Above Standard Issue

The Art of Stretching Your Ears

This summer I finally decided to stretch my ears. I’ve been considering it for a couple years now and with peer pressure a good friend I did it.

As of now my goal is 0 and possibly 00 but probably no bigger.

If you’re not aware of the practice of stretching ears, or what people mistakingly call gauging, it has been around for thousands of years. It is considered one of the first forms of body modification. It is practiced in tribal villages throughout Africa, Asia, the Pacific islands, and more recently the Western world.

It is called stretching because it expands the skin in your ear to accomodate bigger jewerly. Think of it like spacers in braces but inside of your ear. The sizes run in reverse from 20 gauge down to 00 gauge, and then go up in fractions of inches. For example an 8 gauge is smaller than 9/16′.

In the past month I have gone from a 10 gauge to a 2 gauge. This process is supposed to take about a year but as you can see I’m quite impatient. With that said it is about knowing your body and avoiding pain. I’ve been able to move so quickly because my ears are very elastic and heal quickly. If you’re ears hurt or bleed then you’re doing something wrong. So far none of that has happen to me and I don’t intend it to.

This is my personal collection so far. The sizes go from top left-right: 12g, 10g, 8g, 6g, 4g, 2g, and the bottom row is all 0g. I actually started on 10g not 12g but I had already purchased them.


  • Massage ears frequently with jojoba oil, you can purchase it at Trader Joe’s
  • Wash hands with antibacterial soap before inserting or removing tapers or plugs
  • It is best to use stainless steel tapers because they do not adhere to the skin as it heals
  • Do not wear tapers as jewerly, switch to plugs once the hole has healed
  • Don’t skip sizes
  • Consider taping not tapering for sizes after 2 gauge

For my 12-2 gauges I purchased my jewerly at Spencers. It was fairly cheap but does definitely add up. Once you reach your goal size and want some more decorative plugs you should shop here at Crazy Factory.

Crazy factory is a company based in Germany that sells a wide range of body jewerly including wholesale. The prices are ridiculously cheap and the jewerly is made of a good quality. For example, last week I ordered three pairs of 0 gauges. They came in exactly 7 days and the whole order including shipping was $16.

I hope this post taught some of you something, and maybe even encouraged a few of you to begin your own journey. Happy stretching!

This entry was written by uyellelle and published on August 12, 2012 at 3:46 pm. It’s filed under Fashion and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “The Art of Stretching Your Ears

  1. I also saw an article where a girl had gotten through the larger sizes by wrapping her current plug with medical tape and gradually increasing the amount of tape until she could fit the next size in!

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