Introduction: One-handed Hair Straightener for Quadriplegics

We created a prototype of a one-handed hair straightener for quadriplegics to use without finger dexterity.

Step 1: Need Statement

We need a way for people without any finger dexterity to be able to straighten their hair independently.

Step 2: Functional Requirements

It must be usable by a single person and not require manipulation which requires independent finger movement.

Step 3: Materials

  • 1x Hair straightener (
  • 2x Adhesive-backed loop fastener
  • 2x Loop-backed hook fastener
  • 2x Small wheel
  • 2x Adhesive-backed insulating pads
  • 1x Roll of Kevlar cord
  • 1x Metal ring

Step 4: Assembly

  1. On the outside of the hair straightener where its metal pads are within, attach each adhesive-backed insulating pad. This prevents burns from skin contact.
  2. At the rear of the top of the hair straightener (the arm with the digital display), attach one of the adhesive-backed loop fasteners.
  3. Inside the hair straightener, just before the bottom metal pad, attach another adhesive-backed loop fastener.
  4. To each of these, attach the loop-backed hook fasteners. These will serve as arm and wrist straps.
  5. Just before the bottom insulating pad, attach one small wheel, horizontally.
  6. At the tip of the bottom insulating pad, attach the second small wheel, vertically.
  7. Just before the top insulating pad, tie a knot with the Kevlar cord.
  8. Bring the cord down around the first small wheel and then around the second.
  9. Tie a knot around the metal ring and cut off the remainder of the Kevlar cord.

Step 5: Conclusion

Our prototype works well, although the cord sometimes slips off the wheel. We intend to replace this wheel with a pillow block bearing to the same effect while securing the cord through the hole.

A potential next step for this prototype would be for us to design a hair straightener which requires minimal use of precise hand motions and instead uses the arms or simple motions.