Ear Stretching Do's & Don'ts

Written by: Stretch It Body Jewellery



Time to read 10 min

Model With Stretched Ears
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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.

"Patience is the foundation of successful ear stretching, and it’s non-negotiable when you’ve got your sights set on flesh plugs after a new piercing."

Wondering what’s a ‘hell yeah’ and what’s a ‘f*** no’ when it comes to ear stretching? You’re in good company. It’s always handy to know how to stretch your ears properly and what to avoid, whether you're a newbie or a seasoned stretcher in need of a refresher.

So, let’s go through the key do's and don'ts, from gauging your ears with dead stretching kits, to blowouts from stretching, with a focus on safe, stylish stretching every time.

The Essential Do's

Wait it Out Between Initial Piercing and Ear Stretching

Model With Pierced Ears

Patience is the foundation of successful ear stretching, and it’s non-negotiable when you’ve got your sights set on flesh plugs after a new piercing. But steady on, because you need to give your ears time from the initial piercing before you start getting fancier.

We recommend a minimum of six months. And it’s worth it. In fact, it’s crucial for the piercing to fully heal, reducing the risk of complications when you’re ready to trade up to ear gauges.

Stretch Slowly

Sandtimer On Rocks

The slower the better when it comes to a stretcher in your ear. This might sound like a total bore when you can’t wait to go bigger faster. But rushing the process can lead to exactly the horror stories you want to avoid - damage and long-term complications. And you can avoid them by following the rules.

So, allow at least two months between stretches. This lets your lobes heal and regain elasticity. That said, we’re all different. For this reason, it’s key to listen to what your body’s telling you. So, be aware some stretches might need more time. It depends how your ears heal and adapt.

Choose Your Stretching Up Materials Wisely

Materials matter when you’re going for bigger ear stretcher sizes. So, tread with caution by choosing high-quality, non-porous ones. These are the bad boys known for their fresh stretch friendliness:

316L Surgical Steel – Flesh plugs made from high-quality 316L surgical steel are polished to a flawless, mirror-like finish completely free of imperfections. You'll never settle for inferior jewellery again once you've tried it. It makes the journey to larger ear stretcher sizes plain sailing.

Titanium – Implant grade titanium, recognised as ASTM F-136 if you want to get technical, is the mother of all materials for both new and fully healed stretches. It’s a triple whammy - increased strength of steel, yet super lightweight and entirely compatible with your bodily tissues. And if you’ve got heightened sensitivity concerns, it’s the ideal option.

Glass – Some people think glass is the supreme choice for stretchers, because it’s brilliant if you’re sensitive to metals. It’s got a satin-smooth surface, it’s durable, and it’s well-suited for fresh stretches, eliminating the risk of any bad reactions you really don’t want to have.

Halt if it Hurts!

Traffic Light Stop Sign

Pain is a clear signal from your body that something isn't right. If your ear gauges are causing pain, stop immediately. And take stock of the situation. What’s the pain telling you? Your lobe isn't ready to stretch further for now? You’ve caused an injury? Whatever the cause, it’s crucial not to cause further damage.

Give Lobes a Regular Massage

Regularly massaging your lobes makes ear stretching easier. And here’s why:

  • It promotes blood flow
  • It increases elasticity
  • It can help break down scar tissue

Use natural oils like jojoba or vitamin E oil to keep your lobes healthy and well-nourished. This dynamic duo are our current favourites:

LobeLove's Premium Ear Stretching Balm - This ever-popular vegan-friendly balm packs a potent punch of antiseptic, moisturising, and protective qualities in a single convenient package. It nurtures the skin and keeps it supple and healthy.

LobeLove™ Organic Golden Jojoba Oil - Discover the benefits of premium jojoba oil from a trusted brand. It’s certified organic by the Soil Association, 100% pure, natural, and cold-pressed for maximum performance. And its skin rejuvenating and hydrating properties make it a firm favourite in the ear stretching community. Even better still, its convenient non-drip top means easy, mess-free application and more massages to revitalise stretch-weary lobes. Not to mention it's vegan and cruelty-free, which are always massive ticks in our boxes.

Keep Your Jewellery and Your Lobes Clean and Pristine

Keeping your lobes and jewellery clean prevents infections. So, scrub up your lobes daily with a gentle saline solution or mild, fragrance-free soap. Seeing as you ask, our hot pick is this beaut:

LobeLove™ Professional Saline Piercing Spray - This professional-grade secret weapon in your aftercare armoury is an easy-to-use mist for cleansing any piercing, any time, anywhere. Its compact spray bottle design is ideal for popping in your crossbody bag, backpack or pocket. A must-have for lobe hygiene on the move.

In addition, regularly cleaning your jewellery also prevents the buildup of bacteria. In turn, this paves the way for continued healthy and hassle-free ear stretching going forward.

Wear Non-Metallic Organic Materials in Cold Weather

This one might never have crossed your mind. That’s why we’re inviting you to think about wearing organic materials like wood during colder months. There’s very simple logic behind this. Wood doesn't conduct cold, unlike metal. So, it’s literally a case of keeping your lobes toasty when there’s a chill in the air. Cold ears equal poor blood circulation, and poor blood circulation can mean unhealthy stretched ears.

Cover Larger Stretched Ears with Hat in Winter

Model With Large Stretched Ears

Large stretches are more susceptible to the cold. It can even cause damage, let alone discomfort. Keep 10mm stretched ears and larger cosy and safe from the elements by covering them with a hat or scarf.

Stretch Up Using an Expert Curated Dead Stretching Kit

We’ve already covered why 316L surgical steel, titanium, and glass are priority materials for safe and savvy stretching. But, how about a professionally designed ear stretching kit, containing the same easy clean non-porous and fresh stretch-friendly materials for the ultimate safe and smooth stretch?

Sounds like a no-brainer? That’s because it is! And as always, we’re happy to oblige and share the love. So, dive headlong into our hot picks on the market right now:

Surgical Steel Dead Stretching Kit - Receive a FREE ear stretching guide with these 316L surgical steel single flare plugs in tiny 0.5mm increments for a faster, safer, and more effortless stretch, plus a clear, hypoallergenic o-ring for added comfort. Idiotproof. And designed to look great, thanks to a polished mirror finish.

Titanium Dead Stretching Kit -This second-to-none dead stretching kit is practically identical to its surgical steel sibling. But this one’s ASTM F-136 titanium for you sensitive souls.

Surgical Steel Pro Gauge Dead Stretching Kit - Journeying beyond 10mm stretched ears has never been simpler. The pro gauge kit has everything the regular surgical steel and titanium kits have, but bigger ear stretcher sizes. Additionally, the flesh tunnels are cleverly hollowed out for less weight and more comfort.

Practice Good Hygiene

Washing Hands With Soap

Keeping it clean is essential from the start to finish of the ear stretching process. Here are some steps to ensure you and your jewellery are germ-free:

  • Start by thoroughly cleaning your hands with antibacterial soap before touching any part of your ears or jewellery.
  • Wash your lobes, tapers, and ear gauges with antibacterial soap.
  • Consider sterilising your jewellery in boiling water before stretching. But wait for it to cool down completely before insertion.
  • Always wash your hands before touching your ears or jewellery and massaging your lobes.
  • Don’t share jewellery or wear pre-loved jewellery.

Incorporate these good practices into your routine. They’ll become second nature, like brushing your teeth, keeping your stretching experience pristine and infection-free.

The Crucial Don'ts

Skip Sizes

An impatient rush to ascend sizes prematurely is a common ear stretching pitfall. Jumping sizes might seem like a plan when you’re craving larger ear gauges. But take our word for it. It's a surefire way to invite complications, such as:

  • Tears
  • Blown out ears from stretching
  • Longer healing times than typically necessary

In contrast, the art of good stretching revolves around a gradual approach. Its key principles include:

  • Incrementally increasing by a single gauge size at a time, although we go even further with half-sizes
  • Ensuring your ears have completely healed before attempting the next stretcher in your ear
  • Steering clear of materials susceptible to bacteria and potential irritation, which can cause infections and hinder the healing process

In short, be safe rather than sorry. Don’t stretch in haste and repent at leisure.

Wear Organic Materials in New Stretches

Wooden Ear Gauges

Fresh stretches are fragile. So, treat them kindly with materials you can keep clean. It’s wise to avoid organic porous materials like wood, bone, or horn until your stretch is healed, because they can harbour bacteria, leading to infections.

Wear Tapers as Jewellery

This one really gets our goat! Tapers have important roles to play in the stretching process. But they shouldn’t be worn as permanent jewellery. It doesn’t matter if you think they look cool and suit your vibe!

Their uneven weight distribution can strain and damage your lobes. This is why you must always, always replace tapers with flesh plugs or other appropriate ear gauges after stretching.

Be Afraid to Downsize if You Want to

Had a problem with your ears? Or have you simply changed your mind? No worries. It's perfectly ok to downsize if and when you want to.

Start the reduction process by removing your jewellery. Additionally, daily massages with LobeLove's Premium Ear Stretching Balm or LobeLove Organic Jojoba Oil are recommended to aid in breaking down scar tissue and promote shrinkage.

And you know that virtue that’s so important when you’re going in the opposite direction (up) – patience? It’s the same on your way back down. Being gradual and realistic will get you there, allowing for healing and potentially even re-stretching if you want to go up again in the future.

Try to Ram Double Flares into Newly Stretched Ears

Double Flare Amethyst Ear Tunnels

Double-flared flesh plugs are as cool as your favourite cucumbers in your growing jewellery collection. But, here comes the P-word again… they need patience.

Put it this way. You can do yourself an injury by trying to ram double flares into fresh stretches. So, hold your horses until your lobes are fully healed and adapted to their new size before introducing double flares.

Wear Different Shaped Plugs in New Stretches

Experimentation with unique plug shapes is great fun for creating awesome looks. But it's best reserved for well-healed stretches. That means putting the teardrops to one side for now and sticking to simple, straightforward designs to avoid unnecessary stress on the healing tissue.

Mess with a Newly Stretched Ear

It's crucial to let your ears rest and heal after stretching, albeit the temptation to fiddle is real. All the same, sit on your hands and resist the urge to touch, twist and fiddle for at least a couple of days after stretching.

If you don’t, well, you can imagine what it might lead to… bacteria, irritation, infection. Do your lobes a favour and leave them in peace to settle into their new size.

Stretch Up with Porous Materials, Especially Silicone

We’ve already done a lot of taking about materials in the Do’s section of this article. But what about the Don’ts, especially when it comes to silicone?

Well, we’ve already established wood and bone aren’t the best for stretching up. As for silicone, it’s great for healed stretches. But it’s unsuitable for fresh ones. This is because its porous squidginess can act as a bacteria magnet and cause infections. And for this very good reason, you should always choose non-porous materials for safely stretching up.

Don’t Stretch Up by Forcing in Silicone Tunnels and Letting Them Expand

Model With Stretched Ears

Who wants blown out ears from stretching? Then step right up and use silicone tunnels to force a stretch!

It’s a real ear stretching no-no. Silicone should never be used to size up. You see, it will expand to its full size in your lobe, which can cause tearing and, worse still, fuse with your unhealed skin. You’ll need medical intervention should this happen.

Use Adhesive Tape When Stretching Up Using the Taping Method

Avoid household tapes with adhesives that can irritate or infect your lobes. Instead, go for non-adhesive, body-safe bondage tape specifically designed for this purpose. It's non-porous and safe for direct contact with skin. An ideal choice for a controlled and hygienic stretch.

Ear stretching demands patience and also respect for your body, so listen to yours. And set yourself up for safe and successful stretching by adhering to these do's and don'ts.

At Stretch It Body Jewellery, we’ve got every ear stretching kit and piece of jewellery your lobes desire, coupled with expert know-how and the best aftercare products. Why not visit our website to find out more about how to stretch your ears to perfection. And while you’re there, enjoy celebrating the process of expressing your unique style through your stretches.

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