Being a “bagel head” is, indeed, currently in vogue in Tokyo. Japanese body modification photographer Ryoichi “Keroppy” Maeda brought this trend to Japan in 2007 when he set up a team and started doing forehead infusions as a form of extreme body modification. He first witnessed the bizarre practice in 1999 at a body modification show in Toronto. He experienced it himself in 2003, and eventually asked permission from the artist who perfected the technique to bring it to Japan.
People resort to such extreme body modification techniques because they are into this kind of stuff and are always looking for ways to set themselves apart from the crowd and enjoying being freaks for one night.
The trend was featured in National Geographic’s “Taboo: Bagel Heads” on September 27, 2012, during which three Japanese opted to have injections on their forehead just to be “in” for the latest body modification trend in Japan.
“Bagel heading,” as the procedure is being called, can be performed at registered body modification clinics – the type of place that administers piercings and tattoos. Practitioners will insert a needle in the forehead to inject about 400 cc of saline solution (a sterile salt water safe for the human body) through an IV drip in order to create a swollen forehead-sized blob. The large bubble takes about two hours to form completely, at which point the body artist removes the drip and presses a thumb into the middle of the blob (or blobs) to create an a large, bagel-like shape on the person’s forehead.
The blob is just temporary, lasting for about 16 to 24 hours, after which the saline will eventually get absorbed by the body and the shape of the forehead goes back to normal.