Imported: 21 Feb '17 | Published: 01 Mar '05
USPTO - Utility Patents
A heated hair curler includes a first portion having a heating element and an electric terminal in circuit with the heating element. A second portion is attached to the first portion in heat exchange relationship with it and is reconfigurable with respect to the first portion so as to alter the overall length of the hair curler. There are intermeshing elongate fingers that slide upon one another as the curler is reconfigured.
The present invention relates to hair curlers. More particularly, although not exclusively, the invention relates to an extendable heated hair curler.
Heated hair curlers are known. Often a set of such curlers is provided in a kit that comprises a carry bag or case within which a mounting base is located. Upon the mounting base, there is an array of upstanding electrical contact posts upon which individual curlers are fitted to receive electricity to energise their internal heating elements. The curlers are of a generally cylindrical shape and are of fixed length suitable for hair curling purposes. The fixed length of the cylinders means that the carry bag or case must be bulky. This presents an inconvenience to a user who might like to store the kit in a handbag for example.
It is an object of the present invention to overcome or substantially ameliorate the above disadvantage and/or more generally to provide an extendable heated hair curler.
There is disclosed herein a heated hair curler comprising:
Preferably the first portion includes a recess by which the first portion can be mounted upon so as to receive an electrical contact post of a base comprising an array of such contact posts, and wherein the electric terminal is is in or alongside the recess.
Preferably the first and second portions are substantially cylindrical and comprise intermeshing elongate fingers that slide upon one another as the curler is reconfigured.
Preferably the first or second portion comprises a pair of indents at opposite ends thereof and the other of said first or second portions comprises a toe that can click into either one of the indents to define fully extended and fully retracted configurations of the hair curler respectively.
Preferably at least some of the fingers comprise external ribs with which hair can engage in use.
In the accompanying drawings there is depicted schematically a heated hair curler 10. Curler 10 comprises a first portion 11 and a second portion 12, each typically formed of both plastics and metallic parts.
The first portion 11 has a bottom recess 14 into which their extends a pair of electric terminals 15. The bottom recess can be fitted over an electric contact post of an array of such posts upon a base of a kit as described above. In such manner, electricity is provided to the terminals 15. Connected electrically with the terminals 15 is a heating element 13 which bears against elongate metallic heat-retaining/heat transfer bars 19 of the second portion 12 as shown.
The first portion 11 of the curler has an array of upstanding fingers 20. The second portion 12 has an array of depending fingers 21 that intermesh with upstanding fingers 20 in telescopic fashion.
The metallic bars 19 are located immediately behind each upstanding finger 20 and so heat is transferred thereto. In the retracted configurations of the hair curler as depicted in FIGS. 1 to 3, heat is transferred from the upstanding fingers 20 to the depending fingers 21 by conduction.
At the inside surface of each upstanding finger 20 of the first portion 11, there is a pair of indents 16. There is a toe 17 at the bottom of the second portion 12 that is received by one of the indents 16 to maintain the retracted or extended configurations of the curler respectively.
In use the curler is retracted and placed upon an electric contact post of the curler kit base and a switch is activated to commence heating of the heating element 13. By conduction from the heating elements, the fingers 20 and 21 are heated. Once sufficient heat is retained by the fingers (say after a pre-set time interval), the curler can be extended and used to curl hair a known manner. Once curling is completed, the curler can be retracted and stored upon the electric contact post of the curling kit.
It should be appreciated that modifications and alterations obvious to those skilled in the art are not to be considered as beyond the scope of the present invention. For example, the depending fingers 21 might also be provided with ribs 18.