When you start stretching your ears, one of the first things people want to know is “how big??” Some people start out with an idea of how big they want to go, while other just want to go as big as they can. The truth is that if you really want to, you can stretch your ears pretty damn big! The gentleman on the right is Bear Belmares, who is believed to hold the world record for the biggest stretched ears. As you can see, his lobes are massive! Obviously that’s extreme, but it goes to show that anything is possible.
How big you can stretch your ears depends on what your body is capable of. Some people are able to stretch to very large sizes, while others simply cannot. It is important to watch how your ears react to the stretching process: is it easy or is every millimetre a struggle? Rather than striving to get to a certain size, I suggest relaxing and focusing on a healthy stretching process. You will soon find out what gauge your ears are capable of stretching to. Everyone is different, but here are a few factors that will influence how big you can stretch your ears:
1. The Size and Shape of Your Lobes
Some people’s ears are bigger than others, but with ear stretching the important factor is your ear lobes, not the rest of the ear. There is a huge variation in the size and shape of people’s ear lobes, which can really affect the stretching process. Bigger ear lobes usually mean a potentially larger stretching capability. Also important is whether your ear lobes are attached or unattached. As the image shows, unattached – or “free” – lobes have a more pendulous shape. They make it easier to stretch as there is more flesh in the actual ear lobe itself. Attached ear lobes are still capable of stretching to large gauges, but it may take more time and effort.
2. The Elasticity of Your Skin
Our skin is naturally elastic and can stretch a great deal, but skin elasticity can vary and is largely down to genetics. If your skin is more elastic, you will find ear stretching easier and be able to stretch your ears to a larger gauge. This is the main reason why some people find ear stretching very easy, while others struggle. You won’t know how elastic your skin is until you begin to stretch your ears, so all you can do is stretch gradually and listen to your body.
3. Placement of Your Ear Piercing
If you are planning to stretch your ears, the ideal piercing placement is in the absolute centre of your ear lobe. This is because it means that you have an equal amount of flesh on all sides of the piercing. Most people had their ears pierced before they knew they wanted to stretch, but if you did not I suggest telling your piercer so that they can give you the best placement for ear stretching. They may also suggest getting pierced at a slightly larger gauge than normal.
If you have two piercings in one lobe, you can also choose to stretch the second piercing. In this picture, both piercings have been stretched and the second is smaller. This is the most common arrangement. It is important to know that second piercings will not stretch as much, even if you do not stretch the first piercing.
This post is part of our Ear Stretching Guide 101 series. Click on the link to see the whole series.