Tag Archives: Stretched Ear Piercing

One of the main concerns people have about stretching their ears is how noticeable stretched ears can be and how to hide stretched ears for work. There are ways to hide stretched ears, but I think it is important to be realistic – it is impossible to make your stretchings completely invisible, especially at larger sizes. There are however plenty of ways to make your stretched ears more discrete and less “offensive” to employers and judgmental family members. The most basic – and least popular – option is to limit the size of your ears. The simple fact is that small stretchings are easier to hide than large ones. In the end it is a balancing act – the size you would like vs. the practicalities of your job etc. When it comes to hiding your existing stretchings, having long hair is always an advantage! Simply wearing long hair down can go a long way towards hiding stretched ears, especially if people don’t know that you have them in the first place. However the best way to hide your stretchings is with discrete jewellery, as detailed below.


How To Hide Stretched Ears with Hider Plugs

Kaos Silicone Hider Plug

Kaos Silicone Hider Plug

Hider plugs are flesh-coloured flesh plugs. They are designed to blend in with your ear lobes and make your stretchings more discrete. The most effective are Kaos Silicone Hider Plugs. They have a realistic skin colour and a tapering edge that helps them blend into the surrounding skin. Unfortunately they only come in one colour. If your skin tone is darker, your best bet is to look for other plugs that match your skin tone as closely as possible. Even if the hider plugs do not match your skin colour exactly, they can make your ears look much more discrete – especially from a distance.


How To Hide Stretched Ears with Flesh Plugs

How To Hide Stretched Ears

If your stretchings are under 10mm, you may find that you can hide them simply by wearing plugs that look like stud earrings. By choosing a style that could conceivably be a regular stud, you can hide your stretchings quite easily. Remember, they might be obvious to someone familiar with stretched ears, but people often see what they expect to and may not notice your stretchings. The example on the right would probably not get a second glance from most people! For best results I recommend one of the jewelled plugs below or any solid, opaque flesh plug.



Jewelled Flesh Plug

Jewelled Flesh Plug

Black Jewelled Flesh Plug

Black Jewelled Flesh Plug

Crystalline Flesh Plug

Crystalline Flesh Plug



Stretching your ears can be done safely if you know how, but as with any body modification, there are risks involved. Some ear stretching risks are reversible but they can lead to scarring and permanent damage to your earlobes. Thankfully, most of these risks can be avoided through careful stretching and doing you research before you start stretching your ears. In this post I will explain three of the most common ear stretching risks, how to avoid them and what to do if they happen to you. As with any piercing problem, consult a professional piercer if you are at all unsure or experience other problems while stretching your ears.

Ear Stretching Blow-Out

Ear Stretching Blow-Out

Ear Stretching Blow-Out

A blow-out occurs when you stretch a piercing too quickly. This puts too much pressure on the fistula (the hole formed by the piercing) and force part of the fistula out the back of the piercing. This creates a lip or flap of skin at the back of the piercing. The image on the right shows a mild blow-out, but they can be much larger. Ear stretching blow-outs look terrible and larger ones can be uncomfortable or even painful. The best way to avoid a blow-out is to listen to your body, massage with jojoba oil before stretching and allow at least two weeks healing time in between stretching. If you get a blow-out, downsize your jewellery immediately – this can prevent the ear healing in its blown-out shape. I also recommend massaging the earlobe with jojoba oil daily to soften the tissue. Do not stretch further until it is completely healed. Some people find that their blow-outs reabsorb, but in some cases they will never fully disappear.


Uneven Stretching & Thinning

Uneven Stretching

Uneven Stretching

Uneven stretching means that the outside of your stretching becomes thinner in one area. It is caused by stretching too quickly or by stretching with weights. As well as looking odd, extreme thinning can lead to a split earlobe. A split earlobe can only be repaired through surgery, but if you catch the thinning early enough it is reversible.

If you notice any unevenness or thinning, downsize by at least 2mm and massage daily with jojoba or Vitamin E oil. It is important to use lightweight jewellery, so that no weight is put on the thin areas. Allow the stretching to shrink and heal for at least 2 weeks before restretching gradually with lightweight jewellery. This process should thicken the tissue and help to even it out.


Earlobe Tearing

Earlobe Tearing

Earlobe Tearing

Stretching too quickly or without lubrication can lead to tears around the circumference of the piercing, as shown here. Tears are painful and can lead to thick scar tissue that makes it harder to stretch further. They can be avoided by stretching slowly with a lubricant such as jojoba oil. It is also important to use high quality steel tapers and stop stretching if you feel a sharp pain.

If your earlobe tears while stretching, immediately downsize to significantly smaller, lightweight jewellery. This removes pressure on the wound and prevents a subsequent blow-out. Allow it to heal completely before stretching again.

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


Bear Belmares Bear Big Ears

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

Attached-Unattached-Ear-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

Stretched-Second-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.


Ear-Stretching-Guide-101

Welcome to the Body Jewellery Shop Ear Stretching Guide 101! This series of posts will discuss the different methods, jewellery, styles and risks of ear stretching, as well as showing you how to stretch your ears in a safe and healthy way.
Ear stretching is an ancient art practiced by many different cultures with a long history. It is a fascinating area of body modification and one that actually changes the shape of your body – it’s easy to see why it was and is so popular. It is relatively easy to do and can have a big impact on the way you look, but conversely there are plenty of ways to stretch your ears incorrectly, leading to some of the common risks of ear stretching. Fortunately most of the pitfalls can be remedied with a little information and simply taking care to work with your body.

Ear stretching is a huge subject and everyone has their own opinions about how it should be done, but I hope to give you all the information to make your own decisions about how to stretch your ears. We’ll be talking about some of the common questions and misconceptions that people have about ear stretching, how to deal with ear stretching risks and even how to hide your stretchings at work. I would love to hear your thoughts on ear stretching, so if you have a question about ear stretching or there is something that you want to know more about, let us know!

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