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Número de publicaçãoUS20150327610 A1
Tipo de publicaçãoCandidatura
Número de candidaturaUS 14/714,134
Data de publicação19 Nov 2015
Data de apresentação15 Mai 2015
Data de prioridade15 Mai 2014
Também publicada comoWO2015176030A1
Número de publicação14714134, 714134, US 2015/0327610 A1, US 2015/327610 A1, US 20150327610 A1, US 20150327610A1, US 2015327610 A1, US 2015327610A1, US-A1-20150327610, US-A1-2015327610, US2015/0327610A1, US2015/327610A1, US20150327610 A1, US20150327610A1, US2015327610 A1, US2015327610A1
InventoresChristina Michelle Williams, Gregory Lewis Kress, Scott Steber, Christopher Steven Pell, Stephen John Prior
Beneficiário OriginalChristina Michelle Williams
Exportar citaçãoBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Links Externos: USPTO, Atribuição na USPTO, Espacenet
Hair extension systems and methods
US 20150327610 A1
Resumo
An attachment structure including a single planar blank that may be processed in high volumes, such as by a four-slide machine or other apparatus achieving similar processing efficiency. After manufacture from the blank, the attachment structure includes a spine that excludes hair while serving as a locus for removal. Jaws extend from the spine to encircle and contain a quantity of both client hair and extension hair. A set of interposing forward teeth help ensure that the contained hair remains properly positioned when the jaws of the clip are closed/crushed. Internal dimensions of the jaw portions defining the jaws/mouth may be designed to help ensure that there is good surface area contact between the client hair and the extension hair to produce the desired mechanical joining force securing the extension in place and resist tensile loading of the extension.
Imagens(21)
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Reivindicações(21)
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A pre-deployed hair extension clip, comprising:
a collapsible folded single blank having a blank thickness, said single blank including an intermediate flat fold defining a spine having a spine thickness of twice said blank thickness and a spine length greater than twice said blank thickness with said single blank further including a set of angular bends defining an open mouth including a first jaw and a second jaw opposing said first jaw and also further including a longitudinal axis extending parallel to said spine and positioned between said jaws, said jaws generally symmetric about a longitudinal plane including said longitudinal axis with each said jaw including a sloped portion coupled to said spine at an angle other than ninety degrees relative to said longitudinal plane and a distal portion coupled to said sloped portion wherein said distal portion is generally parallel to said longitudinal plane; and
wherein said spine is configured to disassociate said jaws from each other when said spine is severed.
2. The pre-deployed hair extension clip of claim 1 wherein said flat fold has a separation space between a pair of adjacent spine portions inhibiting placement of hair therebetween.
3. The pre-deployed hair extension clip of claim 1 wherein said set of angular bends include a spine/slope bend of about 130 degrees between said spine and each said sloped portion and a slope/distal bend of about 130 degrees between each said sloped portion and said coupled distal portion.
4. The pre-deployed hair extension clip of claim 1 wherein said first jaw includes a first tooth, wherein said second jaw includes a second tooth, and wherein said teeth are offset and extend toward each other.
5. The pre-deployed hair extension clip of claim 4 wherein said set of angular bends include a spine/slope bend of about 130 degrees between said spine and each said sloped portion, a slope/distal bend of about 130 degrees between each said sloped portion and said coupled distal portion, and a distal/tooth bend of about 100 degrees between each said distal portion and said coupled tooth.
6. The pre-deployed hair extension clip of claim 1 wherein said collapsible folded single blank includes a metal having a gauge in a range of 24-30.
7. The pre-deployed hair extension clip of claim 6 wherein said collapsible folded single blank is about 28 gauge having a nominal thickness of about 0.5 millimeters.
8. The pre-deployed hair extension clip of claim 6 wherein said metal includes cold rolled steel carbon steel (CS Type B CRS) having a corrosion-inhibiting coating.
9. A deployed hair extension clip for securing a portion of donor hair to a portion of client hair, comprising:
a collapsed folded single blank having a blank thickness, said single blank including an intermediate flat fold defining a spine having a spine thickness of twice said blank thickness and a spine length greater than twice said blank thickness with said collapsed folded single blank further defining a closed mouth including a first jaw and a second jaw opposing said first jaw both in contact with the portions of hair and also further including a longitudinal axis extending parallel to said spine and positioned between said jaws, said jaws generally symmetric about a longitudinal plane including said longitudinal axis with each said jaw including a coupling portion coupled to said spine and a distal portion coupled to said coupling portion wherein said distal portion is generally parallel to said longitudinal plane; and
wherein at least one of said jaws includes a longitudinally-extending crimp within a surface of said one jaw having a length along said longitudinal dimension greater than a width perpendicular to said longitudinal axis; and
wherein no quantity of any of the portions of hair are disposed in said spine; and
wherein said spine is configured to disassociate said jaws from each other when said spine is severed.
10. An applicator tool for deploying a pre-deployed clip, the pre-deployed clip including a collapsible folded single blank having a blank thickness, said single blank including an intermediate flat fold defining a spine having a spine thickness of twice said blank thickness and a spine length greater than twice said blank thickness with said single blank further including a set of angular bends defining an open mouth including a first jaw and a second jaw opposing said first jaw and also further including a longitudinal axis extending parallel to said spine and positioned between said jaws, said jaws generally symmetric about a longitudinal plane including said longitudinal axis with each said jaw including a sloped portion coupled to said spine at an angle other than ninety degrees relative to said longitudinal plane and a distal portion coupled to said sloped portion wherein said distal portion is generally parallel to said longitudinal plane, comprising:
an applicator head including a pair of opposing planar jaws moveable in parallel between an open position and a closing position with said pair of opposing planar jaws having a space therebetween accessible from a frontal location and a pair of lateral locations, said applicator head further including a pair of side plates restricting access to said lateral locations, said applicator head also further including a clip locator to position the clip at a deployment position with the jaws of the clip proximated to said pair of opposing planar jaws; and
a pair of handles pivotally coupled to each other and operably coupled to said applicator head.
11. The applicator tool of claim 10 wherein said pair of opposing planar jaws include a pair of sets of complementary protrusions configured to produce a longitudinal crimp in a surface of at least one of the jaws of the clip when said opposing jaws of said applicator head transition to said closing position from said open position.
12. The applicator tool of claim 10 wherein at least one said side plate includes a clip loading aperature configured to receive the clip therethrough and position the clip between said pair of opposing jaws passing through one said lateral location.
13. The applicator tool of claim 11 wherein at least one said side plate includes a clip loading aperature configured to receive the clip therethrough and position the clip between said pair of opposing jaws passing through one said lateral location.
14. The applicator tool of claim 10 wherein said applicator head further includes an insert for holding the portion of donor place while said pair of jaws are in said open position.
15. The applicator tool of claim 12 wherein said applicator head further includes an insert for holding the portion of donor place while said pair of jaws are in said open position.
16. The applicator tool of claim 13 wherein said applicator head further includes an insert for holding the portion of donor place while said pair of jaws are in said open position.
17. The applicator tool of claim 10 wherein said applicator head includes a thickness operable to define a desired installation distance between said deployment position and a scalp of a client providing a quantity of client hair.
18. A deployed clip removal tool for removing a deployed hair extension clip securing a portion of donor hair to a portion of client hair, the deployed hair extension clip including a collapsed folded single blank having a blank thickness, said single blank including an intermediate flat fold defining a spine having a spine thickness of twice said blank thickness and a spine length greater than twice said blank thickness with said collapsed folded single blank further defining a closed mouth including a first jaw and a second jaw opposing said first jaw both in contact with the portions of hair and also further including a longitudinal axis extending parallel to said spine and positioned between said jaws, said jaws generally symmetric about a longitudinal plane including said longitudinal axis with each said jaw including a coupling portion coupled to said spine and a distal portion coupled to said coupling portion wherein said distal portion is generally parallel to said longitudinal plane, comprising:
a removal head including a cutting blade and an opposing cutting anvil, a clip locator positioning a portion of spine of the deployed clip between said cutting blade and said opposing cutting anvil, and a pair of handles operably coupled to said cutting blade to close said cutting blade against said portion of spine and sever said spine, disassociating the jaws of the deployed clip and releasing the donor portion from the client portion.
19. A method of extending a portion of client hair by clipping a hair extension of donor hair to a particular location of the portion of client hair, comprising:
a) positioning a portion of the hair extension within an open mouth of an extension clip, said open mouth formed between two opposing planar jaws defined in a collapsible folded single blank that further includes a folded spine portion coupled to both jaws with each said jaw including a portion of a complementary set of interleavable teeth at a forward edge of each opposing jaw;
b) positioning the portion of the client hair at the particular location within said open mouth; and thereafter;
c) collapsing said opposing mouth around both said portion of the hair extension and the portion of client hair by moving the opposing planar jaws closer together generally parallel to each other to produce a collapsed clip; and
d) interleaving said set of interleavable teeth.
20. The method of claim 19 further comprising the step of:
e) producing a longitudinal crimp in a surface of one jaw of said pair of opposing jaws.
21. A method of producing a collection of collapsible hair extension clips from a single foldable blank, comprising:
a) folding a first intermediate portion of the blank down ninety degrees;
b) folding a second intermediate portion of the blank proximate said first down ninety degrees to define a folded spine;
c) folding a third portion of the blank spaced from said folded spine up about fifty degrees;
d) folding a fourth portion of the blank spaced from said folded spine on an opposite side from said third portion up about fifty degrees;
e) folding a fifth portion of the blank spaced from said third portion down about fifty degrees;
f) folding a sixth portion of the blank spaced from said fourth portion down about fifty degrees;
g) folding a seventh portion of the blank spaced from said fifth portion down about eighty degrees; and
h) folding an eight portion of the blank spaced from said sixth portion down about eighty degrees.
Descrição
    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims benefit of U.S. Patent Application No. 61/993,866 filed 15 May 2014, the contents of which are hereby expressly incorporated by reference thereto in its entirety for all purposes.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates generally to hair dressing tools, accessories, and methods, and more specifically, but not exclusively, to a hair extension clip and methods for attaching extension hair to real or simulated hair, as well methods for removing hair extension clips.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    The subject matter discussed in the background section should not be assumed to be prior art merely as a result of its mention in the background section. Similarly, a problem mentioned in the background section or associated with the subject matter of the background section should not be assumed to have been previously recognized in the prior art. The subject matter in the background section merely represents different approaches, which in and of themselves may also be inventions.
  • [0004]
    A person sometimes wishes to do something to make the hair on their heads appear to be fuller and or longer than is possible based upon the actual real hair growing from the person's scalp. Over the years, various methods have evolved to solve this problem. Some people have hair extensions placed (e.g., woven) into their hair. Other people have strips of extension hair applied to portions of their own hair by a gluing method. Still others have someone attach hair extension bundles onto their existing hair by means of small metal barrel shaped connectors. In this instance, a practitioner uses a wire eyelet tool to fish a portion of the person's real hair into the connector, then inserts a portion of the extension hair into the connector, and then crimps the barrel closed to mechanically join the hair extension portion to the person's real hair.
  • [0005]
    This process is repeated as many as one hundred times around the person's head. The resulting effect creates the appearance of more, longer, and/or fuller hair.
  • [0006]
    Although the crimped metal barrel connector method is effective in doing its job, there are a number of deficiencies in this method. The process of fishing a small amount of the person's hair through a wire eyelet tool, then sliding the hair into the barrel connector, then inserting the end of the extension hair into the barrel and finally, crimping the barrel with a pliers type tool, is time consuming and requires a great amount of dexterity from the practitioner. The crimping action is done with a pliers type device and therefore can be tiring to the hand of the practitioner and potentially cause damage to the natural hair. Further, the barrel connector does not reliably join the real hair to the extension hair with sufficient joining force to sufficiently resist separation of the extension hair from the coupler which degrades the desired appearance and quality of the extension installation.
  • [0007]
    These barrel connectors define a specific preestablished volume/space that requires use of a total quantity of hair (the combination of donor hair & client hair). That is, an extensionist must continually adapt and adjust quantities of donor hair and client hair in relatively specific constraint guidelines for each connector that is installed. This adds more time to each and every connector that is installed, and thus to the total time. Further, each installed connector has more opportunity to fail because too much or too little hair was included. (Too much hair, for example, too much donor hair prohibits the donor hair from being installed into the barrel connector requiring time to reduce the quantity in some manner.)
  • [0008]
    The barrel connector (sometimes referred to as a micro ring or micro loop) may be made of metal (e.g., aluminum or copper) to meet design requirements. When made of metal, the connector could corrode when the hair was washed or the user went for a swim in a chlorine pool or ocean water. As noted herein, a micro ring/loop needle or latch hook is used to draw client hair through the ring/coupler and the ring is tightly clamped (using a micro ring/loop pliers) to collapse the ring on the client hair. Typically the extension hair was pre-attached to the ring to attachment of the ring to the client hair secures the extension hair in place. The connector is removed by using the pliers device open the collapsed ring. In some cases it may be possible to re-use the ring and attached extension hair.
  • [0009]
    Drawbacks of the method include applying sufficient holding force to secure the ring to the client hair while allowing for the ring to be collapsed and removed without damage to the client hair. The micro ring/loop system can be improved by increasing the holding force while making the deployment and removal more efficient and reducing risks to the client hair during the installation and removal.
  • [0010]
    Further, since the micro ring is reformed in order to open and remove the ring, the practitioner must slide down the ring which can cause breakage to the hair. Also when applied, the ring is “pushed up” the shafts of hair, in the process taking with it small baby hairs which get caught in the ring. These hairs over time will matte and tangle, which when removed then cause more damage because combing out these mattes results in “breaking off” the client's hair. Thus there is many opportunities for conventional extension systems to damage hair during installation or removal.
  • [0011]
    What is needed is a system and method for improving an attachment structure and method(s) of joining the attachment structure to candidate hair portions.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0012]
    Disclosed is a system and method for improving an attachment structure and method(s) of joining the attachment structure to candidate hair portions.
  • [0013]
    The following summary of the invention is provided to facilitate an understanding of some of technical features related to applying hair integrations to client hair, and is not intended to be a full description of the present invention. A full appreciation of the various aspects of the invention can be gained by taking the entire specification, claims, drawings, and abstract as a whole. The present invention is applicable to other systems and tools for joining stranded assemblies to each other.
  • [0014]
    Embodiments of the present invention include attachment structures (e.g., clips), methods for mechanically joining a hair extension to a portion of client hair, tools and methods for deploying the attachment structures, and tools and methods for removing deployed attachment structures.
  • [0015]
    The attachment structure includes a single planar blank that may be processed in high volumes, such as by a four-slide machine or other apparatus achieving similar processing efficiency. After manufacture from the blank, the attachment structure includes a spine that excludes hair while serving as a locus for removal (sever spine and a deployed clip easily falls separates into two disconnected halves). Jaws extend from the spine to encircle and contain a quantity of both client hair and extension hair. A set of interposing forward teeth help ensure that the contained hair remains properly positioned when the jaws of the clip are closed/crushed. Internal dimensions of the jaw portions defining the jaws/mouth may be designed to help ensure that there is good surface area contact between the client hair and the extension hair to produce the desired mechanical joining force securing the extension in place and resist tensile loading of the extension. The clip design helps to ensure that client hair is not damaged during deployment or removal, while being quick and efficient to deploy, particularly when many tens or hundreds of clips are being deployed.
  • [0016]
    The applicator tool secures a clip and hair portions in place allowing safe and efficient one-handed deployment of a clip to join a hair extension to a portion of client hair.
  • [0017]
    The removal tool enables safe and efficient one-handed removal of a deployed clip, such as by cutting the spine (which has been designed to exclude any and all portions of client hair so that client hair cannot be damaged when the spine is cut).
  • [0018]
    Some of the disclosed embodiments include one or more of the following features: a) a clip that is designed to be completely flat when deployed, b) a 4 mm guide, c) passive hold, d) a clip having a flexible loading capacity, e) parallel jaws for the applicator, f) side covers, and g) multi-optional clip loading.
  • [0019]
    A pre-deployed hair extension clip, including a collapsible folded single blank having a blank thickness, the single blank including an intermediate flat fold defining a spine having a spine thickness of twice the blank thickness and a spine length greater than twice the blank thickness with the single blank further including a set of angular bends defining an open mouth including a first jaw and a second jaw opposing the first jaw and also further including a longitudinal axis extending parallel to the spine and positioned between the jaws, the jaws generally symmetric about a longitudinal plane including the longitudinal axis with each the jaw including a sloped portion coupled to the spine at an angle other than ninety degrees relative to the longitudinal plane and a distal portion coupled to the sloped portion wherein the distal portion is generally parallel to the longitudinal plane; and wherein the spine is configured to disassociate the jaws from each other when the spine is severed.
  • [0020]
    A deployed hair extension clip for securing a portion of donor hair to a portion of client hair, including a collapsed folded single blank having a blank thickness, the single blank including an intermediate flat fold defining a spine having a spine thickness of twice the blank thickness and a spine length greater than twice the blank thickness with the collapsed folded single blank further defining a closed mouth including a first jaw and a second jaw opposing the first jaw both in contact with the portions of hair and also further including a longitudinal axis extending parallel to the spine and positioned between the jaws, the jaws generally symmetric about a longitudinal plane including the longitudinal axis with each the jaw including a coupling portion coupled to the spine and a distal portion coupled to the coupling portion wherein the distal portion is generally parallel to the longitudinal plane; and wherein at least one of the jaws includes a longitudinally-extending crimp within a surface of the one jaw having a length along the longitudinal dimension greater than a width perpendicular to the longitudinal axis; and wherein no quantity of any of the portions of hair are disposed in the spine; and wherein the spine is configured to disassociate the jaws from each other when the spine is severed.
  • [0021]
    An applicator tool for deploying a pre-deployed clip, the pre-deployed clip including a collapsible folded single blank having a blank thickness, the single blank including an intermediate flat fold defining a spine having a spine thickness of twice the blank thickness and a spine length greater than twice the blank thickness with the single blank further including a set of angular bends defining an open mouth including a first jaw and a second jaw opposing the first jaw and also further including a longitudinal axis extending parallel to the spine and positioned between the jaws, the jaws generally symmetric about a longitudinal plane including the longitudinal axis with each the jaw including a sloped portion coupled to the spine at an angle other than ninety degrees relative to the longitudinal plane and a distal portion coupled to the sloped portion wherein the distal portion is generally parallel to the longitudinal plane, including an applicator head including a pair of opposing planar jaws moveable in parallel between an open position and a closing position with the pair of opposing planar jaws having a space therebetween accessible from a frontal location and a pair of lateral locations, the applicator head further including a pair of side plates restricting access to the lateral locations, the applicator head also further including a clip locator to position the clip at a deployment position with the jaws of the clip proximated to the pair of opposing planar jaws; and a pair of handles pivotally coupled to each other and operably coupled to the applicator head.
  • [0022]
    A deployed clip removal tool for removing a deployed hair extension clip securing a portion of donor hair to a portion of client hair, the deployed hair extension clip including a collapsed folded single blank having a blank thickness, the single blank including an intermediate flat fold defining a spine having a spine thickness of twice the blank thickness and a spine length greater than twice the blank thickness with the collapsed folded single blank further defining a closed mouth including a first jaw and a second jaw opposing the first jaw both in contact with the portions of hair and also further including a longitudinal axis extending parallel to the spine and positioned between the jaws, the jaws generally symmetric about a longitudinal plane including the longitudinal axis with each the jaw including a coupling portion coupled to the spine and a distal portion coupled to the coupling portion wherein the distal portion is generally parallel to the longitudinal plane, including a removal head including a cutting blade and an opposing cutting anvil, a clip locator positioning a portion of spine of the deployed clip between the cutting blade and the opposing cutting anvil, and a pair of handles operably coupled to the cutting blade to close the cutting blade against the portion of spine and sever the spine, disassociating the jaws of the deployed clip and releasing the donor portion from the client portion.
  • [0023]
    A method of extending a portion of client hair by clipping a hair extension of donor hair to a particular location of the portion of client hair, including a) positioning a portion of the hair extension within an open mouth of an extension clip, the open mouth formed between two opposing planar jaws defined in a collapsible folded single blank that further includes a folded spine portion coupled to both jaws with each the jaw including a portion of a complementary set of interleavable teeth at a forward edge of each opposing jaw; b) positioning the portion of the client hair at the particular location within the open mouth; and thereafter; c) collapsing the opposing mouth around both the portion of the hair extension and the portion of client hair by moving the opposing planar jaws closer together generally parallel to each other to produce a collapsed clip; and d) interleaving the set of interleavable teeth.
  • [0024]
    A method of producing a collection of collapsible hair extension clips from a single foldable blank, including a) folding a first intermediate portion of the blank down ninety degrees; b) folding a second intermediate portion of the blank proximate the first down ninety degrees to define a folded spine; c) folding a third portion of the blank spaced from the folded spine up about fifty degrees; d) folding a fourth portion of the blank spaced from the folded spine on an opposite side from the third portion up about fifty degrees; e) folding a fifth portion of the blank spaced from the third portion down about fifty degrees; f) folding a sixth portion of the blank spaced from the fourth portion down about fifty degrees; g) folding a seventh portion of the blank spaced from the fifth portion down about eighty degrees; and h) folding an eight portion of the blank spaced from the sixth portion down about eighty degrees.
  • [0025]
    Any of the embodiments described herein may be used alone or together with one another in any combination. Inventions encompassed within this specification may also include embodiments that are only partially mentioned or alluded to or are not mentioned or alluded to at all in this brief summary or in the abstract. Although various embodiments of the invention may have been motivated by various deficiencies with the prior art, which may be discussed or alluded to in one or more places in the specification, the embodiments of the invention do not necessarily address any of these deficiencies. In other words, different embodiments of the invention may address different deficiencies that may be discussed in the specification. Some embodiments may only partially address some deficiencies or just one deficiency that may be discussed in the specification, and some embodiments may not address any of these deficiencies.
  • [0026]
    Other features, benefits, and advantages of the present invention will be apparent upon a review of the present disclosure, including the specification, drawings, and claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0027]
    The accompanying figures, in which like reference numerals refer to identical or functionally-similar elements throughout the separate views and which are incorporated in and form a part of the specification, further illustrate the present invention and, together with the detailed description of the invention, serve to explain the principles of the present invention.
  • [0028]
    FIG. 1-FIG. 4 illustrate various views of a clip;
  • [0029]
    FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a clip used for deploying a hair extension onto a quantity of real hair growing from a scalp;
  • [0030]
    FIG. 2 illustrates a side elevation view of the clip of FIG. 1;
  • [0031]
    FIG. 3 illustrates a top plan view of the clip of FIG. 1;
  • [0032]
    FIG. 4 illustrates a front elevation view of the clip of FIG. 1;
  • [0033]
    FIG. 5 illustrates a flat pre-formed blank prior to folding to manufacture of the clip of FIG. 1;
  • [0034]
    FIG. 6 illustrates a side elevation view of the clip of FIG. 1 similar to FIG. 2 with the inclusion of sample dimension information constructed from the blank illustrated in FIG. 5;
  • [0035]
    FIG. 7 illustrates a top plan view of the clip of FIG. 1 similar to FIG. 3 with the inclusion of sample dimension information constructed from the blank illustrated in FIG. 5;
  • [0036]
    FIG. 8-FIG. 11 illustrate various views of a closed and crimped clip mechanically joining a first quantity of user hair to a second quantity of extension hair;
  • [0037]
    FIG. 8 illustrates an end view of a closed and crimped clip mechanically joining a first quantity of user hair to a second quantity of extension hair;
  • [0038]
    FIG. 9 illustrates a top view of the closed and crimped clip of FIG. 8;
  • [0039]
    FIG. 10 illustrates an end-view representation of the closed and crimped clip of FIG. 8;
  • [0040]
    FIG. 11 illustrates a top view representation of the closed and crimped clip of FIG. 8;
  • [0041]
    FIG. 12 illustrates an arrangement of a plurality of clips illustrated in FIG. 1-FIG. 4 into a head to tail formation for loading into an installation magazine;
  • [0042]
    FIG. 13-FIG. 15 illustrate various view of a single clip applicator tool;
  • [0043]
    FIG. 13 illustrates a perspective view of a single clip applicator tool configured to deploy the clip illustrated in FIG. 1-FIG. 4;
  • [0044]
    FIG. 14 illustrates a side A elevation view of the single clip applicator tool illustrated in FIG. 13;
  • [0045]
    FIG. 15 illustrates a side B elevation view of the single clip applicator tool illustrated in FIG. 13;
  • [0046]
    FIG. 16 illustrates an exploded view of the single clip applicator tool illustrated in FIG. 13;
  • [0047]
    FIG. 17-FIG. 20 illustrate various views of a single clip removal tool;
  • [0048]
    FIG. 17 illustrates a perspective view of a single clip removal tool configured to remove the clip illustrated in FIG. 1-FIG. 4 after deployment onto the quantity of hair;
  • [0049]
    FIG. 18 illustrates a side A elevation view of the single clip removal tool illustrated in FIG. 17;
  • [0050]
    FIG. 19 illustrates a side B elevation view of the single clip removal tool illustrated in FIG. 17;
  • [0051]
    FIG. 20 illustrates an exploded view of the single clip removal tool illustrated in FIG. 17;
  • [0052]
    FIG. 21-FIG. 23 illustrate various views of an alternative embodiment for a clip applicator tool;
  • [0053]
    FIG. 21 illustrates a perspective view of the alternative clip applicator tool;
  • [0054]
    FIG. 22 illustrates a side elevation view of the alternative clip applicator tool; and
  • [0055]
    FIG. 23 illustrates a front detail view of a head of the alternative applicator tool; and
  • [0056]
    FIG. 24-FIG. 25 illustrate various views of an alternative embodiment for a clip removal tool;
  • [0057]
    FIG. 24 illustrates a perspective view of the alternative clip removal tool; and
  • [0058]
    FIG. 25 illustrates a side elevation view of the alternative clip removal tool.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0059]
    Embodiments of the present invention provide a system and method for improving an attachment structure and method(s) of joining the attachment structure to candidate hair portions. The following description is presented to enable one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention and is provided in the context of a patent application and its requirements.
  • [0060]
    Various modifications to the preferred embodiment and the generic principles and features described herein will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art. Thus, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiment shown but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and features described herein.
  • DEFINITIONS
  • [0061]
    The following definitions apply to some of the aspects described with respect to some embodiments of the invention. These definitions may likewise be expanded upon herein.
  • [0062]
    As used herein, the term “or” is generally intended to mean “and/or” unless otherwise indicated.
  • [0063]
    As used herein, the singular terms “a,” “an,” and “the” include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to an object can include multiple objects unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.
  • [0064]
    Also, as used in the description herein and throughout the claims that follow, the meaning of “in” includes “in” and “on” unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.
  • [0065]
    As used herein, the term “set” refers to a collection of one or more objects. Thus, for example, a set of objects can include a single object or multiple objects. Objects of a set also can be referred to as members of the set. Objects of a set can be the same or different. In some instances, objects of a set can share one or more common properties.
  • [0066]
    As used herein, the term “adjacent” refers to being near or adjoining. Adjacent objects can be spaced apart from one another or can be in actual or direct contact with one another. In some instances, adjacent objects can be coupled to one another or can be formed integrally with one another.
  • [0067]
    As used herein, the terms “connect,” “connected,” and “connecting” refer to a direct attachment or link. Connected objects have no or no substantial intermediary object or set of objects, as the context indicates.
  • [0068]
    As used herein, the terms “couple,” “coupled,” and “coupling” refer to an operational connection or linking. Coupled objects can be directly connected to one another or can be indirectly connected to one another, such as via an intermediary set of objects.
  • [0069]
    As used herein, the terms “substantially” and “substantial” refer to a considerable degree or extent. When used in conjunction with an event or circumstance, the terms can refer to instances in which the event or circumstance occurs precisely as well as instances in which the event or circumstance occurs to a close approximation, such as accounting for typical tolerance levels or variability of the embodiments described herein.
  • [0070]
    As used herein, the terms “optional” and “optionally” mean that the subsequently described event or circumstance may or may not occur and that the description includes instances where the event or circumstance occurs and instances in which it does not.
  • [0071]
    As used herein, the term “size” refers to a characteristic dimension of an object. Thus, for example, a size of an object that is spherical can refer to a diameter of the object. In the case of an object that is non-spherical, a size of the non-spherical object can refer to a diameter of a corresponding spherical object, where the corresponding spherical object exhibits or has a particular set of derivable or measurable properties that are substantially the same as those of the non-spherical object. Thus, for example, a size of a non-spherical object can refer to a diameter of a corresponding spherical object that exhibits light scattering or other properties that are substantially the same as those of the non-spherical object. Alternatively, or in conjunction, a size of a non-spherical object can refer to an average of various orthogonal dimensions of the object. Thus, for example, a size of an object that is a spheroidal can refer to an average of a major axis and a minor axis of the object. When referring to a set of objects as having a particular size, it is contemplated that the objects can have a distribution of sizes around the particular size. Thus, as used herein, a size of a set of objects can refer to a typical size of a distribution of sizes, such as an average size, a median size, or a peak size.
  • [0072]
    As used herein, the terms “hair extension,” “extension hair,” “extension,” and “hair integration” mean a first quantity of artificial (alternatively synthetic) or natural hair (obtained from a donor human or other animal) that is mechanically joined to a second quantity of client hair using a mechanical coupler (e.g., a clip as described herein).
  • [0073]
    As used herein, the term “client hair” refers to natural hair of a person receiving mechanically joined hair extensions.
  • [0074]
    FIG. 1-FIG. 4 illustrate various views of a clip 100 in a pre-deployed (e.g., non-closed/non-crimped) mode. FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of clip 100 used for deploying a donor hair extension onto a quantity of client hair; FIG. 2 illustrates a side elevation view of clip 100; FIG. 3 illustrates a top plan view of clip 100; and FIG. 4 illustrates a front elevation view of clip 100. Clip 100 is constructed of a single flat blank that is cut and formed to produce a spine 105 connected to a first jaw 110 and a second jaw 115. Each jaw of a pre-deployed clip 100 includes a sloped portion 120 extending from spine 105 to a distal portion 125 (distal portions 125 of the illustrated embodiment are substantially parallel to each other). Spine 105 and the connected jaw portions form a mouth 130. In a preferred embodiment, each clip 100 is folded in half at spine 105 with each jaw of substantially the same length (as measured from a proximal end 135 of spine 105) and generally symmetric about a longitudinal axis extending from proximal end 135 towards mouth 130.
  • [0075]
    First jaw 110 preferably but optionally includes one or more teeth (for example a single centered tooth 140 coupled to distal portion 125 of first jaw 110) and second jaw 115 includes one or more teeth arranged in a complementary pattern (for example a pair of spaced apart teeth 145 coupled to distal portion 125 of second jaw 115 and spaced apart at least equal to a width of tooth 140). This complementary pattern arrangement allows mouth 130 to be closed and secured with alternating teeth from the jaws.
  • [0076]
    The blank used to define clip 100 may be made from a wide range of materials; specific selection based upon meeting design considerations. Important design considerations of the embodiments illustrated herein include dimensions sized generally similarly to micro loop extensions which use rings having a diameter of ˜5 mm.
  • [0077]
    For clip 100, as will be further described below, the blank includes metal having a thickness producing a clip that has a strong enough holding force when closed/crimped to adequately secure a hair extension to client hair without being too thick to interfere with removal. For example, an aluminum blank may be used and can produce a suitably strong clip. However in comparison with other materials, clip 100 made from the aluminum blank is harder to remove due to the extra thickness. Stainless steel or copper also offer solutions that can be acceptable in certain situations. One concern with some of these materials is a hysteresis in which a closed/crimped clip will not remain completely closed/crimped as the jaws “relax” once the applicator tool is removed. Another concern about some of these materials is to specify an appropriate corrosion/rust characteristic.
  • [0078]
    A preferred implementation includes blank in the range of 24-30 gauge and most preferred about 28 gauge having a nominal thickness of about 0.019 inches or about 0.5 millimeters). The material is cold rolled carbon steel, commercial steel (CS Type B CRS) having a galvanized finish. The galvanizing is used to inhibit corrosion. In some embodiments, the galvanized coating has a weight of about G30 or G40, though other weights may be used. In some implementations, a coating (e.g., paint) is applied to the exterior of clip 100 to produce a desired color for the user to conceal and/or contrast clip 100 against the hair extension and/or the client hair. The coating adds some thickness so the blank thickness is chosen based upon the complete processing cycle. In some implementations, an optional additive may be used with the coating layer or added as an independent layer. The optional additive is used to tune final properties of clip 100, such as increasing a static coefficient of friction between the closed/crimped clip and the hair within the clip (which as will be further described below preferred to be both extension hair and client hair).
  • [0079]
    Clip 100 is designed to be as small as possible to reduce visual and tactile detection while preserving the performance characteristics described herein. In one implementation using 28 gauge galvanized steel blank material, clip 100 may be made to have dimensions of about 4.25 mm width and height (pre-deployed) and about 5 mm long (measured from spine 105 to distal portion 125) and generally match current average sizes of micro loop extensions.
  • [0080]
    In operation clip 100 is sized to mechanically join an independent (discrete) hair extension to a portion of client hair. A first segment of the portion of client hair is placed within mouth 130 while clip 100 is pre-deployed (i.e., the jaws are separated and mouth 130 is open). A second segment of the hair extension is placed within open mouth 130. Clip 100 enables a deployment technician (e.g., a person installing the hair extensions) to easily and efficiently secure one more hair extensions to the portion of client hair (e.g., using different segments). That is, the technician may attach one or more hair extensions to an end segment of the portion of client hair such as to add length to the portion of client hair. Alternatively (or additionally), the technician may secure one or more hair extensions to intermediate segments of the portion of client hair. This conveys a sense of fullness to the appearance of the portion of client hair.
  • [0081]
    The hair used with clip 100 typically has two ends, one of which may be tipped (coated with a material to hold all the ends of the hair extension together). The tip may have different profiles (cross-sections—a circular, elliptical, square, and the like cross-section). When tipped, the tip of the hair extension is typically placed within mouth 130 and joined to the desired segment of the portion of client hair (that is to the end segment or to an intermediate segment).
  • [0082]
    Jaw 110 and jaw 115 collectively define mouth 130 to simplify deployment of a particular hair extension to a particular segment of a particular portion of client hair. Mouth 130 encircles both segments (of client hair and extension hair (typically the tipped end segment)). Offset opposing teeth (e.g., tooth 140 and teeth 145) help maintain the segments within mouth 130 before and after deployment. The interposing teeth help to retain the segments during closure and while being worn.
  • [0083]
    Closure of clip 100 occurs when the desired segments are disposed within mouth 130. A closure tool, for example the applicator tool illustrated herein, operates concurrently on jaw 110 and jaw 115 to collapse upon the segments within mouth 130. The material and construction of clip 100 secures jaws closed in a post-deployment mode
  • [0084]
    FIG. 5-FIG. 7 detail a representative manufacturing process for clip 100. FIG. 5 illustrates a flat pre-formed blank prior to folding to manufacture of the clip of FIG. 1; FIG. 6 illustrates a side elevation view of the clip of FIG. 1 similar to FIG. 2 with the inclusion of sample dimension information constructed from the blank illustrated in FIG. 5; and FIG. 7 illustrates a top plan view of the clip of FIG. 1 similar to FIG. 3 with the inclusion of sample dimension information constructed from the blank illustrated in FIG. 5. As noted above, clip 100 is very small including several important structural features and characteristics. Clip 100 not only offers superior performance, but it also incorporates a number of cost-saving design elements. One of which is that a blank 500 that may be used to make clip 100 is first stamped of a flat pattern (FIG. 5) in sheet material to be subsequently bent on a “four slide machine” in high volume. The “recipe” for bending blank 500 is expressed in FIG. 6 which details a sequence of folds of specific direction and magnitude (for example, spine 105 is formed from a pair of ninety degree downward bends). Other features are produced by the remainder of the bends identified in FIG. 5. FIG. 6 and FIG. 7 detail representative dimensions in millimeters (mm). Other clips 100 may use different folding patterns to meet other goals and boundary conditions.
  • [0085]
    FIG. 8-FIG. 11 illustrate various views of a closed and crimped clip 800 mechanically securing a first quantity of hair 805 (extension hair and/or client hair); FIG. 8 illustrates an end view (from the spine looking toward the jaws) of a closed and crimped clip 800; FIG. 9 illustrates a top view of clip 800; FIG. 10 illustrates an end-view representation 1000 of clip 800, and FIG. 11 illustrates a top plan view of representation 1000. Clip 800 illustrates a post-deployment mode of clip 100 illustrated in FIG. 1 and described herein.
  • [0086]
    Clip 800 is formed when an applicator tool (one possible applicator tool design illustrated and described below) having a pair of operational jaws interacts with the jaws of clip 100 and closes them around the hair disposed within mouth 130. A goal of clip 100 (and clip 800 after deployment) is to provide a sufficiently strong joining force that secures clip 800 to quantity of hair 805. (FIG. 8-FIG. 11 are provided to illustrate a particular optional but preferred feature of clip 800, namely a longitudinal crimp 810. Crimp 810 increases the joining force and improves performance of clip 800 deployed on hair 805. The applicator tool for this optional feature not only closes the jaws but adds the longitudinal crimp to enhance the joining force of clip 800.
  • [0087]
    Clip 100 was developed to balance and meet a number of functions, including: quick application, strong tensile hold on hair, non-damaging to hair, removal, and wearability. The quick application function is addressed at least in part by having clip 100 open laterally (i.e., on the sides) to facilitate quick loading of both client hair and extension hair into the mouth.
  • [0088]
    Clip 800 includes an advantage that is most preferably implemented with a completely flat profile when deployed. In addition to the holding force advantages, it also offers a reduced tactile profile when a client or third party runs their fingers over a head of hair including deployments of clip 800. The flat profile reduces the tactile “footprint” such that the use of clip 800 is much less perceptible as compared to barrel connectors or the like that produce perceptible “bumps” for each deployment. This feature alone, without the substantive additional other merits, appeals to many clients.
  • [0089]
    The strong tensile hold on hair function is addressed at least in part by having clip 100\800 includes four features to improve hold strength: (A) a “wave” or “kink” shape is pressed into the clip 100 during closing; (B) opposing interlocking “teeth” features that prevent hair from escaping; (C) choice of materials; (D) series of angular bends in the crimp geometry facilitate proper closure around hair.
  • [0090]
    The non-damaging to hair function is addressed at least in part by having clip 100 include a smooth interior surface and deburred edges that avoid damaging hair. This is further highlighted in that clip 100 is deployed without running it along shafts of client hair to reach a desired location. The open mouth of clip 100 allows it to be quickly and directly positioned. The lack of moving it along the shaft(s) of client hair prevents any trapping of baby hairs that can lead to damage as noted herein.
  • [0091]
    The removal function is addressed at least in part by having clip 100 include an offset edge (e.g., spine 105) specifically designed to aid in removal. This edge is folded with little or no space/gap between elements so no hair can enter during installation. For removal, this edge is cut away without any risk of cutting, abrading, or otherwise damaging the nearby hair with the removal process.
  • [0092]
    The wearability function is addressed at least in part by having clip 100 include several features to improve wearability: (A) it's overall size is minimized; (B) it may be painted to blend with hair color; (C) it is preferably made of corrosion-resistant materials; (D) it is lightweight.
  • [0093]
    FIG. 12 illustrates an arrangement of a plurality of clips illustrated in FIG. 1-FIG. 4 into a head to tail formation for loading into an installation magazine. One design feature of clip 100 is that the design lends itself to being efficiently loaded into a magazine (or other serial arrangement) for rapid installation by a technician. A plurality of clips 100 may be compactly arranged mouth-to-spine, such as for the magazine or other serial dispensing system. The serial dispensing system is incorporated into an automatic or semi-automatic applicator tool (not shown) that accesses the dispensing system to load a single clip 100 at a time into a position for deployment. After clip 100 is deployed as clip 800 by the tool, a new clip 100 is accessed and loaded from the magazine. This greatly improves the efficiency of the technician for deploying clips 800. An automated applicator tool implementing this feature may include a set of gates, each having an opened and closed state, having their states coordinated for accessing and dispensing individual clips from the magazine.
  • [0094]
    FIG. 13-FIG. 15 illustrate various views of a single clip applicator tool 1300, such as may be used to deploy clip 100 and transform it to clip 800. FIG. 13 illustrates a perspective view of single clip applicator tool 1300 configured to deploy the clip illustrated in FIG. 1-FIG. 4 and form clip 800 illustrated in FIG. 8-FIG. 11; FIG. 14 illustrates a side A elevation view of single clip applicator tool 1300; FIG. 15 illustrates a side B elevation view of single clip applicator tool 1300; and FIG. 16 illustrates an exploded view of single clip applicator tool 1300. Tool 1300 includes a pair of jaws 1305 applying a closing force to jaws of clip 100 that is leveraged by operation of a pair of handles. This description identifies side A and side B as preferably the applicator tool may be used in either hand by an operator for deploying clips 100. Table I below provides bill of materials for applicator tool 1300.
  • [0000]
    TABLE I
    Applicator Tool Bill of Materials
    ITEM NO. PART NAME QTY. DESCRIPTION
    1605 EVO-007-SideBottom 1 Side Plate
    1610 EVO-001-Arm 4 Arm
    1615 EVO-006-Pin15.00 3 15 mm Dowel Pin
    1620 EVO-004-JawUpper 1 Upper Jaw
    1625 EVO-003-JawLower 1 Lower Jaw
    1630 EVO-005-Pin10.75 2 10.75 mm Dowel Pin
    1635 EVO-002-Handle 2 Handle
    1640 EVO-008-SideTop 1 Side Plate
    1645 EVO-010-Shroud 1 Plastic Housing
    1650 EVO-011-Spring 1 90 deg. Torsion Spring
    1655 EVO-012-ShoulderScrew 4 4-40 Shoulder
    Screw For Handles
    1660 EVO-013-Washer 8 #4 Washer
    1665 EVO-014-Nut-4-40 4 4-40 Hex Nut
    1670 EVO-015-LockWasher 4 #4 Lock Washer
    1675 EVO-016-SHCS-M3 2 M3 Socket Head Cap
    Screw for
    Side Plate
    1680 EVO-017-Liner 1 Silicone Insert for
    Holding Hair
    Extension
    1685 EVO-009-SpineInsert 1 Metal Insert for
    Holding Clip Spine
  • [0095]
    Applicator tool 1300 was developed to balance and meet a number of functions, including: quick application, ease of use, strong clip hold, clip handling, hair handling, non-damaging, and ergonomic design. The quick application function is addressed at least in part by having tool 1300 include several features to improve a speed of application of individual clips 100 (which collectively improves a speed of application of an entire set of clips 100 which may number in 80-100 clips or more for a single client. These features include: (A) hands-free crimp and hair handling features (as further noted herein); (B) a funnel feature on a front end that guides hair into place in one motion; and (C) installation of a clip requires only a single squeeze of the tool. (For example, reference parts 1605, 1640, and 1645.)
  • [0096]
    The ease of use function is addressed at least in part by having tool 1300 include several features: (A) a return spring to open the tool again automatically after closing; (B) the overall size of the tool provides the proper spacing and orientation to the head; (C) optional rubberized grips on the handles improve control and comfort. (For example, reference parts 1645 and 1650.) Some operators prefer metal handles (e.g., aluminum) to rubberized covers/coatings on the handles.
  • [0097]
    The strong clip hold function is addressed at least in part by having tool 1300 include several features to enhance a joining force of the clip with respect to hair: (A) specially designed offset features on the jaws to impart a “wave” or “kink” shape to clip 800; (B) parallel closure of the jaws to ensure proper crimping; (C) significant mechanical advantage to magnify the input force of the hand. (For example, reference parts 1610-1640.)
  • [0098]
    The clip handling function is addressed at least in part by having tool 1300 include one or more structures that once inserted, applicator tool 1300 holds clip 100 in place in a hands-free manner by means of “catch” features, grooves and channels on the jaws. (For example, reference parts 1620, 1625, and 1685.)
  • [0099]
    The hair handling function is addressed at least in part by having tool 1300 include one or more structures that once inserted, applicator tool 1300 holds a hair extension in place in a hands-free manner by means of a silicone rubber membrane. (For example, reference parts 1640, 1645, and 1680.)
  • [0100]
    The non-damaging function is addressed at least in part by having tool 1300 include one or more structures that exclude surrounding hair; the jaws close in a parallel motion to avoid “scissoring” hair. (For example, reference parts 1605, 1610, 1615, 1630, 1640, and 1645.)
  • [0101]
    The ergonomic function is addressed at least in part by having tool 1300 include one or more structures and a design that: (A) the handle geometry provides a significant mechanical advantage, reducing the input force required to deploy clip 100 and transform it to clip 800; (B) the handles are contoured to fit most human hand sizes. (For example, reference parts 1610, 1615, 1630, and 1635.)
  • [0102]
    The following discussion details specific parts and some associated feature/function of applicator tool 1300.
  • [0103]
    EVO-001-Arm (Arm): The arms are the main load-carrying elements in the assembly; these parts transfer a force input from the user's hand (on the handles) into the parallel closure of the upper and lower jaws. The four arms within the assembly are linked to one another (and to the jaws) by a set of pivoting and sliding dowel pins. These pins interface with slots machined into the side plates which ensure that the upper and lower jaws close down onto a clip in a parallel movement.
  • [0104]
    EVO-002-Handle (Handle): The handles allow the user to easily hold the tool and apply a force input into the applicator. The handles also increase the mechanical advantage of the tool, thereby decreasing the required input force from the user in order to successfully close a clip. The handles are angled and spaced at appropriate dimensions to accommodate most human hand sizes. Each handle also includes a small machined groove which interfaces with the torsion spring as the tool begins to close; this is the point at which the torsion spring applies its restoring torque to re-open the tool.
  • [0105]
    EVO-003-JawLower (Lower Jaw): The lower jaw transfers the force from the arms into the lower surface of the metal clip. The part includes a “catch” feature (a small metal lip) which serves as a retainer feature to hold the clip in place. The jaw surface also includes a single machined plane which contacts the middle third of the metal clip. This single centered plane of contact crushes the center of the clip and helps to induce a wave pattern (a slight kink) in the crushed clip.
  • [0106]
    EVO-004-JawUpper (Upper Jaw): The upper jaw transfers the force from the arms into the upper surface of the metal clip. The part includes two side lip features which serve to hold the clip in place and prevent left-to-right movement. The jaw surface also includes two machined planes which contact the leftmost and rightmost thirds of the metal clip. These two contact areas crush the left and right sides of the clip and help to induce a wave pattern (a slight kink) in the crushed clip.
  • [0107]
    EVO-005-Pin10.75 (Dowel Pin (10.75 mm)): The 10.75 mm dowel pins interface with the arms and jaws. These two pins transfer the force from the arms into the jaws.
  • [0108]
    EVO-006-Pin15.00 (Dowel Pin (15 mm)): The 15 mm dowel pins interface with the arms, jaws, and side plates. These three pins transfer force from the arms into the jaws. These pins also slide along slots cut in the side plates which ensures the parallel movement of the jaws.
  • [0109]
    EVO-007-SideBottom (Side Plate—Bottom): The bottom side plate acts as one half of the metal housing for the assembly. This part includes slots which guide the sliding dowel pins, threaded bosses for attachment with the top side plate and plastic shroud, a channel which holds the spine insert, a rear boss which retains the torsion spring, an angled front which helps to funnel hair into the mouth of the clip, and a gap through which the hair extension tip may pass. The thickness of this component and its included features largely dictates the resulting spacing between the closed clip and the wearer's scalp.
  • [0110]
    EVO-008-SideTop (Side Plate—Top): The top side plate acts as the other half of the metal housing for the assembly. This part includes slots which guide the sliding dowel pins, through holes for attachment with the bottom side plate and plastic shroud, an angled front which helps to funnel hair into the mouth of the clip, and a gap through which the hair extension tip may pass.
  • [0111]
    EVO-009-SpineInsert (Spine Insert): The spine insert is an adjustable metal insert with a single channel designed to match the thickness of the folded spine on the clip. This component inserts into a cutout in the bottom side plate and is designed to help retain the clip within the jaws and ensure that the clip stays centered top-to-bottom as the upper and lower jaws begin crushing the clip.
  • [0112]
    EVO-010-Shroud (Plastic Shroud): The plastic shroud is a component which includes countersunk holes for mounting over the side plates. This part is designed to enclose some of the moving parts (such as the arms) in order to prevent hair from becoming tangled in any of the moving mechanisms. This part is also designed to hold the silicone insert liner in place, pressed up again the top side plate. The shroud also includes a fillet or contoured surface to help guide the insertion of the hair extension tip into the correct location/orientation through the side plates and between the jaws.
  • [0113]
    EVO-011-Spring (Torsion Spring): The torsion spring is designed to act as a return mechanism, applying a torque which ensures that the applicator tool remains in the open position when the user is not applying an input force on the handles. This spring is placed over the rear screw boss on the bottom side plate and the two legs of the spring sit in grooves machined into the handles.
  • [0114]
    EVO-012-ShoulderScrew (4-40 Shoulder Screw): These 4-40 shoulder screws are used to attach the handles the arms. These components transfer the user's force input from the handles into the arms.
  • [0115]
    EVO-013-Washer (#4 Washer): A #4 washer is used on either side of the 4-40 shoulder screws to ensure proper spacing.
  • [0116]
    EVO-014-Nut-4-40 (4-40 Hex Nut): A 4-40 hex nut is threaded onto each shoulder screw in order to secure the handles to the arms.
  • [0117]
    EVO-015-LockWasher (#4 Lock Washer): A #4 lock washer ensures that the 4-40 hex nut does not come unthreaded after repeated use, tool movements, or vibrations.
  • [0118]
    EVO-016-SHCS-M3 (M3 Socket Head Cap Screw): The low-profile M3 socket head cap screws thread into the bottom side plate. These parts serve as the mechanical connection between the plastic shroud, the top side plate, and the bottom side plate.
  • [0119]
    EVO-017-Liner (Silicone Insert Liner): The silicone insert is sandwiched between the plastic shroud and the top side plate. This small flexible piece of material includes a unique cutout which serves to hold the hair extension tip in place while the tool is in use. The cutout is designed to release the hair extension when the clip has been closed and the tool is pulled away from the wearer's head.
  • [0120]
    FIG. 17-FIG. 19 illustrate various views of a single clip removal tool 1700 such as may be used to remove clip 800 from joined hair; FIG. 17 illustrates a perspective view of single clip removal tool 1700 configured to remove clip 800 illustrated in FIG. 8-FIG. 12 after deployment onto the quantity of hair; FIG. 18 illustrates a side A elevation view of single clip removal tool 1700 illustrated in FIG. 17; FIG. 19 illustrates a side B elevation view of single clip removal tool 1700 illustrated in FIG. 17; and FIG. 20 illustrates an exploded view of single clip removal tool 1700 illustrated in FIG. 17. This description identifies side A and side B as preferably the tool may be used in either hand by an operator for removing clips 800. Table II below provides bill of materials for removal tool 1700.
  • [0000]
    TABLE II
    Removal Tool Bill of Materials
    ITEM NO. PART NUMBER QTY. DESCRIPTION
    2005 EVO-021-CutSideBottom 1 Side Plate
    2010 EVO-001-Arm 4 Arm
    2015 EVO-005-Pin10.75 2 10.75 mm Dowel Pin
    2020 EVO-006-Pin15.00 3 15.00 mm Dowel Pin
    2025 EVO-019-CutJawLower 1 Lower Jaw
    2030 EVO-020-CutJawUpper 1 Upper Jaw
    2035 EVO-018-Blade 1 Cutting Blade
    2040 EVO-002-Handle 2 Handle
    2045 EVO-022-CutSideTop 1 Side Plate
    2050 EVO-023-ButtonScrew 1 M2.5 Button Screw
    2055 EVO-014-Nut-4-40 4 4-40 Hex Nut
    2060 EVO-012-ShoulderScrew 4 4-40 Shoulder Screw
    for Handles
    2065 EVO-013-Washer 8 #4 Washer
    2070 EVO-015-LockWasher 4 #4 Lock Washer
    2075 EVO-024-CutShroud 1 Plastic Housing
    2080 EVO-016-SHCS-M3 2 M3 Socket Head Cap
    Screw for Side Plate
    2085 EVO-011-Spring 1 90 deg. Torsion Spring
  • [0121]
    Removal tool 1700 was developed to balance and meet a number of functions, including: quick removal, non-damaging, ease of use, clip handling, ergonomic design, and maintenance. The quick removal function is addressed at least in part by having tool 1700 include a design and one or more structures that improve the speed of removal of clips 800: (A) a guide feature on the front end orients the clip properly in one motion; and (B) removal of clip 800 requires only a single squeeze of the tool. (For example, reference parts 2005, 2010, 2045, and 2075.)
  • [0122]
    The non-damaging function is addressed at least in part by having tool 1700 include a design and one or more structures that reduce the chance of damaging the hair: (A) the enclosure has an opening precisely sized for the clip edge (spine 105), and otherwise guides hair away; (B) the cutting area has a precise depth stop to allow only the empty edge of a clip 800 to be cut. (For example, reference parts 2005, 2045, and 2075.)
  • [0123]
    The ease of use function is addressed at least in part by having tool 1700 include a design and one or more structures that improve ease of use: (A) a return spring to open the tool again automatically after closing; (B) an inclined blade surface that cuts in pure shear to reduce the input force required; (C) optional rubberized grips on the handles to improve control and comfort. (For example, reference parts 2025, 2035, 2040, and 2085.) Some operators prefer metal (e.g., aluminum) handles to rubberized covers.
  • [0124]
    The clip handing function is addressed at least in part by having tool 1700 include a design and one or more structures that, during cutting, removal tool 1700 helps to hold clip 800 in place by the design of the blade surfaces and enclosure. (For example, reference parts 2005, 2025, 2030, 2045, and 2075.)
  • [0125]
    The ergonomic design function is addressed at least in part by having tool 1700 include a design and one or more structures that is ergonomically designed such that: (A) the handle geometry provides a significant mechanical advantage, reducing the input force required; (B) the handles are contoured to fit most human hand sizes. (For example, reference parts 2010 and 2040.)
  • [0126]
    The maintenance function is addressed at least in part by having tool 1700 include a design and one or more structures that allow for the cutting blade to be removable, allowing for sharpening and/or replacement. (For example, reference parts 2030, 2035, and 2050.)
  • [0127]
    The following discussion details specific parts and some associated feature/function of removal tool 1700.
  • [0128]
    EVO-001-Arm (Arm): The arms are the main load-carrying elements in the assembly; these parts transfer a force input from the user's hand (on the handles) into the parallel closure of the upper and lower jaws. The four arms within the assembly are linked to one another (and to the jaws) by a set of pivoting and sliding dowel pins. These pins interface with slots machined into the side plates which ensure that the upper and lower jaws close down onto a clip in a parallel movement.
  • [0129]
    EVO-002-Handle (Handle): The handles allow the user to easily hold the tool and apply a force input into the removal tool. The handles also increase the mechanical advantage of the tool, thereby decreasing the required input force from the user in order to successfully cut a clip. The handles are angled and spaced at appropriate dimensions to accommodate most human hand sizes. Each handle also includes a small machined groove which interfaces with the torsion spring as the tool begins to close; this is the point at which the torsion spring applies its restoring torque to re-open the tool.
  • [0130]
    EVO-019-CutJawLower (Removal Tool Lower Jaw): The lower jaw transfers the force from the arms into the lower edge of the clip's spine. The edge of the jaw surface creates a shearing force through the folded sheet metal clip which allows the spine to be cut off from the rest of the clip. This allows for removal of the clip without prying the clip open or cutting the wearer's hair.
  • [0131]
    EVO-020-CutJawUpper (Removal Tool Upper Jaw): The upper jaw transfers the force from the arms into the upper edge of the clip's spine. This part includes a threaded hole which allows for the attachment of a replaceable cutting blade. The part includes alignment features to ensure the cutting blade is properly angled and centered within the assembly.
  • [0132]
    EVO-005-Pin10.75 (Dowel Pin (10.75 mm)): The 10.75 mm dowel pins interface with the arms and jaws. These two pins transfer the force from the arms into the jaws.
  • [0133]
    EVO-006-Pin15.00 (Dowel Pin (15 mm)): The 15 mm dowel pins interface with the arms, jaws, and side plates. These three pins transfer force from the arms into the jaws. These pins also slide along slots cut in the side plates which ensures the parallel movement of the jaws.
  • [0134]
    EVO-021-CutSideBottom (Removal Tool Side Plate—Bottom): The bottom side plate acts as one half of the metal housing for the assembly. This part includes slots which guide the sliding dowel pins, threaded bosses for attachment with the top side plate and plastic shroud, and a rear boss which retains the torsion spring.
  • [0135]
    EVO-022-CutSideTop (Removal Tool Side Plate—Top): The top side plate acts as the other half of the metal housing for the assembly. This part includes slots which guide the sliding dowel pins, and through holes for attachment with the bottom side plate and plastic shroud.
  • [0136]
    EVO-024-CutShroud (Removal Tool—Plastic Shroud): The plastic shroud is a component which includes countersunk holes for mounting over the side plates. This part is designed to enclose some of the moving parts (such as the arms) in order to prevent hair from becoming tangled in any of the moving mechanisms.
  • [0137]
    EVO-011-Spring (Torsion Spring): The torsion spring is designed to act as a return mechanism, applying a torque which ensures that the removal tool remains in the open position when the user is not applying an input force on the handles. This spring is placed over the rear screw boss on the bottom side plate and the two legs of the spring sit in grooves machined into the handles.
  • [0138]
    EVO-012-ShoulderScrew (4-40 Shoulder Screw): These 4-40 shoulder screws are used to attach the handles the arms. These components transfer the user's force input from the handles into the arms.
  • [0139]
    EVO-013-Washer (#4 Washer): A #4 washer is used on either side of the 4-40 shoulder screws to ensure proper spacing.
  • [0140]
    EVO-014-Nut-4-40 (4-40 Hex Nut): A 4-40 hex nut is threaded onto each shoulder screw in order to secure the handles to the arms.
  • [0141]
    EVO-015-LockWasher (#4 Lock Washer): A #4 lock washer ensures that the 4-40 hex nut does not come unthreaded after repeated use, tool movements, or vibrations.
  • [0142]
    EVO-016-SHCS-M3 (M3 Socket Head Cap Screw): The low-profile M3 socket head cap screws thread into the bottom side plate. These parts serve as the mechanical connection between the plastic shroud, the top side plate, and the bottom side plate.
  • [0143]
    EVO-018-Blade (Removal Tool Blade): As this component moves past the lower jaw (when the handles are squeezed), the cutting blade and the lower jaw create a shearing force through the clip which is designed to cut the spine completely free. This part features an inclined cutting edge which reduces the required input force to shear the spine off of the clip. The removal blade also includes a through hole and other alignment features which are used to mount the blade to the upper jaw. The component is designed to be replaceable as it wears down.
  • [0144]
    EVO-023-ButtonScrew (M2.5 Button Head Cap Screw): This M2.5 button head cap screw threads into the upper jaw and holds the removal blade in place.
  • [0145]
    After modeling and testing many (over three dozen clip prototypes), a set of design requirements for the clip and developed several working units that were further developed for possible manufacture.
  • [0146]
    Baseline: Micro Ring
  • [0147]
    The industry standard micro ring was used as a baseline comparison for resisting vertical slipping under tensile load. Our tests led us to two preliminary conclusions: (i) 5 lbs. is an extreme tensile load in this context as a 2 lb. maximum tensile load is adequate in many cases; and (ii) silicone lining results in a 50-100% increase in tensile load hold.
  • [0148]
    An unlined micro ring as tested holds ˜2 lbs tensile load while a silicone-lined micro ring holds 3-5 lbs. tensile load.
  • [0149]
    The clip design process involved hand application of an extension followed by tensile load testing. Hair extensions were tested both “tipped” and “loose;” tipped hair extensions were tested both round and flat. Tests were conducted for 33 prototype iterations as well as an array of existing products from a wide variety of domains (e.g. beauty, medical and electrical). Tensile load test data were recorded and compared for all tests; in total, nine distinct prototype designs were successful in exceeding the 2 lb. baseline.
  • [0150]
    The clip prototypes fall into two broad categories by material: metal- and plastic-based designs. The plastic prototypes can be grouped into the clip/snap-type and the zip-tie-type. Plastic prototypes were either 3D printed in ABS plastic or urethane cast in silicone molds. Metal prototypes can be grouped into the simple crimp-type and the wire-wrap-type. Various metal alloys were tested in copper, brass, steel and aluminum. We also applied various spray coatings (e.g. Plasti Dip spray) to test the effect on hold. Iterative testing led to the refined list of design parameters which follows.
  • [0151]
    Design Parameters
  • [0152]
    1. The clip should close down completely on the hair without gaps in the cross-sectional area.
  • [0153]
    2. The clip should form a “closed loop” around the hair, with no open edges or sides.
  • [0154]
    3. The clip must close reliably—as intended, with high repeatability and predictability.
  • [0155]
    4. Tipped hair should be used, and the clip should place recipient hair in direct contract with the keratin.
  • [0156]
    5. The clip should facilitate the correct placement of recipient hair and extension during application.
  • [0157]
    6. The clip should incorporate features that facilitate removal without damaging hair.
  • [0158]
    7. During closing, portions of the clip must be able to move “past” the resting position to counteract elastic “spring-back” of the material.
  • [0159]
    8. The size of the clip should be optimized for tensile hold and long-term wearability.
  • [0160]
    9. The clip must be simple and inexpensive to manufacture in high volume.
  • [0161]
    Particularly considering the variability of the size of a hair extension “tip,” it is much simpler to satisfy the design requirements with a “crushable” metal design, versus plastic. Clip 100 satisfies these design parameters. Other designs may also sufficiently satisfy all or most of these design parameters, such a “tri-fold” crimp design, which could be manufactured from tube or sheet metal stock (by laser tube cutting or four-slide operation, respectively). A tube-based clip would include a body formed from a portion of a cylindrical tube with diametrical interposing crushable teeth formed from other portions of the cylindrical tube. Some such designs may hold greater than 3 lbs. tensile load. A sheet metal clip, in addition to clip 100, generally includes a folded edge/spine with crushable attachment structures extending from the spine that engage and secure hair.
  • [0162]
    Development of the closing mechanism (“jaws”) is largely be determined by clip requirements and design implementation. The manual single clip applicator may optionally incorporate clip feeding and powered actuation. The manual single clip removal tool may optionally incorporate powered actuation as well.
  • [0163]
    FIG. 21-FIG. 23 illustrate various views of an alternative embodiment for a clip applicator tool 2100. FIG. 21 illustrates a perspective view of alternative clip applicator tool 2100, FIG. 22 illustrates a side elevation view of alternative clip applicator tool 2200, and FIG. 23 illustrates a front detail view of a head 2105 of alternative applicator tool 2100. Tool 2100 is similar in construction and operation to tool 1300 with some the differences noted herein.
  • [0164]
    Tool 2100 includes a pair of handles 2110 moveably coupled to head 2105 for operation of a pair of opposing jaws within head 2105. Handles 2110 are main load-carrying elements of tool 2100—transferring a force input from hands of an operator into a parallel closure of the opposing jaws. Two handles 2110 cross over each other holding together the opposing jaws with other elements of head 2105 while offering increased leverage. Opposing jaws, in response to operation of handles 2110, close with jaws maintained in a parallel manner.
  • [0165]
    The opposing jaws include a first, or lower, jaw, that transfers force from the handle operation onto a first, e.g., a lower, jaw portion of an un-deployed clip disposed within head 2105. The first jaw includes a machined protrusion, a male portion, that cooperates with a complementary structure on an opposing second jaw as described herein to create a crimp or wave in a deployed clip. The second jaw, e.g., an upper jaw, transfers force from the handle operation onto a second opposing jaw portion of the un-deployed clip disposed within head 2105. The second jaw includes a pair of machined protrusions offset from alignment with the protrusion on the first jaw.
  • [0166]
    Head 2105 includes a side plate 2115 that, together with a side cover 2120 forming a housing structure for the internal applicator parts of the jaws and a silicone liner 2125. Side plate 2115 features an easy clip side placement aperture 2130 (in addition to front loading) for added convenience allowing a pre-deployed clip to be placed into head 2105 from the side or the front as most convenient for the operator. Goals of some embodiments of the present invention include safe, fast, and efficient installation of deployed hair clips, and having an additional loading mechanism can be important to realization of some of these goals. Side plate 2115 includes a clip “catch” to insure proper clip alignment with the applicator jaws. Side cover 2120 includes a placement area for silicon liner 2125 and “teeth” to match placement of side plate 2115 to aid in proper clip alignment prior to clip deployment.
  • [0167]
    A torsion spring 2205 (partially shown) is coupled to handles 2110 to act as a return mechanism. The spring applies a torque which ensures that tool 2100 remains in the open position when the operator is not applying a deployment force on handles 2110. Legs of the spring may sit within grooves machined within handles 2110.
  • [0168]
    Tool 2100 includes several functions for quick and seamless deployment of an un-deployed clip, including: a) hands-free clip and hair handling, b) clip and hair guides for efficient and proper alignment, and c) clip closing/crimping may be implemented to properly deploy with a single squeeze of the handles.
  • [0169]
    Ease of use is enabled by several features, including: a) return spring to open the applicator after it is manually closed, b) size and weight of applicator provides proper spacing and orientation of clip deployment relative to a head receiving the clip deployment(s); and c) handles are ergonomically designed for comfortable grip, control, and operation.
  • [0170]
    Enhancing a “grip” of a deployed clip on the hair and extension may be provided by several features of the applicator, including: a) special complementary protrusions on operational mechanical faces of the opposing applicator jaws that create the crimp or wave, b) parallel closure of the jaws ensures proper crimping from any orientation of tool and placement of a clip, and c) design of handle and jaw mechanics provides the applicator operator with mechanical advantage to magnify the deployment/crimping force with sustainably minimal effort by the operator. An operator may deploy many clips throughout a day for many customers, especially as a goal was to improve the clip deployment efficiency so use of embodiments of the present invention provide a greatly increased opportunity for an operator to become fatigued by increasing a number of deployments of clips that include an improved holding force on the hair and associated hair extension.
  • [0171]
    Some embodiments may include an improved clip handling by providing one or two lateral clip guides (e.g., aperture 2130) made in the side plate and/or side cover to help an operator properly load an individual pre-deployed clip within head 2105.
  • [0172]
    Some embodiments include an enhanced hair handling feature by inclusion of silicone liner 2125. Silicone liner 2125 allows the operator to place donor hair in the applicator and guide it to the desired location and allow liner 2125 to hold the hair at the desired location in a hands-free manner. Liner 2125 safely and securely holds the donor hair without damage while allowing the operator to make other adjustments and assessments of a deployment, including loading a portion of client hair into the applicator while the donor hair extension remains properly positioned prior to deployment of the clip on both the client hair and loaded donor hair extension.
  • [0173]
    Some embodiments may include further enhancements to reduce any risk of damaging hair, particularly client hair, as the number of deployments increases and time/deployment decreases as compared to average conventional installation of non-clip systems. Non-damaging features may include use of the side plates to cover internal mechanical operation and components to help protect the hair, especially client surrounding hair not explicitly installed within head 2105 for association with an extension. Further, the parallel operation of the applicator jaws helps to avoid entanglements while also promoting superior deployment and crimping.
  • [0174]
    FIG. 24-FIG. 25 illustrate various views of an alternative embodiment for a clip removal tool 2400. FIG. 24 illustrates a perspective view of alternative clip removal tool 2400, and FIG. 25 illustrates a side elevation view of alternative clip removal tool 2400. Clip removal tool 2400 severs a spine of a deployed clip which results in disassociation of the two jaw portions to release the client hair from attachment to the donor hair extension in one quick and simple step. Clip removal tool 2400 includes a cutting head 2405 operated by a pair of handles 2410 (which may be the same handles as applicator tool 2100) biased open with a torsional spring. Cutting head 2405 includes a pair of jaws and a cutting blade 2415 preferably made of high-speed steel (HSS-HRC60˜65, heat treated) for severing the spine of deployed clip. Head 2405 may also include a housing with a side plate, a side plate cover, a cut side plate, and a cut side plate bottom and a silicone liner.
  • [0175]
    Features of removal tool 2400 may include one of more of the following: a) quick removal, b) non-damaging, c) ease of use, d) clip handling, e) ergonomic design, and f) maintenance.
  • [0176]
    Quick removal—Removal tool 2400 may incorporate one or more features to improve a speed, safety, and accuracy of removal of clips: (A) a guide feature on the front end orients the clip properly in one motion; (B) removal of crimp requires only a single squeeze of the tool.
  • [0177]
    Non-damaging—Removal tool 2400 may incorporate one or more features to reduce a chance of damaging hair, particularly client hair: (A) the enclosure may be designed to ensure a deployed clip is guided to the precise location for removal while client loose hair is kept away from moving parts; (B) the cutting area maintains a high tolerance precision for the spacing and cutting component arrangement to allow only an empty spine of a deployed clip to fit between cutting blade 2415 and its cut blade anvil when cutting/severing the spine.
  • [0178]
    Ease of use—Removal tool 2400 may include one or more features to improve ease of use: (A) a return spring to open tool again automatically after closing; (B) an inclined blade surface that cuts in pure shear to reduce the input force required; and (C) light weight and comfortable design for optimal control.
  • [0179]
    Clip handling—During cutting, removal tool 2400 may help to hold a deployed clip in place with a desired relationship between a blade surface and enclosure so that a deployed clip is easily cut and removed.
  • [0180]
    Ergonomic design—Removal tool 2400 may be ergonomically designed such that: (A) the handle geometry provides a significant mechanical advantage, maximum force with minimal effort; and (B) the handles are contoured to fit comfortably in most human hand sizes.
  • [0181]
    Maintenance—Cutting blade 2415 is removable allowing for sharpening and/or replacement.
  • [0182]
    The system and methods above has been described in general terms as an aid to understanding details of preferred embodiments of the present invention. In the description herein, numerous specific details are provided, such as examples of components and/or methods, to provide a thorough understanding of embodiments of the present invention. Some features and benefits of the present invention are realized in such modes and are not required in every case. Some of the disclosed embodiments include one or more of the following features: a) a clip that is designed to be completely flat when deployed, b) a 4 mm guide, c) passive hold, d) a clip having a flexible loading capacity, e) parallel jaws for the applicator, f) side covers, and g) multi-optional clip loading.
  • [0183]
    Completely flat reduces a tactile “footprint” improving the visual and touch response of a set of deployments as the flat clip is less easily noticed when touching or petting the client hair having such clip deployments retaining donor hair (with the added benefit that there is much less risk of defeating the clip and detaching the donor hair from its association with client hair). The open mouth, which contributes to the completely flat feature and to the flexible loading capacity, removes any requirement to position the clip by running it along shaft(s) of client hair to reach an intended installation location. This removes the need to push up the attachment clip, thus allowing the hair trapped into the clip to be completely flat. This eliminates the small matts and tangles which are present in the micro ring method.
  • [0184]
    The 4 mm guide allows the clip to be installed at a safe distance from the scalp. Since there is no tool or guide, the micro rings are often applied too close to the scalp, causing pain and damage to the client. Allows for the user to speed through the installation process because of the precision in placement. Takes the guesswork out of where to install the clip.
  • [0185]
    Passive hold allows for the user to insert the donor hair into a guide/resting place which holds the hair in place. The passive hold is snug around the donor hair so that even in the event the tool is set down, the donor hair will not slip out. Other methods require the practitioner to hold the donor hair inside the clip with their finger in place, which is cumbersome and if for whatever reason the practitioner needed to pause the process, this step would need to be repeated because nothing is holding the donor hair in place, it would simply slip out.
  • [0186]
    By virtue of an open mouth, there is a flexible relatively unconstrained loading volume of a clip. The extensionist has much greater flexibility with quantities of donor hair to be used in cooperation with a quantity of client hair.
  • [0187]
    The open mouth is not a limitation because of the parallel action of the applicator jaws and the bended angular construction of the clip portions which also include parallel jaw portions allow the clip to be deployed and closed without risk of pushing any of the hair out of the mouth. The jaws of the clip come down in a vice grip motion, as opposed to the traditional pliers which close together unevenly. This closing motion is importation as to compress evenly around the donor hair and client. The pliers push the hair out from the mouth of the clip.
  • [0188]
    As noted herein, some applicator tools may include both a side load and front load feature to seat a pre-deployed clip into deployment position within an applicator tool.
  • [0189]
    One skilled in the relevant art will recognize, however, that an embodiment of the invention can be practiced without one or more of the specific details, or with other apparatus, systems, assemblies, methods, components, materials, parts, and/or the like. In other instances, well-known structures, materials, or operations are not specifically shown or described in detail to avoid obscuring aspects of embodiments of the present invention.
  • [0190]
    Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment”, “an embodiment”, or “a specific embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention and not necessarily in all embodiments. Thus, respective appearances of the phrases “in one embodiment”, “in an embodiment”, or “in a specific embodiment” in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily referring to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the particular features, structures, or characteristics of any specific embodiment of the present invention may be combined in any suitable manner with one or more other embodiments. It is to be understood that other variations and modifications of the embodiments of the present invention described and illustrated herein are possible in light of the teachings herein and are to be considered as part of the spirit and scope of the present invention.
  • [0191]
    It will also be appreciated that one or more of the elements depicted in the drawings/figures can also be implemented in a more separated or integrated manner, or even removed or rendered as inoperable in certain cases, as is useful in accordance with a particular application.
  • [0192]
    Additionally, any signal arrows in the drawings/Figures should be considered only as exemplary, and not limiting, unless otherwise specifically noted. Combinations of components or steps will also be considered as being noted, where terminology is foreseen as rendering the ability to separate or combine is unclear.
  • [0193]
    The foregoing description of illustrated embodiments of the present invention, including what is described in the Abstract, is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed herein. While specific embodiments of, and examples for, the invention are described herein for illustrative purposes only, various equivalent modifications are possible within the spirit and scope of the present invention, as those skilled in the relevant art will recognize and appreciate. As indicated, these modifications may be made to the present invention in light of the foregoing description of illustrated embodiments of the present invention and are to be included within the spirit and scope of the present invention.
  • [0194]
    Thus, while the present invention has been described herein with reference to particular embodiments thereof, a latitude of modification, various changes and substitutions are intended in the foregoing disclosures, and it will be appreciated that in some instances some features of embodiments of the invention will be employed without a corresponding use of other features without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as set forth. Therefore, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the essential scope and spirit of the present invention. It is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular terms used in following claims and/or to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include any and all embodiments and equivalents falling within the scope of the appended claims. Thus, the scope of the invention is to be determined solely by the appended claims.
Referenciado por
Patente Onde é Citada Data de apresentação Data de publicação Requerente Título
USD794248 *6 Ago 20158 Ago 2017Ryan TokkoHair extension tape fixing tool
USD797993 *6 Ago 201519 Set 2017Ryan TokkoHair extension tube release tool
Classificações
Classificação InternacionalA41G5/00, A41G3/00
Classificação CooperativaA41G5/0086, A41G3/0033, A41G5/0073