To get a bagel head -- lasting only from 16 to 24 hours, according to the National Geographic Channel program "Taboo" -- one must sit through a saline drip of two hours.
After about 13.5 ounces of saline has been dripping into an individual’s forehead for about two hours, a finger is pressed into the large welt, giving it the appearance of a bagel or doughnut.
Bagel head and other types of body mods were featured on a recent “Taboo” episode titled “Extreme Bodies.”
The bagel head will go away after the body absorbs the saline, but is the new fad dangerous?
Potentially so, according to Dr. Omar A. Ibrahimi, an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Connecticut Health Center. He’s experienced with injecting saline solution into bodies during cosmetic procedures, Fox News reported, and he said there are three main risks associated with bagel-heading.
The human body can absorb a small amount of saline when it’s injected into the body, and doctors even use it as local anesthesia, Ibrahimi said. However, "saline solution that is too concentrated can overload the body's capacity to process salt," Ibrahimi told Life's Little Mysteries.
So if a naive bagel head were to accidentally use a saline solution with a higher concentration, he or she could potentially become extremely dehydrated in the same way a person would become dehydrated if he or she drank salt water.
The second main risk comes into play if the saline is not sterile as there is "a lot of risk of bacterial or fungal infection," Ibrahimi said.
Some of the common pathogens that are found in water can also be found in unsterilized saline. However, they are killed once they enter the digestive tract. If the pathogens are directly injected into the skin there is no way for the body to fight them off, Fox News said.
"I'd be worried that if people did this repeatedly you might actually, indeed, stretch the skin beyond its normal elasticity, and this could cause permanent laxity," Ibrahimi said.
Better put, bagel heads could become flabby bagel heads -- and that’s not a good look by anyone’s standards.