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Ear Stretching Guide

 

Stretching your ears can be one of the most rewarding forms of body modification. From Africa to the Americas, ancient tribes and civilizations have used body modifications to enhance their beauty for thousands of years. Due to the slow nature of ear stretching, it is also a sign of patience and discipline

The most important rule when stretching your ears is to never skip sizes. For most people, the initial stretch should be to a 16g or 14g. Make sure your ears are fully healed from the initial piercing before starting this process.

Jewellery is typically measured in gauges ranging from 20g to 00g, with larger sizes referred to in inches or millimeters. In countries that use the metric system, measurements are often only in millimeters rather than gauges. We’ve created a gauge chart to show the sizes and how they relate to one another.

While it is always recommended to have your ears stretched by a professional piercer, it is possible to do at home with a few key materials.

You’ll need:

  • High quality steel tapers (never use acrylic).
  • Jewelry in the next size up in a non-porous material such as steel, titanium, glass or Pyrex. 
  • Lubricant such as Vitamin E Oil, Jojoba Oil, or Coconut Oil. (Avoid lubricants like Vaseline,Neosporin or tea tree oil)

The actual process of stretching is relatively straightforward. Make sure your hands are clean and your materials are sterilised then very gently insert the taper. It should not be painful, perhaps a little tight but if you feel resistance stop immediately and return to your previous size. Don’t be discouraged, let your body take it’s time, it will only reward you in the end. It can also be helpful to stretch right after a hot shower. Once the taper is inserted, line the jewelry up with the large end and push it through. It should slide right in after the taper. It is important that you do not wear the taper after stretching. Also avoid it or applying abrasive chemicals like hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol.

Once the stretch is not longer irritated and settled (no pain or discomfort at all), feel free to remove jewelry daily and massage your lobes with Vitamin E Oil, Jojoba Oil, Emu Oil or Coconut Oil. Massaging daily allows your epidermal tissue to retain integrity while promoting cell growth. Remember to put your plugs back in once the massage is over. It’s best to do massages just after cleaning your piercings.

Remember every body heals at its own time. With most people, one ear readily wants to stretch more than the other. If one piercing will accept the new size, but the other one is uncomfortable or hurts when you try to insert the jewelry, do not force the new size. Simply wait a month and then stretch the other piercing to match the successful first. Never rush a stretch just for symmetry.

Your ears should be fully healed before you attempt another stretch, at least two months. You’ll know when your ear is ready for the next size when your current jewellery is loose or the front flare slips through your ear lobe and is in no pain or discomfort. Never skip sizes. Rushing the process can result in permanent damage to your lobes. If you ever have questions about stretching, consult an APP-certified piercer in your local area.

The key is to listen to your body. There is no secret to having amazing lobes, it’s all about patience.<img class=”alignleft wp-image-1937″ src=”http://manakacollection.com/wp-

What age do you have to be to gauge your ears?

While there is no real age, few parents would agree to a child or young teen doing this. Talk to them about it and see what they have to say.

Can your earlobes ever go back to their normal size?

After a certain size, no. If you go with a small size (under 8) then it’s possible. Otherwise, it’s a life-long commitment. Be sure you want them before you do it.

How long do I have to wait to put the next size in?

Your ears should be fully healed before you attempt another stretch, at least two months. You’ll know when your ear is ready for the next size when your current jewellery is loose or the front flare slips through your ear lobe and is in no pain or discomfort. Never skip sizes.

What is a reasonable size gauge to start my ears out with?

Most ears are pierced between 20-14g. Buy tapers that are either 14g or 12g to start out.

My ears are currently unpierced?

If your ears are not currently pierced, get them done by an APP-certified piercer. Not only will you be able to control your starting gauge, but there are no downfalls.