Author Archives: Piercing Guru

Stretching tapers are an excellent way to stretch your ears and a real essential for your ear stretching kit. But what are stretching tapers? As you can see below, a stretching taper is a piece of jewellery that tapers at one end. The large end will be the size that you wish to stretch to. This allows you to slide the stretching taper through your piercing, gradually stretching the piercing. Once you have passed the taper through your piercing, you can remove it and insert an appropriately sized piece of jewellery, e.g. a flesh tunnel. Using a stretching taper is one of the easiest and safest way to increase your gauge, as well as one of the most comfortable.

How To Use A Stretching Taper

Using a stretching taper is safe and straightforward. However like all forms of body modification, it must be done carefully and safely to avoid damage to your piercing. I recommend that you ready my previous post How To Stretch Your Ears before you begin, because it outlines the best way to safely stretch your ears and avoid some of the most common problems.

Whenever you stretch your ears, it is important to do so gradually and listen to your body. Stretching should not be painful, merely uncomfortable. If you experience sharp pain or bleeding, stop immediately. You may be stretching too quickly, or perhaps your piercing is not fully healed. Listen to your body and start again when you feel comfortable. That said, here is my method for using stretching tapers.

  1. Start with a clean taper and clean, healthy, fully healed piercing. The taper should be no more than 2mm larger than you current gauge.
  2. Lubricate both the piercing and taper with a natural oil e.g. olive, jojoba or vitamin E oil.
  3. Insert the end of the taper into the piercing and start sliding it through the piercing. There may be a stinging sensation but it should not be painful.
  4. Once the taper is pushed fully through your ear, align the end of a flesh plug with the big end of the taper, as if it were part of the taper. Then push both the taper and jewellery through your ear until the flesh plug is fully in your piercing.
  5. Our Favourite Stretching Tapers

    We have hundreds of different stretching tapers available but you can see my favourite stretching tapers below. I recommend using steel tapers, as they are non-porous, non-irritating and easy to clean. They are also cheap, which is important if you will need multiple sizes.

    Steel Stretching Taper Pin

    Steel Stretching Taper Pin

    Darkside Stretching Taper

    Darkside Stretching Taper

    Glow In The Dark Stretching Taper

    Glow In The Dark Stretching Taper

    Steel Crescent Stretching Taper

    Steel Crescent Stretching Taper



    This post is part of our Ear Stretching Guide 101 series. Click on the link to see the whole series.


Give your piercings a sweet new look with our brand new heart continuous piercing rings. These unique piercing rings are a great alternative to BCRs and segments rings, plus they have a gorgeous love heart shape. They are made of high quality titanium that feels great in your piercings – it is completely biocompatible and will not irritate even sensitive piercings. With a choice of four colours, these titanium continuous piercings are an amazing way to update your look and add gorgeous shine to any piercing. You can wear these heart shaped rings in almost any piercing, including all ear piercings.

Titanium Heart Continuous Piercing Ring

Titanium Heart Continuous Piercing Ring

Green Heart Continuous Piercing Ring

Green Heart Continuous Piercing Ring

Rainbow Heart Continuous Piercing Ring

Rainbow Heart Continuous Piercing Ring

Purple Heart Continuous Piercing Ring

Purple Heart Continuous Piercing Ring



How To Open Continuous Piercing Rings

Our continuous piercing rings are easy to use and give you a wonderful seamless look. Opening them is straightforward, but slightly different to opening a ball closure ring. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Hold the two ends of the ring firmly on either side of the gap.
  2. Twist the ends away from each other, one going towards you, one going away.
  3. When the gap is a few millimetres wide, insert the ring into your piercing.
  4. Now twist the ends back into their original position.


If you are researching ways to stretch your ears, you may have heard of the “taping method” of ear stretching. But what is the taping method? And crucially, is it a safe or effective way to stretch your ears? Now obviously I wouldn’t have posed those questions if I weren’t prepared to answer them, so in this post I will explain just what the taping method of ear stretching is! Put simply, the taping method involves wrapping tape around your stretching jewellery and then using it to stretch your ears. This allows you to increase your gauge by small amounts and stretch gradually to your desired gauge.

Benefits of Stretching Your Ears With Tape

The benefits of the taping method include allowing you to stretch your ears in small increments, which is ideal if you wish to stretch more slowly. It also means that you can get multiple stretching gauges from one piece of stretching jewellery, saving you money. You can also create in-between gauges that may be hard to find or expensive larger sizes.

How To Stretch Your Ears Using The Taping Method

As with any ear stretching method, it is important to do your research, using high quality materials and listen to your body. I recommend reading our general guide to How To Stretch Your Ears before attempting the taping method, as it will tell you all you need to know about stretching speeds and how to avoid common ear stretching risks.

I recommend using high quality PTFE tape, also known as plumber’s tape or Teflon tape. PTFE tape is made from a biocompatible plastic that is also used to make body jewellery. It is non-toxic and will not irritate your skin. It is very thin, which allows you to build up the diameter gradually. Do not use electrical tape, because the adhesive on the tape may contain carcinogens and other harmful chemicals.

You Will Need:

  • A stretching taper in a non-porous material e.g. steel, titanium or glass
  • PTFE tape
  • Lubricant – we recommend jojoba oil, olive oil or Vitamin E oil

The Taping Method

  1. Begin by wrapping a couple of layers of tape around your stretching taper. I do not recommend stretching more than 2mm at a time.
  2. Smooth out any wrinkles in the tape.
  3. Lubricate with plenty of your chosen oil.
  4. Insert slowly into your piercing. This should merely be uncomfortable and you should never have to force the jewellery through. If the taper will not go in or you experience sharp pain, stop. You may have added too much tape or not enough lubricant. Remove a layer of tape and try again.
  5. Once the taper is in your ear, you can either slide it all the way through and insert appropriately sized jewellery, or allow it to heal for a few days before adding more tape. I always recommend inserting jewellery, but you know your body best.

For full information on ear stretching aftercare, please see my post How To Stretch Your Ears, Part 2.

This post is part of our Ear Stretching Guide 101 series. Click on the link to see the whole series.


Ear Weights For Stretched Ears

Of all the jewellery that you can wear in your stretched ears, ear weights are one of the most eye-catching. Ear weights are essentially heavy pieces of jewellery that you can wear in stretched ears. Unlike flesh plugs or tunnels, ear weights are not designed to fill your piercings. Instead they hang from your stretched piercings, leaving most of the hole visible. The image on the right shows a typical ear weight, with a spiral shape that simply hooks into your ear. Like most ear weights, it has decoration at the bottom of the weight and is inspired by elegant tribal style. Ear weights are also one of the most ancient forms of stretched ear jewellery, with examples being found dating back thousands of years, particularly in Africa and South America.

You can find a huge variety of ear weights for stretched ears. They can be made in lots of different materials but the most popular are brass, wood and stone. It is worth remembering that ear weights are worn for decoration, not to actually stretch your ears. They are suitable for healed, established stretchings only and should be removed at night.


Why You Shouldn’t Stretch Your Ears with Ear Weights

Ear weights make beautiful jewellery but they are not suitable for stretching your ears with. This is because ear weights focus all their weight on one part of your piercing. The result is that they only stretch the bottom part of your piercing; leading to uneven stretching, ear thinning and even ear splitting. A healthy stretched ear should be equally stretched all around the piercing, and the flesh should be of equal thickness all the way around.

Stretching tapers are the safest way to stretch your ears and you should wait until your piercings are fully healed before wearing ear weights. This often takes at least two months. Once your stretchings are fully healed you can wear ear weights, although they should not be worn for extended periods and always removed at night. With proper care and healing time, ear weights are completely safe to wear and a wonderful way to show off your stretched ears.

This post is part of our Ear Stretching Guide 101 series. Click on the link to see the whole series.


Everyone knows what a ball closure ring is, but have you seen our brand new continuous piercing rings? These rings are a great alternative to BCRs and even smooth segment rings. Instead of fiddly segments or large balls, they simply have a very small gap on one side of the ring. You twist the ring to insert it into your piercing and once it place it looks completely seamless. These piercing rings are very comfortable to wear and give you a lovely smooth, sleek look. Here at BJS we have a great range of continuous piercing rings starting at just £1.50. They are easy to use, but slightly different to a BCR. To insert a continuous piercing ring into your piercing, follow these simple steps:

  1. Hold the two ends of the ring firmly on either side of the gap.
  2. Twist the ends away from each other, one going towards you, one going away.
  3. When the gap is a few millimetres wide, insert the ring into your piercing.
  4. Now twist the ends back into their original position.

You may need someone else to help you with hard to reach piercings. The one thing you shouldn’t do is pull the ends away from each other in the same way as a BCR – this will deform the shape of the ring and make it difficult to return to its former shape.

Types of Continuous Piercing Rings

All continuous piercing rings have the same basic design – a continuous ring with a very small gap on one side. We have a great choice of rings, including the ones that you can see below. The titanium rings are also available in green and rainbow colours, while the white steel ring is available in both 1.2mm and 1.6mm, in a choice of diameters to suit your needs.

Titanium Continuous Piercing Ring

Titanium Continuous Piercing Ring

Purple Titanium Continuous Piercing Ring

Purple Titanium Continuous Piercing Ring

White Steel Continuous Piercing Ring

White Steel Continuous Piercing Ring

Continuous Star Piercing Ring

Continuous Star Piercing Ring


Wooden-Stretched-Ear-Jewellery

During the process of stretching your ears you may notice an unfortunate side effect – the smell! Some people are lucky enough to never suffer from ear funk but it is common when you first stretch your ears. It may not be pleasant but never fear – stretched ear odour is completely normal and easy to get rid of.

So what causes the stretched ear odour? Odour is the result of sebum and dead skin cells being trapped between your skin and jewellery. Your skin produces oil called sebum that keeps it soft and healthy, as well as shedding dead skin cells. This happens all over your body, but if these products become trapped under jewellery, they can lead to odour. It does not mean that your ears are disgusting, but they do need to be kept clean – just like the rest of your body.

The best way to reduce odour from stretched ears is to practice good hygiene and wear skin-friendly jewellery. I recommend cleaning your stretched ears a couple of times a week – any more and you may irritate the skin. The easiest way to clean your stretchings is in the shower – simply remove your jewellery and clean thoroughly with warm water. You can also use unscented anti-bacterial soap if needed. After you have finished bathing, massage your ears with natural oil or moisturiser e.g. jojoba oil, cocoa butter, Vitamin E oil etc. Then reinsert your clean jewellery. It may also help to remove your jewellery regularly to allow the skin to breathe.

Many people find that ear odour reduces when they reach their desired gauge and allow their ears to heal fully. While you are still stretching your ears, they rarely get the chance to “settle” and heal fully, so the skin may produce excess build-up. Once they are left alone for a while, build-up reduces and so does odour. You should also avoid using alcohol-based substances to clean your stretching gear. This will dry the skin, causing it to produce excess oil. Unscented anti-bacterial soap is sufficient and will not interfere with your skin’s natural processes.

Best Jewellery To Reduce Stretched Ear Odour

Jewellery can also make a big difference to stretched ear odour. Most people notice increased odour when they wear acrylic jewellery, because it can accumulate bacteria. Wooden jewellery, on the other hand, tends to greatly reduce odour and most people find that their ears do not need cleaning as often. Wooden plugs and tunnels allow your skin to breathe and also irritate the skin less, so it produces less build-up. Silicone jewellery may also reduce the odour – it is non-porous and non-reactive, so it does not accumulate bacteria or irritate the skin.

Personally I wear either wood or silicone tunnels and clean/massage my ears once a week. This works for me and I do not get any odour at all from my stretched ears. Everyone is different, but with regular cleaning, massaging and appropriate jewellery you should be able to reduce stretched ear odour once and for all!


How-To-Stretch-Your-Ears-2

Welcome back to our instructions on how to stretch your ears! In Part 1 we discussed how to determine your current gauge and what materials you will need. Remember, ear stretching is safe but it is always important to take care. If you feel that something is not right, stop immediately and consult a professional piercer. Now we can move on to the actual stretching method and start stretching your ears!


Step 3: Start Stretching Your Ears

The best time to stretch your ears is after a hot shower, when the skin is soft and malleable. I recommend stretching no more than 2mm at a time. Your piercing should be fully healed – at least 4 to 6 months since it was pierced. Never stretch a piercing that feels or looks sore – wait for it to calm down before you stretch.

I recommend stretching one ear at a time. It is usually uncomfortable to sleep on a freshly-stretched piercing, so this allows you to sleep on the unstretched side. Plus, it means that you can focus on one side at a time and then bring the other ear up to the same gauge – don’t worry, you’ll only be lopsided for a short time!

  1. Wash your hands and gather your tools. As discussed in Part 1, you will need a stretching taper and unflared flesh plug in your desired gauge. You will also need a suitable lubricant, such as jojoba oil. Clean and dry your stretching taper and jewellery thoroughly.
  2. Remove current jewellery and massage your piercing with your chosen lubricant. This will help to soften the skin.
  3. Apply a little lubricant to the small end of the stretching taper and begin to push it slowly into your piercing.
  4. Pay attention to how it feels. Some soreness or discomfort is normal, but you should not feel sharp pain or strong resistance while stretching you ears. This is a sign that you are not ready to stretch to the next size yet – perhaps your ears are not fully healed? This can be frustrating, but try to be patient and never simply push through the pain. This can lead to skin tears and blowouts, which can leave permanent scars.
  5. Continue to push the taper through your ear. If you feel that you need to pause for a moment, take your time.
  6. Once the taper is pushed fully through your ear, align the end of the flesh plug with the big end of the taper, as if it were part of the taper. Then push both the taper and jewellery through your ear until the flesh plug is fully in your piercing – congratulations, you have just stretched your ear!
  7. Place an O-ring on either end of the flesh plug to keep it in place.

Step 4: Ear Stretching Aftercare

Freshly-stretched ears require little aftercare, but it is important to pay attention to how it feels. Your ear may feel hot and a little sore, but sharp pain or bleeding are not normal and indicate that you may have damaged your ear. If this happens, downsize to your previous jewellery, clean with saline and allow your ear to heal fully before stretching again.

Assuming you have stretched your ears successfully, the best aftercare is to leave your ears alone for a few days. Sleep on your other side and take care not to bump them when you get dressed. You should also keep your hair away from the stretching. You can use saline to clean around the jewellery if needed, but this is not often necessary.

Step 5: What Next?

After stretching, your ears may take up two months to heal fully. Always allow 1-2 months before stretching again – even if they feel fine. This allows the fistula (piercing hole) to stabilize and fully adjust to its new size. I also recommend waiting 1-2 months before wearing flared jewellery – doing this too early can irritate the fistula. After 1-2 months the piercing should no longer feel tight around the jewellery and you should be able to remove it easily. Massaging the piercing with oil can help increase softness and blood circulation to the stretching. Once your stretching is stable and no longer feels tight, you are ready to stretch up to the next size. Follow the same method and remember to stretch slowly to avoid damaging your ears – everyone’s ears are different but you should always err on the side of caution to avoid permanent damage. Happy ear stretching!

This post is part of our Ear Stretching Guide 101 series. Click on the link to see the whole series.

How-To-Stretch-Your-Ears-1

Stretching your ears is a safe but dramatic way to modify your appearance. As with any body modification it is important to do it safely, using a method that gives you the best possible chance of a good, healthy result. Today I will explain the basic method of how to stretch your ears. This method is what has worked for me personally, combined with the advice of experienced piercers.
As with any modification, it is important to listen to your own body – if something does not feel right, stop immediately. Also, if you are unsure about how to stretch your ears or have more questions, I suggest consulting a professional piercer to make sure you are completely confident. Most piercers will be happy to help.

For the purposes of this tutorial, I have assumed that you already have your ears pierced. This method is intended for ear stretching only and should not be used for other piercings – if you want to stretch any other body piercing, please consult a professional piercer. So let’s get started!


Step 1: Determine Your Current Gauge

Before you can stretch your ears, you will need to determine the current gauge of your ear piercings. If you had your ears pierced with a gun, they were probably pierced at 1mm, whereas if you went to a piercing studio they are more likely to have been pierced at 1.6mm. For this post, I will be sticking to measurements in millimetres, which is standard in the UK and Europe. In the USA, they use a wire gauge system. You can view the gauge equivalents of any millimetre size using our BJS Gauge/Thickness Chart.
It is important that your piercing is fully healed before you begin to stretch your ears – usually 4 to 6 months. Your piercing may feel ready much earlier than that, but even ear piercings take a long time to heal and you risk permanent damage if you begin stretching before your piercing is fully healed.

Step 2: Gather Your Materials

Now that you know what size your piercing is; you can gather the materials that you will need. None of these items is expensive, but it is important to use the right tools. To stretch your ears you will need:

Stretching Tapers

Surgical steel stretching tapers are the easiest and safest tools for ear stretching. They allow you to ease up to the next size and are easy to keep clean. You can also use acrylic tapers, but they are harder to keep clean. You should stretch just a couple of millimetres at a time, so buy a stretching taper 2 or 3 millimetres bigger than your current gauge.

Lubricant

Using a lubricant will make the stretching process easier and more comfortable. It also reduces the risk of tears and blowouts. I recommend using a natural oil for lubrication. Some people use petroleum jelly but it is more likely to harbour bacteria, so I would stick to oil. Jojoba oil, hemp oil, Vitamin E oil or plain old olive oil are all good options.

Jewellery

You will need some jewellery to wear once you have passed the stretching taper through your ear. Your jewellery should be the same gauge as your stretching taper. I recommend an unflared flesh plug. A steel flesh tube is ideal. Because you are using unflared jewellery, you will need 2 O-rings to keep it in place – here at BJS we include free O-rings with all our unflared jewellery.

Make sure that your tapers and jewellery are clean and dry before you start stretching your ears. Obviously you should also wash your hands and have everything laid out before you start.

Check back next Wednesday for Part 2, where we’ll talk about how to start stretching your ears!

This post is part of our Ear Stretching Guide 101 series. Click on the link to see the whole series.

Feeling bored of plain steel piercing jewellery? Then why not inject some colour into your look with our new range of velvet touch belly bars and barbells! These great value pieces come bright, vibrant colours that really stands out. They look gorgeous against your skin and show off your piercings in style. Our velvet touch range features high quality surgical steel bars with velvet touch acrylic balls. The unique velvet touch finish makes these belly bars and barbells a little special. It gives the balls a matte finish that looks and feels soft. It also means that they look more sophisticated and expensive than other acrylic jewellery – despite being just £2.45 per bar! I think these bars are a great way to update your look for less, especially if you have been unsure about buying acrylic jewellery before. They are a fun and stylish way to brighten up your look.

Velvet Touch Belly Bars

We have four velvet touch belly bars, all of which you can see below. These belly bars are 1.6mm and come two lengths: 8mm and 10mm. This means that you get a better fit for your navel piercing and complete comfort every time.

Pink Velvet Touch Belly Bar

Pink Velvet Touch Belly Bar

Green Velvet Touch Belly Bar

Green Velvet Touch Belly Bar

Orange Velvet Touch Belly Bar

Orange Velvet Touch Belly Bar

Blue Velvet Touch Belly Bar

Blue Velvet Touch Belly Bar



Velvet Touch Barbells

Our velvet touch barbells are endlessly versatile. They are curved barbells and come in one size: 1.2mm and 8mm long. You can wear these barbells in a wide range of different body piercings, including eyebrow piercings and all ear piercings. They are small and easy to wear, ideal for a quick style update.

Orange Velvet Touch Curved Barbell

Orange Velvet Touch Curved Barbell

Green Velvet Touch Curved Barbell

Green Velvet Touch Curved Barbell

Pink Velvet Touch Curved Barbell

Pink Velvet Touch Curved Barbell

Blue Velvet Touch Curved Barbell

Blue Velvet Touch Curved Barbell



Show off your ear piercings with our amazing new range of ear piercing bars. These bars are brand new and come in a great choice of designs, from glam jewels to screaming skulls. You can wear these ear piercing bars in ear lobe piercings, tragus piercings or helix piercings. They are small but beautifully made, with great detail and a high quality finish that will last a lifetime.

All our ear piercing bars are made from high quality surgical steel. They are finely finished and hand checked to ensure that even the smallest piece of jewellery is the best possible quality. These bars are non-irritating and very comfortable to wear. All six come in 1.2mm and the bars are 6mm long. This makes them ideal for the small spaces in your ear and gives a more petite look. Whether you choose a glam jewelled cross or a simple Celtic twist, these ear piercing bars are a wonderful way to update your look.

Black Cross Ear Piercing Bar

Black Cross Ear Piercing Bar

Red Cross Ear Piercing Bar

Red Cross Ear Piercing Bar

Blue Cross Ear Piercing Bar

Blue Cross Ear Piercing Bar

Twisted Ear Piercing Cuff

Twisted Ear Piercing Cuff

Cat Ear Piercing Bar

Cat Ear Piercing Bar

Skull Ear Piercing Bar

Skull Ear Piercing Bar