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How to Stretch Your Ears! (Part1)

Posted by Cocobul on 7/11/2012 to How to Stretch Your Ears

What is Stretching or Gauging?

Stretching is a form of body modification in which a healed piercing is slowly expanded to accommodate larger jewelry. Many people refer to the process using the term "gauging", although the technically correct term for this process is "stretching". You can stretch any piercing, but the most common piercing that is stretched is the earlobe. Other commonly stretched piercings include the inner conch, septum, nose, belly button, tongue, and ear cartilage. People stretch their piercings for many reasons- some people just enjoy the process, others love the beautiful and varied jewelry that can be worn in a larger gauge piercing.


Looking to Stretch Your Ears?

Cocobul Body Jewelry will show you how- this is a step-by-step guide that will show you how to stretch your earlobe piercings safely!

STEP 1: Getting Started

To properly stretch your ears, you should first determine what size you are currently at. Never ever skip sizes! Skipping sizes can result in extreme painful stretching, including piercing blowouts and infections. Jewelry sizes are typically referred to in gauges ranging from 22GA to 00GA, with 00GA being the largest, and 22GA being the smallest. Sizes larger than 00GA are referred to in inches or millimeters. In countries that use the metric system, jewelry sizes may only be referenced in millimeters, rather than gauges (GA). To eliminate confusion, a table of gauge sizes with their nearest size in inches and millimeters is listed below:

Ear Gauge Chart

If your ears were pierced with a piercing gun (most mall kiosks and mall piercing stores), they were pierced anywhere from 20GA to 18GA. It should be safe to start your stretching at 16GA. If you were pierced properly at a professional piercing studio, your ears were most likely pierced at 16GA, but you should ask your piercer to make sure. Start your stretching one size larger than your current size.

Your ears should be fully healed from piercing before you begin stretching them. Wait at least 4 to 6 months from a fresh piercing, assuming there were no complications during the healing process.

Step 2: What You Need

After you’ve determined what size your piercing is, you can buy some jewelry in the next size up to start the stretching process! There is a wide range of body jewelry to choose from, but you should only stretch with smooth, non-porous materials. Stick to steel, titanium, glass or Pyrex jewelry to use in your fresh stretches. Additionally, you should only use non-flared or single-flared jewelry to stretch with.

If you’ve been at your current size for a very long time, it may be safe to insert your new jewelry without any additional materials. This is called “dead stretching”, and is only recommended when your piercings are beyond healed at their current size. In any other case, you should use the “tapering” method to stretch. Buy a taper in the same size as your jewelry- long, steel tapers are preferred, but any taper is better than none. You only need one taper to stretch multiple piercings, but many people these days will buy tapers in pairs, and wear them as jewelry. Many of the organic and glass taper varieties are intricately designed to be worn as fashionable body jewelry. Ear Gauge Chart

Something else that can be extremely helpful for stretching is a lubricant to help your new jewelry ease into your piercing. Some types of oils are excellent for this type of application, such as jojoba or emu oil. Any type of water-based lubricant would also be fine. Avoid oil-based lubricants such as petroleum jelly.

Continue to Part 2

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Gaby Date 2/1/2014
I have size 2g tapers and they are getting crusty from the back but I didn't skip a size and I always clean them
scott huckaby Date 12/13/2014
scott huckaby Date 12/13/2014
jack marxen Date 12/4/2015
I want to stretch my ears from you 12 gauge to 8 guage.what size stretchers should I get?
Piercebody Date 9/5/2016
Very informative and helpful post. People who are curious and wanting to have a body piercing must read this blog post. Also, they must use body jewelries that are safe and of great quality. The site offers various kinds of body jewelries you might want to try. Visit them now!

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