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Steph Simpson

When we think of body piercings, more often than not, one of the first body parts that immediately springs to mind is the earlobe. Ear piercings in general, are considered the most common, and one of the most popular forms of piercing in the entire world, yet most earlobe piercings are subtle and discreet. Most people opt for a more discreet piercing such as a stud, or studs, or maybe a small hoop. Some people however, prefer to take things to the extreme and opt for a much more dramatic piercing, which in actual fact, looks pretty awesome if done correctly. Which piercing are we referring to? Ear stretching piercings of course. Ear stretching piercings are not new, on the contrary, they’re incredibly old and have been used for cultural, religious, and traditional purposes for centuries upon centuries. Ancient tribes in Africa, South America, and other indigenous lands would often have ear stretching piercings for the purposes previously mentioned. To this day in fact, there are tribes located all over the world, that still have these very same ear stretching piercings, though in more developed parts of the world, ear stretching is considered much more about fashion, individuality, and making a statement. If you’re thinking of ear stretching and having an ear stretching piercing yourself, take a look at this basic how-to guide.

Think carefully before having it done – Remember, ear stretching piercings aren’t just like regular piercings with tiny holes in the ear, they are instead pretty large, and the larger the hole, the less likely your ears will be to heal and return back to their original state. For that reason, don’t suddenly decide to have an ear stretching piercing on a whim, as there is plenty more to consider. For example, it may harm your career prospects, or your romantic prospects, plus, you need to be sure that you won’t grow sick of it later in life, as it could permanently leave you with stretched earlobes. If you’re sure you definitely want to go ahead with the piercing however, then you will want to read on and find out what you should do next.

Pierce your ears – First and foremost, the first thing you need to do is pierce your ears. Go to a professional with good reviews/recommendations, and explain what it is that you’re thinking of having. You will just want a regular piercing at this stage, making sure that it is located a fair distance away from the bottom, or the edge, of your earlobe. After the piercing, make sure you follow the necessary aftercare protocols, and then wait. Typically you should wait around 8 – 10 weeks before you stretch your ears, although you may wish to wait around 12 weeks just to be sure. Once the piercing is fully healed, you can then move onto the stretching.

Taper stretching – Taper stretching is one of the most common and popular forms of ear stretching, and for that reason you may wish to begin with this very process. With taper stretching, you will insert the taper further and further into the piercing hole over the course of several days. With this method, you are gently stretching it slowly and surely, rather than just stretching it in one go. Basically, a taper is a special device which will increase the size of the piercing the more it is inserted into the hole. You can go for spiral tapers, circular ones, or just straight tapers. If you stretch the piercing yourself, you must ensure that the taper, and indeed your hands, are clean and sterile, free from any bacteria or other contaminants which could lead to infection. When beginning, you should ideally start with either a 2 mm, or even a 1.6 mm standard taper. You should insert it slowly, as far as it will go, twist slightly, push a little more, and then stop. If it hurts, loosen it as it should feel slightly uncomfortable, but not painful. Always go as slowly as possible, otherwise you can damage your ear and could experience a ‘blowout’ which is where the hold almost turns inside out, and becomes deformed, which is not nice. Leave the taper in, allow it to settle, and then, insert it a little more. This could take hours, or it could take days, so don’t rush. Once the taper is fully inserted, leave it a day or two, and then think about switching to another form of jewelry, generally some which does not need any more stretching for a few weeks, as this will give the piercing time to settle down slightly.

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