Awful Mod’s New and Improved Super Huge Stretching Guide.
Awful Mod’s New and Improved Stretching Guide
Before we start off, and you ask ‘why isn’t there anything about tapers on here?’ well unless used correctly, which they usually aren’t, tapers can cause uneven stretching, tissue damage, and often encourage rushed and ill-thought out stretching, so for the purposes of this guide, we won’t be discussing stretching with tapers, a separate guide will be made for that. Stretching with tapers is also vastly more expensive than using the taping method!
Please remember that ALL times given are simply MINIMAL estimates. Waiting longer will only be better for your lobes. Stretching your ears is not a race.
Taping Method: Written by Emily.
The taping method is a gradual way of stretching a piercing using wraps of skin-safe tape over a pair of plugs, gradually increasing the amount of tape used per week, until a new mm is reached. This is far slower and causes less trauma to lobes that aren’t easily stretched. It’s also a lot cheaper! To get to where you can start taping, I’ve also provided a quick description of a dead-stretching method used to get to 8g.
What you need: Skin-safe tape. PTFE or Bondage tape is the safest. Skin-safe oil. Bio-oil, jojoba, emu, vitamin E, the list goes on! KY Jelly to use as lubrication, a lot of patience and a lot of time. For the purpose of this exercise, we’ll assume your lobes have been pierced at 1.2mm or 16g for at least 6-9 months and are fully healed with no complications.
Digital callipers will really come in handy here, as you cannot be sure how thick the layers of tape are, meaning you don’t know how thick your plugs will be, or how many layers of tape will make a whole mm. They can be picked up very cheaply from Amazon. For the purpose of this guide, we’ll assume that one wrap of tape is 0.25mm, which is way thicker than most tapes, but it’ll make it easier to understand.
Getting to a size you can tape at: Starting out: Get some 1.6mm or 14g internally threaded or non threaded jewellery. It can be a labret, barbell, septum keeper. Massage your ear whilst bathing/showering, and cover the jewellery, and the front of your lobe with the lube. Slowly, push the jewellery through. If you meet any resistance, stop, wait a week (whilst massaging daily) and try again. Congratulations, you’ve made your first foray into the world of stretching!
Now, you want to wait a month minimum, or until your lobes feel looser around the jewellery, and get some 2mm/12g jewellery. Make sure, it has to be internally threaded/not threaded. Repeat the process again, remember. Any pain, stop, and wait a week whilst massaging your lobes daily. Continue through 2.4mm/10g to 3mm/8g, waiting at least a month and ensuring your lobes are loose enough to accept new jewellery.
Now, we’re up at 3.2mm/8g. It should have taken you at leasr three months to get here. Now we want to start taping. You want to get some surgical steel/titanium plugs (or tunnels, your choice!). Lube your ears up, and gently insert them in following the rules above. Most people find using the tape method below 8g is hugely fiddly and very difficult.
How do I start taping?! Wait a week after the initial stretch. Make sure the stretch is happy, healthy, and not sore in anyway. Carefully cut a strip of the bondage tape, and wrap one layer around the plug. You want to make sure it doesn’t overlap, as you just want one layer on the plug to begin with. Cover the tape and plug in your chosen oil, and slowly put it back in. If you experience any discomfort, remove the tape, reinsert the plug and wait a week. Now, wait for another week, and do another tape wrap, and then repeat. Remember if there’s any pain or resistance, stop, wait. Ensure you oil your ears, plugs and tape religiously, it makes everything a lot easier and nicer on your lobes, as tape can be drying. So, you’ve done three tape wraps in three weeks. Every other day, you want to remove the plug and cover it in oil again to make sure the tape doesn’t dry your lobes out.
You repeat this method up until you reach your goal size, and you can buy cheaper economy plugs and over tape them, doing one more tape wrap than needed on the smaller size, meaning you can go straight onto another pair of plugs with one tape wrap on immediately, meaning your lobes don’t touch the economy plugs. Some people use acrylic as these plugs, as they never actually touch the skin, but I personally wouldn’t recommend it at all.
Here’s a quick run down.
- Insert plug safely.
- Wait a week, tape wrap, oil well.
- Wait a week, tape wrap, oil well. Your plug will now be at X.5mm.
- Wait a week, tape wrap, oil well. Remember to change the tape to keep your lobes safe.
- Wait a week. You should be able to insert a new plug 1mm bigger than your original.
You can keep doing this as long as you want, until you reach your goal size.
Dead Stretching Method: Written by Kat.
Stretching with just plugs, otherwise known as dead stretching, is perfectly safe. Essentially it is waiting until your ears have self-stretched to the next size over time and can accept it easily, without the aid of stretching tools like tape or tapers.
Round-backed colorfront plugs are perfect for the job and also come in those awkward “in-between” sizes (like 1g, 11/16”, 13/16”, 15/16”, and such). Round-ended steel plugs are a pretty good alternative, but are more limited in sizes. Both are pretty cheap. (Note: Those particular metal plugs are low quality economy grade plugs and you should use caution if you buy them. If your ears don’t like economy steel because of a nickel allergy, you should definitely go with glass or higher grade steel or titanium. I provided them as an alternative to the glass plugs, which frankly are prettier and better for your ears anyway, but people like to have options. The polish on those plugs is also inferior and the glass will be a lot smoother.)
Metal (or even glass) eyelets/tunnels are okay to use, but can be sharp on the edges and often have o-ring grooves, which can both make stretching more difficult or uncomfortable or be the reason your ears react badly to a stretch. Use those at your own risk.
Dead stretching, like any other method, should be very very minimally uncomfortable at the most. Proper lubrication should be used - some sort of oil or lotion that you are not allergic to; this is not the time to try out something new. When I say “uncomfortable” I mean that the new plug (which should be 1mm larger than your current size at most, but glass plugs can vary slightly) might feel a bit tight in your ear or you might feel a very slight stinging sensation or your ear might turn a bit pink and warm-ish for 5-10 minutes. Anything more than that most likely means you’re doing something wrong and should go back down a size and try again in a week or two (providing there was not any blood or ripping involved in which case more time should be given).
Also please note that some people’s ears just aren’t stretchy enough for this to work and she might have to try another method. :)
Written by Hayflick and Kitteh-Pants 2012