Patent application title: HAIR CURLING DEVICE, KIT AND METHOD
Oliver Sunderland (West Yorkshire, GB)
IPC8 Class: AA45D600FI
Class name: Methods hair deformation or set (e.g., curling, waving) and application of heat
Publication date: 2012-07-26
Patent application number: 20120186600
A method for curling hair includes the steps of coiling a portion of hair
around an elongate rod formed of heat resistant material and applying a
heated hair styling iron to the hair to heat the hair for a period of
time sufficient for setting the curl in the hair. The hair styling iron
and the rod are then removed from the hair. A hair curling kit for
performing the method is included, which has a hair curling device with a
rod and a hair styling iron.
34. A method for curling hair, comprising the steps of: coiling a portion of hair around an elongate rod formed of a heat resistant material for forming a coil of hair; applying a heated hair styling iron to the hair for heating the hair for a period of time sufficient for setting a curl in the hair; and, removing the hair styling iron and the elongate rod from the coil of hair.
35. The method for curling hair according to claim 34, wherein said hair styling iron is a hair straightening iron.
36. The method for curling hair according to claim 34, wherein said heat resistant material is capable of withstanding a temperature of at least 170.degree. C. without becoming damaged or degraded.
37. The method for curling hair according to claim 34, wherein said step of coiling a portion of hair around an elongate rod is performed by coiling the hair around the elongate rod over substantially an entire length of the hair.
38. The method for curling hair according to claim 34, wherein said step of coiling a portion of hair around an elongate rod is performed by rotating the elongate rod relative to said hair styling iron for applying heat evenly to the coil of hair.
39. The method for curling hair according to claim 34, wherein said elongate rod is tapered.
40. The method for curling hair according claim 34, wherein said elongate rod has a substantially circular cross-section.
41. The method for curling hair according to claim 34, wherein said elongate rod is substantially circular having a first diameter of approximately 1 cm to 3 cm at a first end and with said elongate rod narrowing to a second diameter of approximately 0.5 to 1.5 cm at a second end.
42. The method for curling hair according to claim 34, wherein said elongate rod has a length of 25 cm to 35 cm.
43. The method for curling hair according to claim 34, wherein said elongate rod is made of a plastic material filled with at least one of glass and carbon fiber.
44. The method for curling hair according to claim 34, wherein said elongate rod has an outer surface that is smooth over at least a portion thereof.
45. The method for curling hair according to claim 34, wherein said elongate rod is impregnated with a hair conditioning substance.
46. The method for curling hair according to claim 34, wherein said elongate rod including means for anchoring said elongate rod to the hair of a person.
47. The method for curling hair according to claim 34, wherein said hair styling iron is an electrically-heated hair curling device.
48. The method for curling hair according to claim 47, wherein said electrically-heated hair curling device comprises a pair of elongate, curved plates capable of being brought together around said elongate rod.
49. The method for curling hair according to claim 48, wherein said curved plates are attached to respective arms pivotally connected at ends remote from said curved plates.
50. A kit for curling hair, comprising: a hair curling device having an elongate rod and a pair of elongate, curved plates capable of being brought together around said elongate rod with said elongate rod being formed of a heat resistant material capable of withstanding a temperature of at least 200.degree. C. without becoming damaged or degraded, said elongate rod not including means for heating said hair curling device; and, a hair styling iron having a pair of jaws with at least one jaw of said pair of jaws comprising an electrically heatable member for hair for heating the hair for a period of time sufficient for setting a curl in the hair formed by said hair curling device.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates to a device, a kit and a method for curling hair.
BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION
 Various devices are known for forming curls in hair. These include rollers and curling tongs or irons. Traditional curling tongs comprise a pair of jaws hinged together, at least one of which is electrically heated. A portion of hair is placed between the jaws and the device twisted to wrap hair around it. The heat imparted to the hair causes it to set with a curl. Usually, one jaw is substantially cylindrical and the other curved so as to seat against a portion of the cylindrical jaw.
 One of the most common hair styling appliances in current use is a hair straightener. Typically, this comprises a pair of jaws with opposing flat plates which are electrically heated. In addition to straightening hair, such an appliance can also be used to create curls by grasping a portion of hair between the plates and twisting the appliance to wrap more hair around it. However, the result achieved is not entirely satisfactory because the portion of hair held between the flat plates will be flattened rather than curled and the tightness of the curl is limited by the external diameter of the appliance.
 Typical hair curling tongs can reach a temperature of about 160°-180° C. and hair straighteners up to about 230° C. A user must coil hair around the appliance when it is already hot, a process which frequently causes burns to the user's hands. Furthermore, the curl starts to set as soon as the hair is coiled around the hot appliance and therefore, if the coil is incorrect for any reason, the desired result will not be achieved and it may be necessary to wash the hair to remove the curl properly, before starting the whole process over again.
 Another problem with existing appliances is that, for very long hair, it must be coiled many times around the appliance. As heat is only applied from the inside, it may not penetrate to the outer layers in the coil of hair, leading to insufficient setting of the curl and an unsatisfactory result.
STATEMENTS OF THE INVENTION
 According to the present invention, there is provided a method for curling hair comprising coiling a portion of hair around an elongate rod formed of heat resistant material, applying a heated hair styling iron to the hair to heat the hair for a period of time sufficient to set the curl in the hair and removing the hair styling iron and the rod from the coil of hair.
 Preferably, the hair styling iron is a hair straightening iron.
 Preferably, the material is able to withstand a temperature of at least 170° C., more preferably at least 200° C., most preferably at least 230° C., without becoming damaged or degraded. Preferably, the rod is substantially linear or straight-edged along its length.
 Preferably, the hair is not subjected to any treatment, such as a fixing/holding spray prior to application of the hair styling iron.
 Preferably the hair is maintained in place on the rod solely by hand grip and/or the hair styling iron itself.
 Preferably, the hair coiled around the rod is coiled over substantially the entire length of the hair.
 Preferably, the hair is coiled around the rod so that the coils of hair are substantially non-overlapping on the rod.
 Preferably, the hair is coiled around the rod only along part of the length of the rod, so that the rod may be hand gripped while the hair styling iron is applied.
 Preferably, the rod is rotated relative to the hair styling iron to apply heat evenly to the coils of hair. In other words, the rod may be rotated while the hair styling iron is not, or vice versa. The rod may be solid or hollow, the latter being of relatively reduced weight and requiring a lower quantity of heat resistant material, whilst retaining strength and rigidity.
 Preferably, the rod has a substantially circular cross section. The rod may, however, have a non-circular cross section, in order to provide different styles of curl.
 Preferably, the length of the rod is at least 20 cm, more preferably from 25-35 cm. Preferably, the rod is tapered. This allows different sizes of curls to be created or an even sized curl when a large quantity of hair is coiled around it. Furthermore, the taper allows a more natural curl to be created. The degree of taper is preferably small enough to allow substantially the full surface of the hair straightener to meet the rod. This maximises the heat transfer and thereby gives the best curl effect.
 The diameter of the rod may typically be in the range of approximately 1 cm-3 cm at one end narrowing to a diameter in the range of 0.5 cm-1.5 cm at the other end.
 Preferably, the rod is made from a plastics material which may include one or more fillers, such as a glass fibre and carbon fibre, which modify the strength and/or heat handling properties of the material.
 Preferably, the outer surface of the rod is smooth, over at least a portion thereof.
 The rod may be impregnated with a hair conditioning substance.
 Although in one embodiment of the present invention, the rod may be intended to be held in the hand throughout the operation of the method, in another embodiment the rod may be provided with at least one hair anchoring means to anchor the device in a person's hair. This frees the user's hands.
 The hair anchoring means may include one or more notches formed in the surface of the rod. Alternatively, the hair anchoring means may comprise one or more hooking projections extending from the surface of the rod.
 The hair styling iron is applied to the coil of hair for a time sufficient for the amount of hair forming the coil. This may vary considerably from person to person depending on hair thickness, coil size etc. Typically, the application time is of the order of 10-15 seconds.
 Preferably, the hair curling device is retained in the coil of hair, after removal of the hair styling iron, for a period of a few seconds.
 Preferably the hair styling iron is a hair straightening device or a hair curling device.
 Preferably the hair styling iron is an electrically heated hair curling device.
 Preferably the electrically heated hair curling device comprises a pair of elongate, curved plates which may be brought together around the rod.
 Preferably the curved plates are attached to respective arms which are pivotally connected together at ends remote from the plates.
 The present invention also provides a hair styling device comprising an elongate rod formed of heat-resistant material which is able to withstand a temperature of at least 230° C., without becoming damaged or degraded and which does not include any means to heat the device.
 The present invention also provides a hair styling device comprising an elongate rod which is substantially linear along its length and preferably has a smooth outer surface.
 The rod may be telescopically extendable from a minimum length to a maximum length, so as to be compact for storage.
 The present invention further provides a kit for curling hair comprising a hair curling device of the invention and a hair styling iron.
 Preferably the hair styling iron has a pair of jaws, at least one jaw comprising an electrically heatable member.
 Preferably the hair styling iron is a hair straightening device or a hair curling device.
 Preferably the hair styling iron is a hair curling device as defined above.
 Preferably the kit comprises a plurality of hair curling devices of the invention, each hair curling device being of a different size and/or shape to the others, and a base comprising a body with a plurality of recesses, each recess being of a size and shape to receive a particular one of the hair curling devices.
 The use of a rod in the present invention allows for curls of any size to be created when using the method of the invention. This is in contrast to the use of a curling iron which can only create a curl of certain size. If curls of another size are required, then a different curling iron must be used.
 The application to the hair of a hair straightener smoothes out the hair cuticles making them flat to the hair shaft, thereby improving the shine and condition of the hair. Traditional methods of curling, using tongs and/or rollers, do not result in the cuticle being smoothed out during the curling process.
 The use of a heat resistant rod means that some of the heat applied to the hair is absorbed, while the curl is being created. This prevents the hair from becoming too hot. The hair, when removed from the rod after the heat from the hair straightener has been applied, is cool, in contrast to the position when a hair straightener is applied direct to the hair, in which case the hair is normally intensely hot.
 The spring, bounce and life of a curl produced by the method of the present invention lasts much longer than are obtained by traditional methods as the use of the rod and hair straightener results in the more effective setting of the hair in a curled shape.
 A rod of use in the present invention can be such that it will change colour with heat to demonstrate that the hair has received the required temperature during the curling process.
 By contrast with some other hair curling methods, the rods of the present method are not fixed to the head in any way. Accordingly, the method of the present invention does not lead to tension and discomfort for the user and avoids the possibility of irritation, inflammation and hair loss. Furthermore, the rod, by not being fixed, provide more flexibility for the user and more movement and easier curl creation.
 In addition, the rods are not connected to any source of electricity and this makes the operation of coiling the hair around the rod much easier.
 Very importantly, the rods are applied to the hair as cold (or room temperature) items, thereby making the product easier to use and far safer, with no risk of burning the hands or face. The application of a hair straightener only to the hair wound on the rod also removes the risk of burning and provides safer curl creation due to the plates only coming into contact with hair coiled around the rods.
 The rods can be infused with tourmaline crystals, which form part of the composition of the rods. The presence of tourmaline helps smooth out the hair cuticles and maintain hair condition. This believed to be because the tourmaline gives off negative ions when heated. The rods do not get hot, in the method of the present invention, at the position where the user grips them. They mostly only get somewhat warm.
 Typically, the rods will work at temperatures from 60° C. to 230° C. which is the typical operating range for hair straightening irons.
 Curls produced by the method of the present invention last far longer than is the case with traditional curling methods. This is due to the use of a hair straightener in conjunction with the rods to create a defined curl around a rounded rod to mould the hair to an exact size depending on how the user winds the hair around the rod.
 In a preferred embodiment, the rod is smooth, at least where the hair is to be applied to it. In particular, the rod is not provided with grooves as the provision of grooves makes it difficult to wind the hair around the rod in different directions. Furthermore, the grooves would also make the coil difficult to remove and the curl in the coil subject to disturbance. A smooth rod allows the hair easily to slide off the rod with no disturbance or distribution of the curl.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The accompanying drawings are as follows:
 FIG. 1 shows a first embodiment of a hair curling device in accordance with the present invention;
 FIG. 2 shows a second embodiment of a hair curling device in accordance with the present invention; and
 FIGS. 3a, 3b and 3c illustrates the method of the present invention;
 FIG. 4 illustrates an alternative embodiment of hair curling device in accordance with the present invention;
 FIGS. 5a-5g illustrate parts of hair curling devices in accordance with further embodiments of the present invention having various hair anchoring devices;
 FIG. 6 illustrates a kit for curling hair in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and
 FIG. 7 illustrates an electrical curling device used in conjunction with a hair curling device such as that illustrated in FIG. 1 or FIG. 2.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 The invention will now be described in detail, by way of examples only, with reference to the accompanying drawings.
 FIG. 1 illustrates an example of a hair curling rod. This comprises a narrow, elongate rod of between 25 and 35 cm in length, and preferably approximately 30 cm in length. Preferably, it is tapered with a diameter reducing from approximately 2 cm at the proximal end 12 to approximately 1.5 cm at the distal end 14. At the distal end 14, the rod 10 is rounded off so as not to form a potentially hazardous sharp point. At the proximal end 12, the rod may be flat, slightly dished inwardly or slightly dished outwardly, as desired.
 The outer surface of the rod 10 is completely smooth so that hair coiled around it will not snag or catch on its surface.
 The rod 10 is formed of a heat resistant material such as a carbon fibre material. This material is highly heat resistant and therefore will not become damages or degraded in any way when subjected to the high temperature which can be produced by heated hair styling appliances, e.g. it will not melt or become scorched, it will not lose its rigidity and become flexible, nor become more brittle and liable to breakage. This material can also be impregnated with other substances known to have conditioning effects on the hair, for example tourmaline. For example, the carbon fibre material may be carbon fibre reinforced polymer. Preferably the polymer comprises terephthalate monomer units. For example, the polymer may be a co-polymer comprising terephthalate monomer units or may be a homopolymer made from a terephthalate monomer. Preferably, the polymer is PBT (poly butylenes terephthalate). Preferably, the carbon fibre is introduced in powder form.
 A handle 16 may be provided at the proximal end 12 of the rod 10 for the comfort of the user's hand. This may be a layer of soft, cushioning material placed around the rod 10, or a separate body to which the rod 10 is attached.
 FIG. 2 illustrates a second embodiment of hair curling rod 10. This is substantially identical to the first embodiment, again being approximately 30 cm in length, but in this case the diameter ranges from approximately 1 cm at the proximal end 12 to approximately 0.5 cm at the distal end 14.
 It will be appreciated that a range of different diameters could be used, for example:  1 cm reducing to 0.5 cm  1.5 cm reducing to 1 cm  2 cm reducing to 1.5 cm  2.5 cm reducing to 0.5 cm  3 cm reducing to 0.5 cm
 The length of the rod can also be altered as desired but approximately 30 cm is preferred as it provides sufficient length to accommodate a reasonable length of hair coiled around it, while not being too cumbersome to use.
 In use, to create curls in hair, a section of hair 18 is wrapped around the rod 1 as shown in FIG. 3a. Long hair can be coiled helically along the length of the rod to give a more even curl diameter as illustrated in FIG. 3c. Since the rod is at ambient temperature, there is no risk of bums to the user as with conventional curling tongs or straighteners, and the user can take as long as necessary to coil the hair to their satisfaction before they apply any heat to set the curl.
 The helical coiling of the hair around the rod also makes the curls look more natural.
 Furthermore, a tapered rod can be used either way round: the narrow end or the wider end nearer the head. This allows different shapes of curl to be created and a more overall natural effect to be obtained if the rods are regularly rotated when curling a full head of hair.
 Heat is applied by placing the hair-wrapped rod 10 between the heated plates 20 of a conventional hair styling appliance, in particular a hair straightening iron 22 as shown in FIG. 3b. The iron 22 may be held in one position or moved along the length of the rod 10, depending upon the amount of hair wrapped around it.
 The heat from the iron 22 penetrates the hair from the outside. Some heat may also be imparted to the rod 10 in the region where the heated plates 20 are applied which thus also heats the hair from the inside of the coil. However, the heat resistant nature of the rod 10 means that heat is not conducted along it to any significant extent and this ensures the user can continue to hold the rod 10 in comfort and with no risk of bums and the rod 10 will not become damaged or degraded.
 Typically, the hair to be curled should be dry or damp. The plates 20 of the iron 22 typically reach a temperature of up to approximately 230° C. The iron 22 may be held in place for a period of about 10-15 seconds.
 This is usually sufficient to cause the curl to set but the iron 20 can be removed and the rod 10 held in place for a further period of a few seconds until the hair cools to an ambient temperature to give a "bouncier" curl result.
 In this way, the coil of hair 18 is heated both from the outside and to some extent from the inside. The action of heat on the hair 18 forms a curl which is set into the hair and will remain when the iron 20 and the rod 10 are removed.
 Since the rod 10 is lightweight and the iron 22 can be removed and put down, easing the burden on the user while the rod 10 is still in place to hold the coil of hair 18 until it has cooled and the curl is set into the hair.
 In addition, the heat from the iron 22 causes any hair-conditioning substance impregnated in the rod 10 to exude into the hair to ensure the hair will be smooth and shiny.
 Use of a tapered rod 10 allows the size of the curl to be altered as required by the user by wrapping hair around a wider or narrower part of the rod 10. However, a rod of constant diameter could also be used. Similarly, it would also be possible to provide a stepped rod with a number of portions of different diameter, each portion itself either having a constant diameter or being tapered, and joined to an adjacent portion of different diameter by a step.
 Whilst a circular cross-section rod is described, it is also possible to form the rod with a different shaped cross-section to achieve different curl effects. For example, as shown in FIG. 4, the rod 10 may be formed as an elongate, flat member with a narrow substantially rectangular cross-section akin to a ruler. This type of rod would create sharper zig zag curls.
 Other cross-sectional shapes are also possible. For example, the rod might be triangular or oval in cross-section in order to create different forms of curl.
 Although the rod 10 may be a solid body, it is also possible for the rod to be hollow to reduce weight. In this case, the rod could be made telescopically extendable, to assist with curling long hair, but compressible to a minimum length for ease of storage.
 A further alternative the hair curling rod 10 may be formed with one or more hair anchoring devices, enabling the user to anchor the device into the hair so that it remains in position without being held leaving the user's hands free. Examples are shown in FIGS. 5a-g with reference to a circular cross-section rod 10, but it will be appreciated that the hair anchoring devices could also be provided in rods of different cross-sectional shapes and sizes.
 In a first example shown in FIG. 5a, the rod 10 may be provided with one or more notches or recesses 24 into which a portion of hair may be located as it is wrapped around the rod 10. Such a notch 24 may be straight and substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the rod 10. Alternatively, it could be slanted relative to the longitudinal axis as shown in FIG. 5b. In another version, the notch may be arcuate or crescent shaped as shown in FIG. 5c. Still another version could be a diametrical slot extending from one end of the rod part way along its length as shown in FIG. 5d.
 Yet another option is for the hair anchoring means to consist of one or more hooking projections 26 extending outwardly from the surface of the rod 10. Such projections 26 may be straight, arcuate or L-shaped in cross-section as shown in FIGS. 5e, 5f and 5g. In addition, such hooking projections 26 may extend partly or fully around the circumference of the rod 10 in order to form a flange of straight, arcuate or L-shaped cross-section.
 Typically, such hair anchoring means will be formed towards one end of the rod 10, typically the end remote from the handle or end which the user will hold. Thus in the case of tapered rods, the anchoring means will be closer to the narrow end. It will be appreciated that any combination of notches or hooking projections of varying shapes could also be used.
 One or more hair curling rods in accordance with the present invention may be provided in the form of a kit 28 as shown in FIG. 6. Such a kit 28 includes a base 30 for supporting one or more rods when not in use. Preferably, such a kit 28 may comprise three rods 10 of circular cross-section with varying diameters, and on flat, thin rod 101, all having approximately the same length, together with a base 30 having a body 32 formed with recesses 34 shaped to receive each rod 10, 101 as shown. The base 30 may be substantially cylindrical or frusto-conical body 32 with a wide bottom 36 for stability and a flat or domed top surface 38 in which the recesses 34 are formed. Preferably, the base 30 is formed of plastic, having a similar colour and surface texture to that of the rods. The base should have some weight to it so as to provide stability and therefore may be formed of a heavier weight material than the rods themselves or include a heavy insert in the bottom 36.
 Such a kit 28 may be sold separately or together with a hair styling iron, such as a hair straightener.
 An alternative form of kit could comprise a single curling device, without any supporting base, but in combination with a hair styling iron such as a hair straightener.
 Whilst a carbon based material if the preferred material for the rod 10, 101, other heat resistant materials able to withstand the temperatures typically produced by hair irons without becoming damaged or degraded and without getting so hot as to cause discomfort to the user, could also be used.
 It will be appreciated that the present invention provides a simple device, kit and method for curling hair, allowing an existing hair styling appliance, and in particular a hair straightening iron, to be adapted to create curls instead of straightening hair, by use in combination with the hair curling rod. Thus, a user can adapt an existing hair straightener to create curls and does not need to purchase both a conventional hair straightener and conventional hair curling tongs.
 Use of the invention eases fatigue on the user because the rod itself is lightweight and the heavier, electrically heated appliance need only be applied for a short time as compared with conventional hair curling techniques.
 Furthermore, use of the unheated hair curling rod allows the user to coil the hair to their satisfaction before any heat is applied, avoiding the risk of burns.
 Referring to FIG. 7 of the accompanying drawings, there is illustrated an alternative hair styling iron 40 which may be used in conjunction with a rod 41 such as that described above with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2. In this example, the hair styling iron is an electrical curling device which comprises two curved, elongate plates 42 and 44. These plates are mounted on respective arms 46 and 48 which are in turn connected together at their ends opposite plates 42 and 44 by means of a swivel joint 50.
 Each plate 42,44 is curved about its longitudinal axis and in such a way that the convex surfaces of the plates face each other. As illustrated the plates may be brought together about the rod 41, the swivel bearing 50 allowing the plates to match the profile of rod 41. At this point, the user then twists the rod while the curling device 40 is closed in order to wrap hair around the rod. A plastic spike may be provided in order to control the hair which is being wrapped onto the rod.
 The hair curling device is such that it may be heated from 60° C. to 230° C.
 The hair curling device may be typically from 3 to 6 inches long, preferably from 4 to 6 inches long.
 The electrical hair curling device would cover most of the hair on the rod, thereby allowing the user to create the curl more simply and more quickly than with a hair straightener alone. Furthermore, the electrical curling device will hold the hair in place on the rod with more security.
Patent applications in class And application of heat
Patent applications in all subclasses And application of heat