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„2,UK Patent

J3B

(lll2508727

(„,B

________________________________________________________________ (45)Date of B Publication_________________ 16.07.2014

(54) Title of the invention: Hair removal device adapter (51) INT CL:

A45D 26/00 (2006.01)

B26B 19/38 (2006.01)

(21) Application No:

1319810.6

(22) Date of Filing:

11.12.2009

Date Lodged:

11.11.2013

(62) Divided from Application No 0921714.2 under section 15(9) of the Patents Act 1977 (43) Date of A Publication

(56) Documents Cited: DE 102006044316 A1

11.06.2014

B26B 21/52 (2006.01)

(72) lnventor(s): Ian Rumsey (73) Proprietor(s): Ian Rumsey 60 High Road West, FELIXSTOWE, Suffolk, IP11 9JE, United Kingdom (74) Agent and/or Address for Service: Albright Patents LLP Eagle Tower, Montpellier Drive, CHELTENHAM, Gloucestershire, GL50 1TA, United Kingdom

US 20030177648 A1

(58) Field of Search: As for published application 2508727 A viz: INTCLA41B, B25G, B26B Other: EPODOC, WPI, TXTE updated as appropriate

GB 2508727 όj

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Title: Hair removal device adapter

The present invention relates to a hair removal device adapter and in particular but not exclusively to a hair removal device adapter for use with a hair removal device. 5

Background to the Invention

It is well known to use hand held epilators for the removal of hair. Epilation is the removal of hair from hair follicles in the skin by pulling the hair and provides long 10

lasting effects. However, achieving an even and smooth finish can be challenging for an individual when the unwanted hair is situated out of sight and/or out of reach such as on the back. The problem is exacerbated for people with a limited range of movement or disability because greater areas of the body are out of reach.

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It is an object of the invention to provide a hair removal device adapter and/or hair removal device which reduces or substantially obviates the above mentioned problems.

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Statement of Invention

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20 According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a hair removal device adapter comprising a handle portion and a cradle for receiving a hair removal device wherein the handle portion is curved, the cradle includes a trunk portion pivotally mounted to the handle portion at one end by pivoting means for varying the angle of 25

the hair removal device relative to the handle portion, and the cradle also includes a resilient housing for receiving the hair removal device.

The handle portion can be used with existing hair removal devices and facilitates reaching difficult to access body parts such as the shoulders, back and lower legs, 30

especially for people with limited mobility, in order to remove unwanted body hair. These hair removal devices can be shavers, epilators, or the like.

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The pivoting means may be a screw pivot. The pivoting means may alternatively be a ratchet mechanism because this advantageously holds the cradle in one of a plurality of predetermined positions relative to the handle portion.

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The resilient housing may include two spaced arms extending outwardly from the trunk portion and being separated from each other by a shoulder abutting the trunk portion, and a plate extending across the separation, disposed to one side of the arms, the plate joining with the arms partially along their length. This partial join adds to the structural flexibility of the resilient housing and allows the housing to flex without

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damage.

In a preferred arrangement, each arm is provided with a plurality of fingers, adjacent fingers being separated by a slit. The presence of the slits enhances the structural flexibility of the resilient housing. 15 A grip is advantageously disposed on an inner surface of each arm to help retain the hair removal device in place within the cradle.

It is envisaged that an aperture is disposed through the trunk portion and extends from 20

one side of the trunk portion and opens into the housing for providing a conduit through which a power cable for connecting the hair removal device to mains electricity can pass. The advantage of this is that the hair removal device can be optionally powered by either battery or by mains electricity when in use. The aperture guides the power lead close to the handle portion.

25 A grip may be provided on an outer surface of the handle portion to help users maintain a firm grasp on the handle during usage.

The hair removal device may be detachable from the handle portion. This facilitates 30

easier cleaning of the hair removal device after use and makes the hair removal device adapter system more compact for storage. Should the hair removal device break down, it can easily be replaced without having to replace the entire hair removal device adapter system as the handle portion would still be fit for use. The handle

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portion may be stored separately from the hair removal device and if provided with a ring or hook, may be hung from a wall, cabinet or the like.

The hair removal device adapter system may include a hair removal device and a hair 5

removal device adapter, the hair removal device being received by the cradle of the hair removal device adapter.

Preferably, the handle portion is at least as long as the hair removal device. Ideally, the handle portion is between 30 and 40cm long. The handle portion acts essentially 10

as an extension of the user’s arm and enables the user to reach distant parts of the body, for example, the toes.

The peripheral shape of the resilient housing may correspond to that of the hair removal device casing. In this way, the casing provides strong structural support for 15

the hair removal device and avoids any rattles of the hair removal device within the casing.

Preferably, the fit between the hair removal device and the resilient housing is a pushfit as this holds the hair removal device in place without the need for further 20

components.

The hair removal device may be an epilator or a shaver.

Description of the Drawings 25 For a better understanding of the present invention, and to show more clearly how it may be carried into effect, reference will now be made, by way of example only, to the accompanying drawings, in which:

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Figure 1 shows a perspective top view of a hair removal device adapter for an epilator, not forming part of the invention;

Figure 2 shows a perspective side view of the epilator of Figure 1 and in particular the ratchet mechanism;

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Figure 3 shows a perspective top view of a hair removal device adapter system, not forming part of the invention;

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Figure 4 shows a schematic perspective view of the hair removal device adapter system of Figure 3 being adjusted within the handle portion;

Figure 5 shows a perspective top view of a hair removal device adapter system, not forming part of the invention;

10 Figure 6 shows a perspective under view of the hair removal device adapter system of Figure 5, and in particular the attachment of the resilient straps to the tray;

Figure 7 shows a perspective view of the hair removal device adapter system of 15

Figure 5 being pivotally adjusted within the handle portion;

Figure 8 shows a perspective top view of a hair removal device adapter system, not forming part of the invention;

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Figure 9 shows a perspective top view of a hair removal device adapter system in an embodiment of the invention, showing in particular the cord aperture;

Figure 10 shows a schematic perspective view of the hair removal device adapter system of Figure 9, with the epilator being inserted into the cradle; 25 Figure 11 shows a perspective top view of a hair removal device adapter system, not forming part of the invention; and

Figure 12 schematic perspective view of the hair removal device adapter system of 30

Figure 11, with the epilator being inserted into the cradle.

Common components throughout the embodiments have been given the same reference numerals.

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Description of Preferred Embodiments

Referring firstly to Figure 1, in a first embodiment of the hair removal device adapter system indicated generally at 10, a handle portion 12 is provided for use with a hair 5

removal device. The handle portion 12 is an elongate member that gently curves along its length and terminates at one end in a pair of curved arms 16, provided substantially in a U-shape. The handle portion is typically between 30 and 40cm long and is typically made from aluminium or plastics, although other suitable materials may be used. In cross section, the handle is generally circular with a typical diameter of 2 to

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4cm.

An epilator 14 is mounted to one end of the handle portion 12. The epilator 14 has a casing which is adapted to fit in the palm of a hand and has a curved portion which sits within the curved arms 16. The epilator 14 (as can be more easily seen in Figure 15

2) has a hair removal face 18 mounted within a gently curving presentation face 20. This presentation face 20 tends to a curved single point at the rear of the epilator 14 so that in a side elevation view, the epilator is broadly triangular. An on/off button 22 is

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disposed on the upper surface of the epilator 14.

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Ring 24 with resilient teeth is disposed within each side of the epilator 14, the teeth being radially spaced about the inside of the ring with regular distribution. The ring 24 is co-axially mounted with a shaft 26 having a projection 28 extending therefrom, the projection being disposed at one end of the shaft and aligned within the ring 24. The other end of each shaft 26 is mounted within the pair of curved arms 16 of the handle

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portion, which permits the epilator 14 to rotate about an axis extending from one curved arm 16 to the other. The ring 24, shaft 26 and projection 28 constitute a form of ratchet mechanism, located at 21.

The hair removal face 18 includes a series of metal plates adjacently mounted and 30

adapted to rotate such that the tips of the plates move together and apart once during a revolution. The hair between the plates as the plates close is pulled as the plates move away from the skin and is discarded when the plates separate. In this way, the plates act like tweezers to pull hair out of the body.

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When preparing the hair removal device adapter system 10 for use, the angle of the hair removal face 18 relative to the handle portion 12 is adjusted by the user as follows: the epilator 14 and therefore the ring 24 rotates about the shaft 26. The projection 28 flexes the resilient teeth outwardly as it pushes them and the projection 5

28 finally lodges at the space between pairs of adjacent teeth corresponding to the desired angle of the hair removal face 18 relative to the handle portion. The resilient teeth naturally resume their original position. Rotation of the ring 24 may be in either direction, clockwise or anti-clockwise. The user operates the on/off switch 22 and proceeds to remove unwanted hair from the body in a conventional manner.

10 The handle portion may alternatively comprise an elongate member having a sleeve at one end thereof that snap fits onto a projection from the hair removal device at a pivot point. The handle portion 12 may optionally include a means for mounting the handle portion 12 onto a surface such as a wall or cabinet, for example a hook or a ring. 15 Other cross sections of handle portions are also envisaged, provided that the adapter is still suitable to be held within the palm of a hand, for example, a handle portion that is

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substantially rectangular in cross section and has smoothed corners.

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The method of epilation may extend to rotating springs, as seen in the original Epilady®, rotating discs, as found in Remington®’s Lady Remington Smooth and Silky series, or any other suitable method.

Other materials, for example reinforced plastics, may also be used; it is important to 25

select a material that is light enough to be manoeuvrable by hand during a prolonged period of time without being excessively tiring for the user, yet be strong enough to provide structural support to a hair removal device, and in particular one that is electrically operated, either by mains electricity or by battery. Electrically operated hair removal devices are heavier than hair removal devices operated by hand alone,

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such as disposable razors.

In Figure 3 and in a second embodiment, the hair removal device adapter system shown generally at 13 includes a handle portion 12 and an epilator 14, pivotally mounted to the handle portion 12. The handle portion terminates at one end in a pair

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of curved arms 16. The mounting point is at or towards the free end of the curved arms 16 to facilitate maximum possible rotation of the epilator 14 within the pair of curved arms 16. Furthermore, the position of the mounting point is essential for providing a good support for the weight of the epilator 14. By having the mounting 5

point at least partially along the length of the epilator 14, the mounting point is closer to the centre of mass of the epilator 14 than it would be if the mounting point was located at an end of the epilator 14, as in the case of a conventional adjustably-angled razor. This is important for the heavier hair removal devices such as those that are operated electrically, not only to reduce the stress on the pivoting means at the

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mounting point during use but also to increase the stability of the epilator 14 within the handle portion 12.

The epilator 14 is mounted to the pair of curved arms by a screw pivot arrangement, as can be seen more clearly in Figure 4. The screw pivot includes a pair of screws 30 15

that each pass through a hole 32 in the curved arm 16. Each screw 30 has a head 34 perpendicular to a shank, the shank having an unthreaded portion 36 and a threaded portion 38, with the unthreaded portion being adjacent the head in a traditional

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manner. The head 34 has a ridge extending therefrom to facilitate turning the screw by hand. However, it is envisaged that the head 34 may be adapted to receive a tool such

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as a screwdriver to facilitate turning the screw.

To adjust the angle of the hair removal face 18 relative to the handle portion 12, each screw 30 is untightened to release the epilator 14, which is then rotated about the shanks of the screws. When the desired angle is reached, the screws 30 are retightened 25

and the position of the epilator 14 is locked. To detach the epilator 14 from the handle portion 12, each screw 30 is released and removed from the hole 32. This process is reversed when attaching the epilator 14 to the handle portion 12.

In Figure 5 and in a third embodiment, the hair removal device adapter system shown 30

generally at 15 includes a handle portion 12 and a cradle 40, pivotally mounted to the handle portion 12 by a screw pivot arrangement, as described previously with reference to Figure 4.

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The purpose of the cradle 40 is to carry an epilator 14, which may or may not have been specifically designed for use with this handle portion 12. The cradle 40 may carry, within the confines of a pair of curved arms 16, an epilator of any reasonable shape or size. The cradle 40 is tray-like having a floor 42 which has been moulded to 5

correspondingly fit the base of the epilator 14 supplied with the handle portion 12. However it is envisaged that the floor may be planar to suit a greater variety of epilators that may be used within the hair removal device system 15. The inner face of the floor 42 which interfaces with the epilator 14 in use is covered in a non-slip coating, such as a rubber based material. This coating prevents the epilator 14 from

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slipping off the cradle 40. The cradle 40 also has a lip 42 or edging which helps to locate the epilator 14 within the cradle 40. The coating and the lip 42 help to retain the epilator 14, which could be substantially smaller than the cradle 40, in place within the cradle 40.

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The epilator 14 is detachably mounted onto the cradle 40. As can be seen in Figure 6, a pair of resilient straps 44 secures the epilator 14 in place on the cradle 40. Each resilient strap 44 has a fixed end and a free end, the fixed end being attached to the

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underside of the cradle 40 at a strap mounting point 46. To facilitate holding the epilator 14 in place on the cradle 40, each resilient strap 44 has one or more holes 48

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disposed along its length, with a diameter that is marginally less than the diameter of a pin 50 extending outwardly from the underside of the cradle 40.

In preparation for use of the hair removal device adapter system 15, each resilient strap 44 passes over the top of the epilator 14 and is secured to the underside of the 25

cradle 40 when each hole 48 is pressed onto each pin 50, as indicated by the arrows in Figure 6.

Turning now to Figure 7, the cradle 40 is disposed within the pair of curved arms 16 with a clearance between the cradle 40 and the pair of curved arms 16. This clearance 30

means that each resilient strap 44 may pass through the gap without causing any hindrance to the free rotation of the cradle 40 within the pair of curved arms 16 in use.

The lip 42 may be adapted to positively engage with the epilator, for example, with a male/female connector, in order to further secure the epilator 14 to the cradle 40. This

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would be the case if the epilator 14 was designed for use with this particular hair removal device adapter system 15. Additionally, the cradle 40 may be further adapted to prevent slippage of the epilator 14 with the provision of grips, ridges or the like. Optionally, the epilator 14 may be releasably and slidably engageable with the cradle 5

40.

In Figure 8 and in a fourth embodiment, the hair removal device indicated generally at 17 includes a handle portion 12a and an epilator head 52. The epilator head 52 is pivotally mounted to the handle portion 12a by a ratchet mechanism located at 21, 10

which is adjusted with reference to Figures 1 and 2 as previously described.

The epilator head 52 is generally wine bottle shaped in plan view, the epilator head 52 having a neck portion 54 cooperating with the handle portion 12a at one end, and at the other end, a body portion 56 that is broader than the neck portion 54. The neck 15

portion 54 cooperates with the handle portion 12a such that the mounting point is at least partially along the length of the epilator head 52. This overlapping arrangement reduces the stress that would otherwise act at the mounting point during use.

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The body portion 56 terminates with a presentation face 20 having a hair removal face

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18 mounted therewithin. It is this presentation face 20 that contacts the skin for removing unwanted hair from the body. The epilator head 52 contains the motor, drive train and electronics required for operating the hair removal face 18, operable by an on/off button 22 situated on the top of the epilator head 52.

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A grip 58 is provided on the end of the handle portion 12a distant from the epilator head 52. The grip 58 helps the user maintain a firm hold of the handle portion 12a, which is advantageous especially in wet or damp conditions such as a bathroom. The grip 58 also helps those people with a weak grip in their hands to firmly grasp the handle portion 12a.

30 The angle of the epilator head 52 relative to the handle portion 12a is varied as desired by rotating the epilator head 52 about the handle portion 12a, or vice versa. When the desired angle of operation is achieved, the user presses the on/off button 22 before commencing hair removal.

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In Figure 9 and in a first embodiment of the invention, the hair removal device adapter system indicated generally at 19 includes a handle portion 12a and a cradle 40a which receives the epilator 14. The handle portion 12a is pivotally mounted to the 5

cradle 40a by a ratchet mechanism located at 21, which operates as described earlier with reference to Figures 1 and 2.

The cradle 40a has a trunk portion 60 with two ends, one that cooperates with the handle portion 12a adjacent to the ratchet mechanism 21 and the other which 10

terminates in a resilient housing 62.

The trunk portion 60 accommodates an aperture 61 for providing a conduit through which a mains power lead may pass. The aperture 61 extends from one side of the trunk portion 60 and opens into the resilient housing 62. Although it is envisaged that 15

the hair removal device adapter system 19 will usually be operated under battery power, the option of connecting the epilator 14 to mains electricity (e.g. 230V) is included. The power lead (not shown) will connect typically to the rear of the epilator 14 and will then pass through the conduit and out of the aperture 61 before being connected to a socket on a wall, for example. With this in mind, a clamp for

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releasably mounting the power lead to the handle portion 12a may be provided on the handle portion 12a. This will help limit movement of the power lead as the epilator device 19 is being manipulated. The batteries may be of the rechargeable type.

The resilient housing 62 includes a shoulder 64 (which can be more easily seen in 25

Figure 10), two arms 63 extending away from the trunk portion 60, the arms 63 being separated by the shoulder 64, and a plate 66 extending across the separation, disposed to one side of the arms 63. The plate 66 and the arms 63 meet partially along the length of the plate as a first slit 70 extends partially along the length of the plate 66. Each arm 63 has two fingers 72, each finger being separated by the adjacent finger 72

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by a second slit 74. These slits introduce structural flexibility into the resilient housing 62 to complement the inherent flexibility of resilient housing due to the material properties.

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A grip 76 having an anti-slip surface is located on the inner surface of each arm 63. This helps retain the epilator 14 within the cradle 40a during usage.

When the epilator 14 is inserted into the cradle 40a, as indicated by the arrow in 5

Figure 10, the epilator pushes the fingers 72 outwardly. The fingers 72 try to return to their original position due to their elasticity and act to clamp the epilator 14 in place. This clamping effect results in a push-fit between the epilator 14 and the cradle 40a, which helps to retain the epilator 14 in place during usage. When the epilator 14 is removed from the cradle 40a, for example after use or simply for the purposes of

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cleaning, each finger 72 resumes its original natural position. By virtue of its elastic material properties, the cradle is fit for multiple usage.

In Figure 11 and in a sixth embodiment, the hair removal device adapter system indicated generally at 23, includes a cradle 40b pivotally mounted to a handle portion 15

12a about a ratchet mechanism 21. The cradle 40b includes a trunk portion 60 having two ends, one of which cooperates with the handle portion 12a adjacent the ratchet mechanism 21. The other end terminates in a rigid housing 78 for receiving the

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epilator 14, to which the epilator 14 is releasably held by resilient straps 44. The epilator 14 has a button 80 on each side to detach the epilator head, complete with

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presentation face 20 and hair removal face 18, from the epilator body, for cleaning, repair or replacement. The epilator head may be substituted by a shaver head, as is possible by certain hair removal devices currently on the market.

The rigid housing 78 includes a pair of arms 79 separated by a shoulder 64 abutting 25

the trunk portion 60, with the arms 79 extending outwardly from the shoulder 64. A plate 66a adjoins the two arms 79 along the underside of the arms 79, such that the shoulder 64, arms 79, and plate 66a are arranged in a scoop-like arrangement. A non­ slip coating covers the plate 66a on the surface that contacts the epilator 14 in use. This coating prevents slippage of the epilator 14 within the rigid housing 78 in use.

30 Each resilient strap 44 has a series of holes 48 along its length, with a diameter being marginally less than that of a pin 50 (not shown), which is located on the underside of the cradle 40b. Each resilient strap 44 has a fixed end and a free end, with the fixed end being attached to the cradle 40 at a strap mounting point 46, disposed on the 11

external surface of one arm 79. Two apertures (not shown) are mounted on the external surface of the other arm 79.

To attach the epilator 14 to the handle portion 12a, the epilator 14 is inserted into rigid 5

housing 78 as indicated by the arrow in Figure 12. Each resilient strap 44 is passed over the top of the epilator 14, either side of the on/off button 22, passing around the outside of the rigid housing 78 through the two apertures and finally to pins 50 for attachment, in a similar manner to that described earlier with reference to Figure 6. The two apertures keep the resilient straps tight and help to locate the resilient straps

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ready for alignment with the pins 50.

The handle is advantageous because it can be used with existing hair removal devices and helps people to reach difficult places in order to remove unwanted hair from the body. 15 The invention is envisaged as covering all combinations of the features as described and aspects and embodiments discussed within the scope of the claims. It will be apparent that modifications and variations of the invention can be made without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims. 20

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CLAIMS

1. A hair removal device adapter comprising a handle portion and a cradle for receiving a hair removal device wherein the handle portion is curved, the cradle 5

includes a trunk portion pivotally mounted to the handle portion at one end by pivoting means for varying the angle of the hair removal device relative to the handle portion, and the cradle also includes a resilient housing for receiving the hair removal device.

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2. A hair removal device adapter according to claim 1, in which the pivoting means is a screw pivot.

3. A hair removal device adapter according to claim 1 or claim 2, in which the pivoting means includes a ratchet mechanism for holding the cradle in one of a 15

plurality of predetermined positions relative to the handle portion. 4. A hair removal device adapter according to any preceding claim, in which the

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hair removal device is a push fit in the resilient housing.

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5. A hair removal device adapter according to any preceding claim, in which the resilient housing includes two spaced arms extending outwardly from the trunk portion and being separated from each other by a shoulder abutting the trunk portion.

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6. A hair removal device adapter according to claim 5, in which each arm is provided by a plurality of fingers, adjacent fingers being separated by a slit.

7. A hair removal device adapter according to claim 6, in which a grip is disposed on an inner surface of each arm. 30 8. A hair removal device adapter according to any preceding claim, in which an aperture is disposed through the trunk portion and extends from one side of the trunk portion and opens into the housing for providing a conduit through which a power cable for connecting the hair removal device to mains electricity can pass.

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9. A hair removal device adapter according to any preceding claim, in which a grip is provided on an outer surface of the handle portion. 5

10. A hair removal device adapter system according to any preceding claim, in which the hair removal device is a shaver or an epilator.

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