Stretching The truth


I have recently encountered a lot of people wanting to stretch ears, and we do sell a lot of plugs and tunnels in our studio and online that are designed to be worn for fashionable use and not as a long term piece of jewellery and definatly not to stretch with.

Although I have stretched ear and have been piercing for a number of years, I asked a piercer friend of mine for an in depth guide to stretching to help all you guys out! I am sure if you follow her wise words you won’t go far wrong ... She knows what she’s talking about.

This information is intended as a friendly, informative & safe guide for anyone intending to stretch their ears. This is the proper and correct way to do things and is recommended by professional piercers.

Firstly stick to the guide & do not listen to friends. They may seem to know what they are doing & even have stretched ears themselves, but this doesn't mean they are passing on good, safe information. Remember that stretching your ears is not a race but a long term commitment over a long period of time.

To start on your stretching journey I would advise for ease to at first use a high quality Titanium taper & single flare tunnels/plugs in the relevant size. Tapers are meant to be an aid to help insert jewellery, they are not under any circumstances supposed to be worn as jewellery.

Your standard earring will be around 1.2-1.6mm in thickness so I advise starting with a 2mm taper & with each subsequent stretch going up by 1mm at a time, allowing 6-8 weeks healing time in between stretches.

Make sure you buy high quality Titanium tunnels/plugs or glass because any other materials are not suitable for stretching or to wear in freshly stretched ears. Also support your local tattoo/piercing studio in the buying of your jewellery and related products where possible. This keeps the small business's in the community going.

Make sure your new jewellery & taper have been autoclaved. This can be done at any tattoo/piercing studio for either free or a small charge. After having a hot shower or bath dry your ears & then use an ear stretching balm or oil, such as Holey Butt'r or Jojoba oil & massage the back & front of the lobe for a few minutes, then gently insert the pointed end of the taper & slowly ease through the ear. Before the taper is all the way through put the back of your new tunnel/plug to the end of the taper still in the ear & while supporting both the taper & the jewellery ease the last way through the ear, leaving your new tunnel/plug in place. Put the o ring on your jewellery to secure.Repeat this process every 6-8 weeks as it states above, only going up by 1mm at a time until you reach 8mm. After this use the natural method below.

The best & the easiest way to stretch after reaching 8mm is using the natural method ; This involves removing your jewellery & washing your ears, Pat dry and then do a massage of the lobes using an ear stretching balm or oil as stated above, such as Holey Butt'r or Jojoba oil. Put your jewellery back in and do the second massage in the evening before you go to bed.

The natural method works best in conjunction with wearing glass plugs. Repeat this every day until you notice a substantial gap between your ear and jewellery or until your jewellery easily falls out. This is your body's way of telling you it's ready for the next size up in plugs.

If you really feel for whatever reason that you can't get on with this ear stretching method then you can use the Taping method

Once you have reached 8mm and allowed your ears to heal, buy a roll of bondage tape (Ann Summers). Cut a strip to the same width as your plugs and apply approx 3 wraps around the plug. Massage the ears then gently ease the new slightly bigger plugs back in. You have to be really careful when using this method because if you apply too much tape & try & force the plugs back in you can damage the ears & even split the inside of the lobes.

By Lucy Lucas. Body Piercer