Welcome to Part 1 of Our Ear Stretching Guide!
The practice of expanding the ear lobes goes back about as far as human history, from King Tutankhamen to the Iceman; a mummified body from 3300 BC, stretched lobes are a tradition across the world.
The typical jewelry worn in stretched ear lobes is called a plug, the size of the plug is the gauge. Plugs come in many materials and styles, from metal to wood, and from tunnels to ornate hanging designs. Finding what works with your body and style is all a part of the experience!
If your ears aren’t pierced yet:
-Find yourself a reputable piercer, certified piercers in your area can be found through
-Tell your piercer you plan on stretching your lobes, this is important because of the placement of the piercing on the ear lobe. Ear piercings for standard earrings are usually placed more towards the face, in the event that the client wishes to have multiple ear piercings. Ear piercing placement for stretching is placed centrally on the ear lobe, to ensure the skin around the plug will be even as you stretch.
-Make sure you let your piercing heal before you begin to stretch.
What size do/ should I start stretching at?
Most people find that 16/14 gauge is a good starting point, especially if you’ve been wearing regular earrings daily for a long period of time.
How big can I stretch my ears before they won’t go back to normal?
This is a tricky question, because everyone’s body is different, but in the body modification community the generally accepted answer is between 2-0 gauge.
Other factors on whether or not your ears will return to normal include: how fast you stretch and if you skip sizes. Stretching too quickly or skipping sizes can do more tearing of the skin than actual stretching and can also lead to blow outs and scar tissue. It’s important to take your time and be patient with your body. Waiting a full month between stretches is recommended.
What is a blow out?
A blow out is the result of stretching too fast and/or skipping sizes. It causes the skin on the inside of your ear to be forced outwards, causing a flap on the back of your stretched piercing. The recommended action to remedy this would be to down size but it is best to be avoided if possible as a blow out that is allowed to heal is permanent.
Will stretching my ears hurt?
Stretching your ears should not hurt, if you are experiencing pain this means you are stretching too fast. Reaching the next size is exciting, but moving at a pace your body is comfortable with is important.
Find the Other Portions of the Guide: