How to Gauge Your Ears

Опубликовал Admin
17-11-2017, 23:00
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Ear gauges are a bold and stylish way to express your individuality. If you've always wanted to gauge your ears, you can do so from the comfort of your home. Just get your ears pierced at a local studio, then use professional tools like tapers and surgical tape to stretch the holes out over time. As long as you have patience and practice good hygiene, you can gauge your ears safely.

Inserting Your First Gauge into Your Ear

  1. Get your ears pierced at a trustworthy location. Although you can gauge your ears at home, you will need to get them pierced at a professional establishment. Piercing your ears at home increases your risk of infection, especially if you are gauging your ears afterward. You will be unable to use the same sterile equipment and technique as a licensed professional.
  2. Wait 6-10 weeks after piercing your ears to gauge them. Piercings must be fully healed before it is safe to gauge. If you do not want to wait the full ten weeks, watch for signs of healing. A healed ear piercing will not be tender to the touch and will not close if the piercing is removed for longer than several hours.
    • Do not gauge your ears if your piercing is infected. Signs of infection include swelling, yellow or greenish discharge, redness, irritation, and bleeding.
  3. Begin stretching your ear with a size 16-20 gauge. Ears are typically pierced using an 18 or 20 gauge, so 16 is the largest gauge you can start on and avoid damaging your ears. Starting at any larger than this size puts your ear at-risk of tearing.
  4. Purchase a set of ear tapers at a piercing studio. Many piercing studios offer a "stretching kit" of ear tapers in various sizes. Start with your size 16-20 ear taper, depending on your chosen gauge. Make sure that the stretching kit has your starting taper size before you purchase it.
  5. Massage an oil lubricant around your piercing. The lubricant will help the taper slide into your piercing easily and without tearing your ear. Coconut oil or jojoba oil works especially well for gauging ears. Avoid using petroleum oil, which can get clogged in your piercing and cause infections.
    • Wash your hands before you massage the lubricant into your ears.
  6. Push your taper through your piercing. Most piercing tapers are smaller at one end. Push the smaller end into your piercing, paying attention to how your ear feels as you do so. Work slowly, and stop pushing the taper in if you feel any strong resistance.
    • Pushing the taper in may hurt but should not bleed. If your ear begins to bleed, you may have chosen too large of a taper. Remove the taper, treat and disinfect the wound, and wait until the wound has healed before inserting a smaller taper later on. When your ear has stopped bleeding, place the earring back in to prevent the hole from closing up.
  7. Replace the taper with your gauge. Align your jewelry with the large end of the taper, and finish pushing the taper through your ear until you reach the gauge. Push the gauge in through the temporary hole that the taper leaves. Repeat this process with the other ear if desired.
    • Once you have inserted the taper into your piercing, it can be replaced immediately with the gauge.
    • Tapers are not designed to be worn as jewelry. Do not wear your tapers for any longer than several hours.

Stretching Your Ear Further

  1. Wait six weeks in between stretches. Do not remove your first gauge for at least a week after stretching, and only remove it for the first month while cleaning your gauges. Give your earlobes at least six weeks before stretching your ear with a taper or other method so your earlobes have time to heal.
  2. Use surgical tape to gradually increase the gauge over time. After you've used 3 or 4 tapers to stretch your piercing, you can use the taping method to continue increasing your gauge size. Wrap your gauge with a thin layer of surgical tape and place it back in your ear.
    • Try this method if you have run out of tapers and d not want to purchase more.
    • Increase the layers of tape around your ear gauge every six weeks so your ear has time to heal.
  3. Use ear weights to stretch your piercing in a short amount of time. Weighted gauges can stretch your ears quickly but usually do so at an uneven pace. Use ear weights for short-term stretching, but never wear them overnight. Replace them with unweighted gauges after several hours to avoid damaging your ear.
  4. Try tapered claws to painlessly stretch your gauge. Tapered claws or talons are used to slowly push through your piercing, much like regular tapers, but are created to be worn as jewelry. Tapered claws are usually the easiest and least painful method of stretching because they involve less inserting and removing.

Caring for Gauged Ears

  1. Clean your ears with antibacterial soap twice a day. Wash your hands before touching your ears to prevent infection. Apply antibacterial cream around the rim of your piercing to further prevent infection. Any more than two times a day can irritate your piercing.
    • Use a cotton swab to remove any dried skin or crust around your piercing.
  2. Massage your earlobe for five minutes every day. Massage your ear once or twice a day, preferably right after you have washed your ear. This will help your ear heal and accommodate to its new stretched size. Apply jojoba or vitamin-E oil as you massage your ears to keep your piercing soft and stretchy.
  3. Remove your gauge for cleaning after a week. To prevent your piercing from smelling bad or getting infected, remove your gauge a week after you last stretched your ear and wash it with an antibacterial soap. Rinse the gauge before inserting it back in your ear. While your ear gauge is out, rub some jojoba or vitamin-E oil in and around your piercing.
    • Once you are finished stretching your ears and six weeks have passed since your last stretching session, you can insert and remove your gauges as you please without risking shrinkage.
  4. Watch for signs of infection. Redness, swelling, and green or yellow discharge are the most common signs of infection. Not all of these signs necessarily mean your ears are infected: you may just have minor ear irritation. But if you notice two or more infection symptoms, visit a piercer or medical professional for treatment.
    • See a doctor immediately if you notice any severe infection symptoms, such as thick, bad smelling discharge; red streaks coming from your piercing; fever or chills; nausea; dizziness or disorientation; or any minor infection symptoms for more than a week.
    • If you notice any signs of infection, check your lymph nodes. Swollen lymph nodes are another sign of infection.


  • Ask your parent or guardian before gauging your ears.
  • Make sure you purchase gauges and stretching materials from a professional source so you can trust them.
  • Check your school or work dress codes before gauging your ears so you can plan accordingly.


  • Never put everyday objects (like pencils) through your gauge holes. The bacteria on these objects can cause infections.
  • Do not submerge your ear in water while it is healing in-between stretches. Wear a swim cap while visiting pools or bathing.
  • Do not skip sizes when stretching with tapers. Skipping sizes puts you at a greater risk for tearing and infections.
  • Once you have stretched your ears with a gauge, it is difficult to shrink your piercing holes without surgery. Do not gauge your ears unless you are positive that you want this look for the long-term.

Things You'll Need

  • Ear gauge
  • An ear taper set
  • Jojoba, coconut, or vitamin-E oil
  • Surgical tape
  • Antibacterial soap
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