About 5 years ago I decided that I wanted to finally get my ears pierced with the intent of stretching them to a larger size. Going into it I will openly admit that I knew nothing about the process besides: Put stuff in ear, ear gets bigger, put even bigger stuff in ear, repeat. The only sure things in my mind were that I liked metal and I wanted it to be big!
I started off by getting my ears pierced at an 8 gauge, the largest that I was told it was safe to do. Warning; this is essentially getting stabbed through the ears and was definitely not the most comfortable process ever. All in all it worked out well; the 5 months I was advised to not stretch or change the jewelry proved worth it in the end as far as the time and money I saved verses having to start at a 14 or 16 gauge stud.
From there I slowly began the stretching process. If there is nothing else I can stress I’d say GO SLOWLY! Rushing to get the next size in will only lead to longer healing times and a risk of blowout. I found that personally waiting 2 months in between new sizes seemed like a good amount of time for my ears to heal before being able to attempt the next stretch.
This is where I stopped doing things intelligently. When it came time to move up to 6gauge I simply wandered into a local store and looked at what 6g jewelry I would like. This is the process I used to get down to 2 gauge before things went sour. Up until 2, I at least started a new size with a pair of Steel CBRs (captive ball rings) which are slightly curved and smooth. (I didn’t want to have so much metal hanging from my ear when I went to 2g so I changed things up.)
I purchased a pair of metal plugs, flared on the front and secured on the rear by an o-ring. When I went to put this in, my ear was less than happy to stretch, straight up refusing to. Instead of expanding and wrapping around the new piece of jewelry like before, I ended up “damaging” my ear with the sharp metal lip on the back of the Plug.
Simple as that you can blow out an ear. Since that bad incident I have ordered sets of tapers to use first, slowly sliding them in to the correct size and letting them sit for a day before replacing them with other more permanent jewelry. While I can’t tell you how to do it yourself, I can STRONGLY recommend you do not “dry stretch” your ears by simply putting in the next size up. Tapers are your friends and will make your life MUCH easier.
Since then I’ve only changed my strategy once, going from 00 to 7/16. The jump was too much for my ears, especially with my right ear now having the scarring and damage from it’s past blow out. In order to make the upgrade I did what is referred to, and understandably so, as “taping”. With a layer or two of electrical or flat medical tape around the plug I was able to increase the size by ½ mm every other day for a week until I could comfortably get my new 7/16’s in.
Next thing you know you’ll be making your friends feel weird as you demonstrate the various items that you can now fit through your stretched lobes.