Using tapers (sometimes called ear stretchers) is probably the most common method to stretching your lobes. Find out how to stretch ears with tapers by following the steps below.
Don’t forget to check below for recommended taper kits. You can save a bunch of money by buying a kit instead of purchasing each taper separately.
What You Need
- Taper in the next gauge from your size (for example, if you’re at 10g, you need an 8g taper)
- Titanium or Surgical stainless steel jewelry in your target size
- Some kind of lubricant (Natural and healthy oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil work well and are great for your skin)
How To Stretch Ears With Tapers, Step By Step
- Take out your current jewelry and wash your hands and your ears.
- Apply plenty of lubricant to your ears and the taper.
- Insert the narrower end of the taper into your ear piercing. Very slowly and gently push the taper through until you reach the wider end. Leave the taper in the piercing (don’t push it all the way through)
Warning: This should NOT be painful. At the most, you may feel a slight stinging, but the taper should go through easily. If you feel resistance, do NOT force the taper through. You could cause tearing or blowouts and seriously mess up your ears.
- Take your new jewelry and line it up with the wide end of the taper. Slowly push the rest of the taper through, keeping the jewelry and taper aligned, until your new jewelry is in place.
- Repeat for your other ear.
Congrats! You’ve just stretched up to the next size!
Treat your freshly-stretched ears like a new piercing. Don’t change the jewelry until they’re healed (this varies depending on the person, but you should give it at least a week), and be sure to carefully clean them once or twice a day. Sea salt soaks may help, but aren’t necessary.
- Don’t skip sizes, and be sure to leave enough time between stretches for your ears to heal.
- Be sure to use a lubricant, or you risk injuring your ear.
- Tapers work best for smaller gauges (under 00). Once you get to larger sizes, there’s more of a jump in size between gauges. Use other methods like taping for a more gentle and gradual stretch.
- Tapers are meant to be stretched with, not worn as jewelry— especially acrylic tapers. See Are acrylic tapers safe for stretching? to find out why its not safe to keep them in.
- Treat your freshly stretched ear like a brand-new piercing. Be gentle, dont handle excessively, and clean it once or twice a day (but not more often). Be on the lookout for signs of infection.
Recommended Taper Kits
This 16 Stainless Steel Ear Tapers Stretching Kit from UrbanBodyJewelry.com includes tapers from 14g to 0g.
This is a great beginners kit— most normal piercings are at an 18g or 16g, so starting by stretching to 14g would be fine. (I know I say to never skip sizes, but the jump from 18g to 14g is really, really tiny. As you go up in gauge, the jump between sizes gets much bigger).
Even though , I prefer stainless steel because steel can be autoclaved (check out the linked post for more details on that).
I highly recommend this 16 Stainless Steel Ear Tapers Stretching Kit for anyone to stretch with. You dont really need to spend a ton of money on higher-quality tapers because you wont be leaving them in; just stretching with them.
Check it out:
- Ear Piercing and Stretching Guide. (n.d.). King’s Body Jewelry. Retrieved from http://www.kingsbodyjewelry.com/ear-stretching-guide.aspx
- Ear Stretching Guide. (n.d.). UrbanBody Jewelry. Retrieved from http://www.urbanbodyjewelry.com/ear-stretching-guide
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