How to Stretch an Ear Piercing

Stretching an already pierced ear is like taking an ear piercing one step further. A bold fashion statement, a stretched ear piercing can be shocking, and quite a point of conversation, but keep in mind that there is little to no way of reversing it – if you stretch your ears, they are bound to stay that way and are unlikely to shrink. While many turn to piercing parlours for getting their pierced ears stretched, the procedure can also be carried out at home, using a few simple tools.

Things Required:

– Earrings one size larger than your current piercing size
– Tapering rings
– Anti-bacterial soap
– Gauge chart


  • 1

    To begin, you will need to determine the gauge of your current ear piercing. Most ear piercings are done with a 20 gauge – the smallest needle there is. However, some are also done with an 18 gauge. Use interactive gauge charts available online, such as the one available on, to confirm the gauge of your current ear piercing.

  • 2

    Once you have obtained this information, you can go out and buy earrings that are one size larger – keep in mind that when determining in terms of gauge, the smaller the gauge, the larger the opening is. So when you begin using larger earrings to stretch the piercing hole, you will be looking for the gauge number to decrease.

  • 3

    Before you begin the process of inserting the larger earring, make sure you wash your hands, and your earlobe, with warm water and a good quality antibacterial soap, to get rid of germs or harmful bacteria, and to make sure the area is completely clean.

  • 4

    Then, take out your current earring, and proceed to insert the larger gauge earring into your pierced ear. This may take some time, so do not rush yourself, and if you happen to feel pain at any part of the process, stop, and rest a bit before resuming the task at hand. If your ear is hurting, it’s hurting for a reason, so give it a bit of a rest – if you try to relentlessly force the earring through, you may cause your ear to bleed, or develop an infection.

  • 5

    Once the larger earrings are in, you can wear them for as long as it takes for your ears to heal and become completely comfortable with the new size. You will also notice your piercing hole widening slightly. Select a time when your ears are completely normal and free of infection, and then insert a newer pair of earrings that are one size larger than your current size.

  • 6

    Keep increasing the size gradually, until your ears are as stretched as you want them to be. Once they have stretched out a good deal, and you are beginning to feel comfortable with them, you can switch to tapering rings, to speed up the stretching process.

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