Just because you could theoretically stretch your ears using anything, doesn’t mean you should. When it comes to ear stretching, it’s already a long process without making mistakes and having to take step backs. We’re not saying that if you have to size back down because maybe you’ve stretched up a size too soon or your ear is just not having it, that you are doing the wrong thing. It’s always best to take the safest route rather than to push your piercing too far. But there are ways - including finding the right jewelry and using the right materials - that can make the process of stretching your ears all the easier and less stressful on your body.
What is the best material for my plugs while stretching?
The absolute best material for stretching that piercers often suggest is borosilicate glass.
Which style of plug should I use for stretching?
Although you could stretch your ears with any kind of plugs or tunnels, the safest to use and the most highly recommended by piercers is a single flare plug or “tack”. Sometimes these are also called “color fronts” because the flared head often is colored or patterned. This plug looks similar in shape to a thumb tack or pin tack, meaning that it has a thick length that leads to a flare on one side. The other side should be held closed with an o-ring that fits the gauge size of the plug.
These singled flare plugs allow enough length to allow for the o-ring and any swelling that may result from stretching your ears.
They aren’t very heavy and won’t put unnecessary stress on your piercing.
Finally, and most importantly, the shape of them allows for easy insertion. The back is round which means it won’t irritate your ear when sliding it in and you won’t have to push past a rough flare on the other side.
Other recommended materials include...
If you can’t get your hands on glass single flare plugs, don’t worry. Here are some other materials and styles of plug that can be great for wearing during the stretching process.
Titanium single flare plugs or eyelets. Just as with the glass plug, this shape is easy to insert and won’t put unnecessary pressure on your already irritated piercing. You just have to make sure it is the proper length to allow for swelling!
Captive bead rings and barbells are a great option for the smaller range of stretching from 14g, 12g and 10g. Of course, in titanium or surgical steal just like any new healing piercing should be.
There you go! After your ear lobes have properly healed and perhaps you’ve reached your goal size you can then change this jewelry out to something like wood, stone or even a more elaborate and heavy design. But it’s important to take care with piercings that are in a healing stage.