The Bagel Head

The Bagel Head

A strange new body modification trend that’s taking hold in the Japanese underground

This week I bring you yet one more strange thing the Japanese are doing in the name of fashion - the process of putting stuff into the skin of their head to make it look like a donut has been inflated there.  It’s tentatively called “Bagel Head” and it seems to have gotten a permanent place in the underground body modification scene.


The process involves inserting a needle into the skin of the forehead and pumping about 400 cc of saline into it.  This swells the skin into a mound-like form, a lump that looks like some sort of strange tumor.  The procedure finalizes when the person performing it presses their thumb into the bulge to create the bagel shape that gives the modification its name.

Though bagels are the most popular shape, other people choose other designs, such as having the procedure done on either side of the forehead.  Generally, it’s just a forehead shaping process that can be manipulated in a variety of ways to achieve different results.

The man responsible for popularizing the Bagel Head is Ryoichi Maeda.  According to him, it has become a trend because people in the body mod scene are always looking for something new and original to do to themselves.  When one thing becomes too wide-spread, they reach for the next.  And the “next” at this time happens to be saline in the forehead skin.

Bagel Head wears off in less than 24 hours, the body absorbing the saline naturally, so it’s not something that you’d have to live with for a long time.  It takes about two hours to get done and Ryoichi says that people usually only get the procedure done before certain events, such as body mod gatherings.

I’ve found a wonderfully disturbing video that shows the Bagel Heads being made.  Watch it below, if you dare.

Taboo: Bagel Heads