The ‘bagel head’: Japan’s strange new beauty style

bagel heads

Tattoos out-of-date? A hard core new body-modification style plants a bumpy welt right in the middle of the temple.

Having been never heard of ‘bagel head‘ I was as startled as anyone to see these images of young folks. A perfectly cute temple transformed by a grotesque puffiness. It looks quite like an alien. I judder to think, but corresponding to news sites all over, this is Japan’s latest style?

Bagel head – a supposedly new current fashion style in Japan which Western social media sites have hyped. But corresponding to Japanese social media sites, such Western reports on bagel heads completely misrepresent and fabricate a “wacky Japanese fashion style” which does not even truly exist.

The bizarre body modification technique involves injecting about 13.5 ounces of saline into a person’s temple to form a huge blob. The saline-administrator then places his thumb onto the large mass to create the dent. The procedure takes two hours and the bagel head look last less than a day.

bagel heads

The style was particularly embellished in the popular television series “Taboo” on National Geographic Channel. It is not a style even among the most hard core body modification types. It’s expensive. It requires specialized equipment. Most Japanese folk do not even know about it.

There is a strong, supportive subculture in Japan who are into trying out new things. It’s just another method of expression, like piercings or tattoos, but it is certainly not a trend. It is absolutely not eternal. It lasts for a night.

Is this fad dangerous?

According to dermatologists, the risks of bagel-heading are threefold. First, the body can safely soak up normal saline solution injected under the skin, and doctors sometimes use it as a form of local anesthesia; however, saline solution that is too concentrated can overload the body’s capacity to process salt. If a naive bagel head were to accidentally use highly-concentrated saline solution instead of the normal kind, for example, he or she could experience life-threatening dehydration of the kind that happens when you drink salt water.

Secondly, if the saline solution isn’t sterile, there is a lot of risk of bacterial or fungal infection. Most of the pathogens normally found in unsterilized water can be killed off by the immune system when ingested; however, the pathogens have a higher chance of gaining a foothold when escorted directly beneath the skin, such as during bagel-head procedure.

But even impeccably sterilized saline solution of the ideal concentration could leave bagel heads deeply lamenting their ultra-fashionable. And since that this last risk is aesthetic, it might make more headway in putting an end to the style.

If done repeatedly it might actually, indeed, stretch the skin beyond its normal pliability, and this could cause permanent laxity.

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