10 Stages of the Ear Stretching Journey

Written by: Stretch It Body Jewellery



Time to read 11 min

Model With Stretched Ears
Stretch It Body Jewellery Logo

Stretch It Body Jewellery

SIBJ is one of the world's leading online specialist retailers and wholesalers in ear stretching kits, plugs, aftercare and body jewellery. We have over 10 years of experience in selling high-quality, unique ear stretching jewellery providing the knowledge, expertise and tools to stretch up confidently and safely.

"Ear stretching is an exhilarating form of self-expression and personal growth. Take it slow, keep informed, and enjoy every stretch of your transformation."

Decided to venture into the eclectic, edgy world of ear stretching? Get in! Stretching your lobes is a really cool symbol of personal expression that's as unique as you are.

And this article is your access all areas pass to doing ear stretching right. It’s rammed with valuable hints, tips and insider secrets if you’re just dipping your toes into alternative lifestyle waters. And you’ll even find useful pointers and things you might not know, even if you’re a veteran on the alt circuit.

So, let’s talk through the step-by-step stages to stretched ear success.

Stage 1: Get Your Ear/s Pierced

Ear Piercing

The first phase of your ear stretching journey is getting your ears pierced. This might seem elementary. In fact, it’s almost like a pre-phase. But it's where everyone begins.

But hang fire. Remember, patience is key if they’re fresh. We advise a full six months of healing to ensure your lobes are ready to begin their transformation safely. Rushing can lead to complications like blowouts, tears or infections, setting you back before you even really start.

Stage 2: Do Your Research

Model Thinking

Getting ear gauges is a vast arena of techniques, traditions, and tales. Unfortunately, it's also rife with misinformation. So, arm yourself with knowledge before making your move. It’s vital to get genned up on key elements of ear stretching in advance, such as:

  • Understanding the terminology, (the world of ear and body piercings can seem to the uninitiated like it’s got its own language!)
  • Choosing sizes
  • Knowing how long to wait between stretching your lobes up to larger ear gauges
  • Getting to grips with what’s safe and what’s plain stupid!
  • Learning about the potential risks, like blowouts - and importantly, how to avoid them

Research is your first line of attack in preparation for the plugs and tunnels of your dreams. Likewise, it’s the best defence against common pitfalls.

Stage 3: Choose the Right Ear Stretching Kit for You

Your choice of tools is paramount. For this reason, our failproof recommendation for ear stretching rookies is a dead stretching kit.

Ok, so the term 'dead stretching' might sound ominous. But there’s no need to cower in a corner! It's actually one of the safest and most recommended methods for beginners, using single flare plugs rather than ear tapers.

Check these dead stretching kits out. They’re the best in the biz in our humble opinion:

  • Surgical Steel Dead Stretching Kit – SIBJ’s dead ear stretching kit features mirror-polished, hypoallergenic, 316L surgical steel single flare plugs, designed for ease and safety, with tiny 0.5mm increments for safer, smoother stretching. Plus, each kit comes with a measuring card to ensure correct sizing. All in all, a foolproof, pain-free ear stretching experience, supported by over a decade of industry expertise and numerous five-star reviews.
  • Titanium Dead Stretching Kit – This top of the range ear stretching kit contains ASTM F-136 titanium single flare plugs, offering a superior option if you’ve got sensitive or allergy-prone skin needing a gentler touch. Like it’s surgical steel cousin, its tiny 0.5mm increments ensure a simple and safe precision stretch. Comfort and compatibility for sensitive ears guaranteed!

Conversely, avoid materials like acrylic and wood. They’re porous and can harbour bacteria. Better to set yourself up for smoother, healthier ear stretching by choosing the right material from the start.

Stage 4: Join Our Private Facebook Customer Group

Besides being a leading online body jewellery shop, SIBJ is also a growing community of stretched ear enthusiasts. And you’re invited to join our exclusive Facebook group to connect with fellow stretchers.

It’s a fantastic resource for sharing experiences, tips, and sometimes, words of encouragement during those tougher stretching days. The group supports you every stretch of the way, whether you're looking for advice on the best massage oils or just need to share your progress.

Get in touch via our Facebook page.

Stage 5: Tackle Your First Stretch

As always, it’s safety first, folks!

  • Assess Initial Piercing - Ensure your piercing is fully healed and ready before you get into the nitty gritty of doing the deed. It might seem overly cautious. But truthfully, starting to stretch too early can and does lead to avoidable but really nasty complications.
  • Choose Your Preferred Ear Stretching Method - Now, let’s talk about the actual ear stretching. There are several common methods to consider, most typically:

Ear tapers

Plugs and tunnels

Wrapping tape

Ear tapers can be a straightforward option when you’re starting out. But they must be used carefully to avoid damage. Alternatively, Team SIBJ always advocates dead stretching with appropriate size plugs for a natural, gradual and safer approach.

Take a more in-depth look at each method in our definitive How To Stretch Your Ears guide. And remember, no method is one-size-fits-all. So, it really is a case of evaluating your comfort and ear health as you go along.

Stage 6: Adopt Aftercare Best Practices

Post-stretching care is just as important as the stretch itself.

LobeLove™ Professional Saline Piercing Spray is our hands down favourite professional-grade, preservative and alcohol-free saline solution for flushing out impurities and supporting good hygiene for both internal and external body piercings. In fact, it’s non-negotiable if you’re serious about ear stretching cleanliness and health, (which you 100% should be).

Additionally, get into the habit of simple but effective routines, like washing with mild, non-irritating soaps, and giving your stretched ear daily saltwater soaks. These practices promote healing and also make stretching your lobes more comfortable when you’re ready to step it up to the next ear gauges.

Stage 7: Have Patience

Model Lying Down Having Patience

Ear stretching is a slow dance, not a mosh! It's tempting to rush through sizes to reach your goal faster. But the best results come from taking your time. For this reason, our golden rule is allowing at least two months between stretches to be on the safe side, giving your ear gauges the breathing space they need to heal properly and maintain elasticity.

At the end of the day, patience pays off with healthier stretches, peace of mind, and a more satisfying experience as you uplevel comfortably and safely from one 0.5mm size to the next.

Stage 8: Decide on a Goal Size

Model With Stretched Ears Wearing Wood Plugs With Brass Inlay

What's your ultimate goal?

Setting a clear target size early on can guide your stretching decisions, whether it's modest or more dramatic.

Keep in mind the larger the stretched ear, the longer it might take to shrink back if you decide at some point to reverse the process. So, plot your stretches with care to avoid unnecessary damage and to achieve your desired look.

Stage 9: Plan Your Next Stretches

Each stretch should be approached with renewed caution and preparation as you progress. In line with our usual ‘steady as you go’ approach, our best advice includes:

  • Always waiting for your ears to fully heal before stretching up. This prevents injuries, while also strengthening your lobes for future sizes
  • Regularly checking for signs of stress or damage as you approach your goal size
  • Listening to your body piercings. They’ll tell you when they’re ready for the next step

Stage 10: Get Jewellery Shopping and Show it Off with Pride

This is the fun part. So, what are you waiting for? Visit your favourite online body jewellery shop, (SIBJ, naturally) and start building a collection of plugs and tunnels that reflect your individual style and preferences.

The variety of materials and designs will blow your mind, from sleek gemstone plugs to vibrant silicone tunnels. And there are more options the larger you go.

Dead Stretching Kit Case Study 1 – “A-fucking-mazing!” - Bethany-Kate

  • Q. Why did you want to stretch your ears?

A. Well why not? I was sick of studs. And after previously stretching and then taking them out many, many moons ago…I came across SIBJ and thought, “It’s time to return to stretched lobes.”

  • Q. Overall feedback about the dead ear stretching kit?

A. Top quality materials and legit the easiest, best way to stretch!

  • Q. How easy was it to stretch up and how did SIBJ's products help?

A. Easy peasy! The 0.5 increments mean you can stretch way quicker than tapers…and reduce the risk of blowouts and micro tears.

  • Q. What are your favourite SIBJ products?

A. Black Glass or onyx plugs are my absolute faves. But honestly…everything looks amazing!

  • Q. Have you tried any of the aftercare products?

A. The LobeLove Jojoba Oil… absolute essential part of my stretching/cleaning routine.

Dead Stretching Kit Case Study 2 – “Brilliant quality” - Jordan

  • Q. Why did you want to stretch your ears?

A. I just thought it was a really cool look! I did love the idea of being able to see through my ears a little too much. I stretched up to 1", and had to shrink back down to 14mm. After that, I got another two lobe piercings. So, I'm still continuing my stretching journey! I'm aiming for triple stretched lobes.

  • Q. Overall feedback about the dead ear stretching kit?

A. I've ordered two or three dead stretching kits now. They're wonderfully packaged and sealed, with each size of plug labelled separately, which makes storage very easy. The quality of the metal is great. While this may be an issue for some depending on how sensitive your skin is and any allergies you have. I've had no problems.

  • Q. How easy was it to stretch up and how did SIBJ's products help?

A. As long as you're patient, dead stretching is really easy! Unlike some other places I've bought from, all of the sizing for the plugs and tunnels is spot on, especially in the dead stretching kits. The online guide is informative, safe, and really helped me out. I did have issues with some of my orders (on my end), and SIBJ's customer service was very supportive and quick to help. If you want to stretch your ears safely (or any piercing, really) I'd recommend SIBJ.

  • Q. What are your favourite SIBJ products

A. One of my favourite products is the light skin tone silicone double flare tunnels. I've ordered two pairs now, one at 16mm and one at 14mm. The tunnels are more like ear skins. They're thin without being flimsy, and they're very high quality for a very low price. Another product I love is the areng wood double flare plugs with brass disc inlay. The wood is high quality (and there’s a guide on how to take care of wooden plugs on the website!) and they sit very nicely!

  • Q. Have you tried any of the aftercare products?

A. The LobeLove Organic Jojoba Oil is a great product for stretching, aftercare and daily use, and it's great value for money! The bottle has a very efficient application, as it has a small squeeze-tip nozzle. Some bottles are open-topped, and butter or aftercare balms are always really messy.

Dead Stretching Kit Case Study 3 – “I love the dead stretching kit plugs” – Mel

  • Q. Why did you want to stretch your ears?

A. I've always loved the way stretched ears work, and as a transgender FtM, I felt like I couldn't wear many earrings, as they tend to be quite feminine. Stretching my ears has allowed me to be more authentic and confident in my appearance and identity, as well as being an exciting way to modify my body without having to spend a lot of money.

  • Q. Overall feedback about the dead ear stretching kit?

A. The plugs slide right in, and they're super comfortable to wear! They also cover the hole completely and aren't flashy or attention drawing. So, I'd really recommend these if your school or work doesn't allow for certain kinds of jewellery, as they just look like normal earrings.

  • Q. How easy was it to stretch up and how did SIBJ's products help?

A. I used the dead stretching kit plugs and they don't hurt me at all when I push them in. Sometimes I forget I'm even wearing them, because there's hardly any pain or discomfort. They help to make my stretching journey an enjoyable process.

  • Q. What are your favourite SIBJ products?

A. I'm a big fan of the dead stretching kit for moving up sizes comfortably and easily. When I'm not stretching, I really like the flesh tunnels and the plugs made of gems, such as opalite or amethyst.

Dead Stretching Kit Case Study 4 – “100% recommend” – Fern

  • Q. Why did you want to stretch your ears?

A. It's something I've always wanted to do but struggled to find the best kit for it. I love the aesthetic.

  • Q. How easy was it to stretch up and how did SIBJ's products help?

A. The ease of being able to stretch my ears without the pain was amazing. I've used other products before and the amount of pain was unbearable. I'm so pleased I found this kit! Made it so much easier!!

  • Q. What are your favourite SIBJ products?

A. There's so much to choose from.

  • Q. Have you tried any of the aftercare products?

A. Jojoba oil - the best aftercare product I've used while stretching ears.

You’re Welcome!

So, there you have it, not just from us, but from some of our happy customers. It’s clear from their feedback ear stretching is an exhilarating form of self-expression and personal growth. Take it slow, keep informed, and enjoy every stretch of your transformation. Welcome to the stretched ear community!

At Stretch It Body Jewellery, we help with the right preparation, care, and community support through every stage of the ear stretching journey. So, you can sit back and enjoy the ride on the way to reaching your stretching goals. Visit our website to enter a whole new world of striking gauges for ears, body jewellery, and everything you need for a mega stretched ear experience. We can’t wait to see how you make it your own!

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