the bead 400 may be implemented as an oval shape 428 having a combination of one rounded end 434 and one pointed end 436 of the oval shape 428.
  • [0057]
    The embodiments are not limited to the oblong-shape of bead as shown in FIGS. 1-4. A bead of the illustrative embodiments may have an oblong shape that varies from the shapes of the beads shown in FIGS. 1-4. The beads shown in FIGS. 1-4 are only non-limiting illustrative examples of some of the oblong-shapes of the embodiments.
  • [0058]
    FIG. 5 is an illustration of a hair extension in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. Hair extension 500 is a hair extension that may be attached to a lock of the native hair of a wearer or attached to another hair extension using a bead, such as, but without limitation, bead 100, 300, or 400 shown in FIGS. 1-4 above.
  • [0059]
    In this embodiment, the hair extension 500 includes a hair accessory 502, in which a portion of the hair accessory 502 at one end of the hair accessory 502 is partially embedded within a bond material to form a bonded tip 504.
  • [0060]
    The hair accessory 502 may include, for example, but without limitation, natural hair, artificial hair, feathers, ribbons, tinsel, strings of lights, strings of beads, leaves, or any other type of hair accessory capable of being used as part of the hair extension 500.
  • [0061]
    A prior art hair extension (not shown) has a small, round, tip of a hair extension that is one (1) millimeter or less in diameter. This small diameter permits the prior art hair extension to fit through a small, round micro-ring of the prior art. In contrast, the bonded tip 504 of the hair extension 500 of this embodiment is an oblong or elongated shaped bonded tip. The oblong-shaped bonded tip 504 is shaped to conform to the size and shape of a given oblong-shaped bead, such as, but not limited to, beads 100, 300, or 400 in FIGS. 1-4 above.
  • [0062]
    In this embodiment, the longitudinal length of the bonded tip 504 may be from two (2.0) millimeters to twenty (20.0) millimeters wide. Likewise, the bonded tip 504 may have a diameter within a range from one (1.0) millimeter to four (4.0) millimeters. For example, the diameter of bonded tip 504 may be one point five (1.5) millimeters. In another example, the diameter of bonded tip 504 may be three point eight (3.8) millimeters. Thus, the tip 504 of the hair extension 500 permits a user to thread the tip 504 of the hair extension 500 into an oblong-shaped bead that is from one (1) to twenty (20) millimeters wide.
  • [0063]
    The bonded tip 504 may have a vertical height from one point seventy-five (1.75) millimeters to seven (7.0) millimeters. For example, the bonded tip 504 may have a vertical height of six (6.0) millimeters.
  • [0064]
    Turning now to FIG. 6, an illustration of a hair extension tip threaded at least partially through an oblong-shaped bead is shown in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. A hair extension 600 includes a hair accessory 602 tipped in a moldable bond material 604. In this example, the hair accessory 602 is natural human hair. However, in other embodiments, the hair accessory 602 may be natural hair, artificial hair, natural feathers, artificial feathers, ribbons, tinsel, strings of lights, strings of beads, leaves, or any other type of hair accessory that may be part of a hair extension.
  • [0065]
    The moldable bond material 604 is embedded in an end 608 of the hair accessory 602 to form a bonded tip 606 of the hair accessory 602. The bonded tip 606 of the hair accessory 602 in this embodiment is oblong-shaped 610.
  • [0066]
    However, the embodiments are not limited to use with hair extensions having an oblong-shaped 610 bonded tip 606. In other embodiments, the bead 600 may be implemented using hair extensions that do not have a bonded tip and/or hair extensions that have a bonded tip that is not oblong-shaped.
  • [0067]
    The bonded tip 606 is threaded through an oblong-shaped bead 612. The oblong-shaped bead 612 may be any type of bead for attaching a hair extension to a lock of native hair or attaching a hair extension to another hair extension, such as, but not limited to, bead 100, 300, or 400 shown in FIGS. 1-4 above.
  • [0068]
    The bead 612 has an exterior surface 614. The exterior surface 612 may be any color, including, but not limited to, black, dark brown, medium brown, light brown, dark blond, medium blond, light blond, red, auburn, burgundy, grey, white, or any other shade or color. A first aperture 616 at a first end 618, a second aperture 620 at a second end 622, and an interior surface 624 define a channel 626 of the bead 612. A vertical height 630 of the bead may be within a range from one point seventy-five (1.75) millimeters to seven (7.0) millimeters.
  • [0069]
    The bead 612 in this example is oval shaped 628. However, the bead 612 is not limited to an oval shape. The bead 612 may have any oblong shape in accordance with the embodiments.
  • [0070]
    In this example, the bonded tip 606 is oblong shaped 610 to conform to the oblong, oval shape 628 of the bead 612, such as, but not limited to, the oblong-shaped bonded tip 504 in FIG. 5. In other words, the oblong-shape 610 of the bonded tip 606 of the hair extension 600 conforms to the shape of the bead 612 for a better fit and improved attachment of the hair extension to the native hair of the wearer.
  • [0071]
    In this embodiment, a lock of the native hair of a wearer (not shown) may also be threaded through aperture 616 of the first end of bead 600. The oblong-shaped bead 612 may then be compressed or constricted around a portion of the lock of the native hair and the bonded tip 606 of the hair extension 600 to attach the hair extension 600 to the native hair of the wearer, as shown in FIG. 7 below.
  • [0072]
    FIG. 7 is an illustration of oblong-shaped beads attaching hair extensions to the native hair of a wearer in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. Here, a head 700 of a wearer of hair extensions 702, 704, and 706 is shown. The hair extensions 702, 704, and 706 are attached to the native hair 714 of the wearer by oblong shaped beads 708, 710, and 712. The hair extension 702 is attached to a lock of the native hair 718 by oblong-shaped bead 708. The hair extension 704 is attached to a lock of native hair 720 by oblong-shaped bead 710. The hair extension 706 is attached to a lock of the native hair 722 by the oblong-shaped bead 712.
  • [0073]
    In contrast, the prior art hair extension 724 is attached to a lock of the native hair 726 on the head 700 of the wearer by a prior art, small, round, micro-ring 728. As shown, the oblong-shaped beads 708, 710, and 712 of the illustrative embodiments, cover a greater surface area of the head 700 and native hair 714 of the wearer than the prior art micro-bead 728. As shown in FIG. 7, the oblong-shaped bead 708 and hair extension 702 covers three times as much surface area as the prior art micro-ring 728 and hair extension 724. In other words, in this example, it would take three (3) prior art micro-rings, such as micro-ring 728, to cover the same surface that is covered by a single oblong-shaped bead 708 of this illustrative embodiment. Thus, as shown in FIG. 7, a single oblong-shaped bead of the embodiments covers two (2) or three (3) times more surface area of head 700 than a single prior art bead. In another embodiment, an oblong shaped bead of the embodiments may cover four (4) times more surface area than a single prior art bead.
  • [0074]
    Moreover, as the oblong-shaped beads of the illustrative embodiments cover a greater surface area of the head 700 of the wearer, a fewer number of the beads of the embodiments are required to be attached to the head 700 of the wearer in order to achieve the hair extension coverage desired by the wearer. In other words, a user may attach hair extensions covering the desired areas of the head 700 using fewer oblong-shaped beads than the number of prior art micro-rings that would be required to cover the same areas of the head 700.
  • [0075]
    Likewise, a fewer number of hair extensions having oblong-shaped tips of the illustrative embodiments are required to be attached to the head 700 of the wearer in order to achieve the desired coverage of the head 700. Thus, a user may cover the desired areas of head 700 using a fewer number of hair extensions of the embodiments than the number of prior art hair extensions that would be required to cover the same area of the head 700. In other words, a single hair extension of the embodiments covers two (2) or three (3) times as much surface area as a single prior art hair extension. In another embodiment, a single hair extension of the embodiments may cover four (4) times as much surface area as a single prior art hair extension.
  • [0076]
    Thus, a user requires fewer beads of the illustrative embodiments to attach the hair extensions to the head of the wearer. Likewise, because fewer oblong-shaped beads and/or hair extensions of the illustrative embodiments are required, the hair extensions may be attached in accordance with the embodiments more quickly and efficiently.
  • [0077]
    Turning now to FIG. 8, a flowchart illustrating a process for attaching a hair extension using an oblong-shaped bead is depicted in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. A lock of native hair of a wearer is threaded through a channel in an oblong-shaped bead (step 802). An oblong-shaped tip of a hair extension is inserted into an aperture at an end of the oblong-shaped bead (step 804). The oblong-shaped bead is constricted (step 806) to attach the hair extension to the native hair of the wearer with the process terminating thereafter.
  • [0078]
    The bead may be constricted using any known or available method for constricting the bead around the lock of the native hair and the tip of the hair extension. For example, a user may constrict the bead using pliers or any other tool. In another example, if the bead is composed of a heat shrinking plastic, the bead may be constricted by applying heat to the bead.
  • [0079]
    In the embodiment shown in FIG. 8, the tip of the hair extension is oblong-shaped. However, the embodiments are not limited to use with an oblong-shaped tip of a hair extension. The tip of the hair extension may be any shape. For example, in one embodiment, the tip of the hair extension inserted into the oblong-shaped bead may be substantially flat. In another embodiment, the tip of the hair extension inserted into the oblong-shaped bead may be square, round or any other shape.
  • [0080]
    Likewise, in the example shown in FIG. 8, the hair extension is coupled to a lock of the native hair of the wearer. However, the embodiments are not limited to using an oblong-shaped bead to attach a hair extension to a lock of native hair of the wearer. In a different embodiment, the oblong-shaped bead may be used to attach a first hair extension to a second hair extension. In this example, the second hair extension may be attached to a lock of native hair of the wearer. In other words, the oblong-shaped beads of the illustrative embodiments may be used to couple a hair extension to another hair extension or hair accessory.
  • [0081]
    FIG. 9 is a flowchart illustrating a process for creating an oblong-shaped bead in accordance with an illustrative embodiment. A material capable of being constricted is selected (step 902). An oblong-shaped bead is created from the material (step 904) with the process terminating thereafter. In accordance with the illustrative embodiments, the oblong-shaped bead may be any type of oblong-shape, including but not limited to, an oval shape, a rectangular shape, or any other oblong shape.
  • [0082]
    The oblong-shaped beads of the illustrative embodiments may be used to cover a greater surface area of a wearer's head than a prior art micro-ring. In one embodiment, a single oblong-shaped bead of the illustrative embodiments may be used to attach a hair extension to the head of the wearer that covers twice the surface area on a wearers head than a single prior art micro-ring attaching a prior art hair extension. In another embodiment, a single oblong-shaped bead of the illustrative embodiments may be used to attach a hair extension to the head of the wearer that covers three times or more of the surface area on a wearers head than a single prior art micro-ring attaching a hair extension to the native hair of a wearer.
  • [0083]
    Likewise, the oblong-shaped beads of the illustrative embodiments may be used to attach a sufficient number of hair extensions to the head of the wearer to cover a given surface area of the wearers head in less time than it would require to attach hair extensions to cover the same surface area of the wearer's head using prior art micro-rings and/or prior art hair extensions. The oblong-shaped beads of the embodiments are more cost effective and less expensive for a user because hair extensions may be attached using a fewer number of beads and/or require less time to attach them to the native hair of the wearer.
  • [0084]
    Moreover, the oblong-shaped beads of the illustrative embodiments are coated in a colored powder pain to more closely resemble natural hair colors. Thus, the oblong-shaped beads are more visually pleasing. In other words, the hair extensions and oblong-shaped beads of the illustrative embodiments appear more authentic and natural than prior art micro-rings. The oblong-shaped beads have a more natural finish and mimic the wearer's natural hair more closely than prior art micro-rings and prior art hair extensions.
  • [0085]
    The detailed description of the illustrative embodiments above is described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. To avoid unnecessary detail, the description may have omitted certain information known to those skilled in the art.
  • [0086]
    Although the illustrative embodiments described herein have been disclosed in the context of certain illustrative, non-limiting embodiments, it should be understood that various changes, substitutions, permutations, and alterations can be made without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims. For example, the embodiments are not limited to the exact shapes of the bead shown and/or described in FIGS. 1-6. The shapes of the beads shown in the figures are merely illustrative of possible oblong-shaped beads. The embodiments may be implemented in oblong-shaped beads and hair extension tips that vary in shape and/or size from those shown in the figures herein without departing from the scope of the embodiments.
  • [0087]
    Any feature that is described in a connection to any one embodiment may also be applicable to any other embodiment. It is also understood that other embodiments may be utilized and that logical structural, mechanical, and chemical changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention.
Citações de Patentes
Patente Citada Data de apresentação Data de publicação Requerente Título
US7946297 *30 Jan 200824 Mai 2011Mario FernandezHair extension holder
US20100006115 *8 Nov 200714 Jan 2010Sylvia Croes-StofferHair extension element, method for installing it and holding member
US20100059079 *24 Abr 200911 Mar 2010Ryan TokkoExtension hair piece and hair extension using the device
US20100154815 *30 Mar 200724 Jun 2010In-Young ChangHair Extension Kit and Extension-Hair Fixing Method
WO2004068984A1 *13 Jan 200419 Ago 2004Hairlocs, Inc.Methods and devices for applying hair extensions
Referenciado por
Patente Onde é Citada Data de apresentação Data de publicação Requerente Título
USD78273923 Jun 201528 Mar 2017Gaetano Giuseppe CROCILLAHair accessory
USD787130 *10 Set 201516 Mai 2017Ryan TokkoHair extension with grooved tip
WO2015164915A1 *1 Mai 20155 Nov 2015Crocilla Gaetano GiuseppeHair extensions
Classificações
Classificação dos EUA132/201, 132/53
Classificação InternacionalA41G5/00
Classificação CooperativaA41G5/0066, A41G5/0073