How To Stretch/Gauge Your Ears Safely – 2024 Guide

In this article, we will share a comprehensive guide on how to stretch and gauge your earlobes safely.

What Gauge Should You Start With?

After the initial piercings in your ears are fully healed, you should start stretching at a 16 gauge. Then gradually build up from that, going no bigger than one size for each duration of the stretch. As you’ve never stretched your ears before, you need to give them time. Doing it slowly will prevent problems further down the line.

How Far is the Point of No Return for Permanent holes?


Everyone has a different level of elasticity, so no matter how many specific answers you hear from people, you need to keep in mind that it cannot be predicted.

A huge contributing factor that you can control for your ears, however, is how slowly you stretched them. How slowly and carefully you stretch your earlobes will determine how healthy they will remain. If you’ve been patient enough not to skip sizes and let your earlobes adapt, then that will determine whether or not they can shrink back down to a normal size. As long as you don’t tear them and stretch them faster than they can handle, you’ll be fine in that regard.

There’s also the question of how far you go. Most experts agree that piercing beyond a 0-2 gauge is around the point where you can’t shrink your lobes back to a normal size. However, exceptions exist, so some people might not shrink back at all.

Keep in mind that if you hit that point of no return, the only way to close up your ear lobes again is with surgery. So take good care of your lobes in case you ever decide to go back.

Of course, there’s a way around having to stretch your ears so much. Fake plugs! They give the appearance of large plugs with less of the hassle. No need to worry about the point of no return.

How Long Should You Wait Before Each Stretch?


There are also a lot of differing opinions on this. Everyone’s earlobes react differently, but a good basic rule is to wait at least 6 weeks before upgrading to a different size. However, that is the absolute minimum. To reduce the risk of tearing, letting your ear lobes thicken, and blood vessels to grow around the hole, you need to let it sit for 2-6 months between each stretch.

So if you want to have healthy ear lobes, you need to allow circulation to return to them.

Guide to Stretching Ears

Now let’s get to the details of stretching. There are two main methods of stretching you can use. Tapers and the taping method.



To get started as a beginner, you’ll need to understand tapers. Tapers are cones or spike-shaped pieces of jewelry that are designed to stretch your piercing hole, and they are in a tapered shape, as the name implies, for easy insertion. Each will help you stretch one size up. They will help you safely reach your desired size over time.

Here are the steps to follow:

1. First, wash your earlobe, hands, fingers, and the tapers. This is how you reduce the chance of infections.
2. Lube your pierced spot and the taper so that the taper slides in easily and without pain. Don’t risk tearing your lobe. See the end of this article for the best types of lube that maintain the elasticity of your ears.
3. Push the taper in slowly. Your lobe should stretch without resistance or any pain.
4. Once it has been inserted, put the plug in after it.

Their material comes in acrylic or steel. Acrylic is cheaper but can transfer more bacteria, so wash everything carefully if you plan on using it, just in case there is any tearing.

Steel is more expensive, but it is easier to stretch with because of how slippery it is, and it is easier to sterilize.

Conclave steel tapers are even better because of the dip in their back. They make the transition quick and easy for when you need to put new plugs in. They are a bit more expensive but worth the price.

This is the time to let your tastes shine. Check Custom Plugs for more information

The Tape Method

This method is used once you go above a 0 gauge or over an inch from boelry. The tape will allow you to stretch your piercing slowly. You need to use the right tape for it. Regular, electric, or duck tapes aren’t suitable. You either need to use bondage or PTFE tape. The greater choice is PTFE, mostly because of how cheap it is.

To do this right, follow these steps:

1. Wrap take around your current plug about 2-3 times.
2. Lube the plugs, insert them back in place.
3. Rinse and repeat every 2-3 weeks.

Because you’re doing this more frequently, you need to stick to these low size increases. This will take longer, but it is necessary for sizes over a 0 gauge.

How to Care For Your Piercings


You need to understand that your body will fight hard to eject foreign objects that are stuck in it. So expect inflammation, swelling, and general irritability. The best you can do is wash the area and your hands whenever you want to touch your piercings with soap. Alcohol dries up your skin too much, leading to blowouts and infections.

Want to make this a smoother process and maintain the elasticity of your earlobe? Use Vitamin E or jojoba oil for easier stretching.

Prevent Blowouts

Blowouts occur when you stretch your earlobes too quickly. They happen when your stretched skin is pushed out by your gauges. This will cause sharp pain and inflammation because you are tearing your skin, not stretching it. Continuing the stretch will make it a permanent scar.

You need to let it heal first. To do so, go down a few sizes or just let them rest without jewelry.

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