More Than Just Another Salon

Stretching a Piercing 101

Stretching a Piercing 101

There are a few things you want to think about and make sure you know before you start “stretching.”  This can be a permanent change to your body so you want to make sure you do your research and understand you know everything before you start the process.  You will want to think about the size or “gauge” that is your end goal, keep in mind that it is going to take time and potentially a lot of patience to get there. When you are stretching, it is important to to go up one size at a time, this will avoid tearing, blow out, and prevent your ear lobes from getting too thin. It is imperative to never skip sizes. 

When you stretch, what you are doing is pulling the collagen molecules, skin cells, and everything else in that area apart and telling your body to produce more of these cells to fill the hole you created during the stretch.  You have to let your piercing heal (typically for a minimum of 6-8 weeks) before you can try stretching the area.  For cartridge we do recommend at least 6 months.  If this is something you have ever done before, you should always consult your piercer before starting to ensure that you have all of the details you need for your personal situation.

There are a few different ways to stretch – tapers, tapes and weights.


  • Recommend for smaller stretches (below 0) 
  • Put the smallest end through first
  • Slowly push through to the largest end
  • If there is a lot of resistance or your skin turns white STOP – this means your ears are not ready and you could cause a tear or blow out


  • Recommend for size 0 and above
  • Cut the tape to fit and put a layer of 2 around the tunnel or plug every few days
  • Adding tape gradually stretches your ears until you are ready for the next size


  • Weights can be worn to help stretching
  • Wear them through a pair of tunnels
  • This helps to stretch your ears slowly and naturally

Tips to keeping your ears healthy –

  •  Wash your hands before stretching, in case you have a small tear you don’t want to get any germs in it and cause an infection
  • It can be helpful to apply a warm compress to the ears for several minutes each before stretching
  • After each stretch, it is a good idea to give your body a minimum of 4-6 weeks to heal before you start another size stretch
  • There are many different materials that plugs are made of (titanium, steel, wood, glass, stone, silicone, acrylic) these are just few. When you are shopping for plugs, keep in mind that, each has benefits, so make sure you understand the pros and cons of each plug and purchase what is right for you.
  • Jojoba oil will become your best friend throughout the stretching process. Jojoba oil is easily absorbed into the skin, is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. It is similar to the oils in our skin making it incredibly moisturizing which is just what your ears need during stretching process.

If you have questions don’t hesitate to give us a call, our professional piercers are here to help guide you through the process

Gift Certificates Available

Utopia Salon now offers gift certificates that you can order online! Perfect for birthdays, holidays, or just showing someone that they’re important.