Stretching Tapers

When it comes to stretching your ears, it is all about going slowly. The more slowly you take it, the better it is going to go. Many people incorrectly believe that ear stretching tears the ear lobe in order to make it larger. In fact, the skin on the lobe is soft and stretchy, so it makes it the ideal place to stretch without tears. 

There are piercing professionals who can manage the lobe stretching process for you, but you can do it at home too. When it comes to stretching other parts of the body apart from the lobe, you should always go to a professional. 

Your normal piercing will be around 1.6mm, and many people like to head to either a 2mm or 3mm for their first stretch. Most often using a taper. A steel taper is the best way for you to stretch your earlobes. It is important that you never make your ear bleed from stretching, and if it hurts, you should take a break.

Now you have had your tapers in for a while you have a choice. You can move up a size with another taper, or you get a tunnel to a plug to fit the space - is you have reached your ideal guage. 

Swapping Tapers

Just like when you swap earrings, you need to purchase the size of taper that gets you to the next size of stretch you want. Remove the o-rings from each side of the taper you currently have in. Slide the taper out. Use some warm salt water to gently clean the lobe and stretched hole. With clean hands, you can then take some oil. Emu oil, vitamin E oil, and Jojoba oil are great options. Massage your ear lobe for 5 or more minutes. This will help soften the skin, encourage a good stretch and circulation too.

Wipe the excess oil for your hand, and remove the o-rings from the new taper - which you have cleaned. Gently slide the taper into the stretched hole. The oil will act as a lubricant to help the stretch go a little easier. Be careful that you don’t press too hard, though, this can cause a tear. If the surrounding of your stretch turns into a white circle, then the stretch is a little too much. Slide it back slightly to be more comfortable.

Once you find the sweet spot, put the o-rings back in place and in a few more weeks, slide up the scale a little more. 

Swapping From Tapers to Plugs

If you have finally reached the perfect gauge size that you wanted, it is time to swap your tapers for a plug. These will no longer require o-rings as they will typically have a pattern and a wider rim at each end. A tunnel will usually be hollow so that you can see the hole in the lobe and a plug will not be seethrough and will fill the entire area.

Follow the same cleaning and massage process as when moving up a size in tapers, and instead place your plug or tunnel into the stretch lobe space. Some plugs will have flared ends, and tunnels usually come with a removable screw-on back. Ensure the jewellery is clean before you use it.