Gauging, or stretching, the ears is something of a trend, especially among the younger generations. It involves stretching a pierced hole until it is much larger than the original piercing. No matter much or how little you want to stretch your piercing, it is a gradual process. There are a couple of different methods, including tapering and tape wrapping, but each one requires the piercing to completely heal before being further stretched out to the next size. If you decide you would like to undo the stretching of your ear lobe, it is also a gradual process.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Assorted sizes of gauges
- Piercing artist
- Flesh-coloured earplugs
Gauge down. Just as you slowly increased the size of the gauge to stretch out the lobe, you will need to gradually decrease the size of the gauge to return the lobe to its smaller size.
Allow the lobe to heal completely before gauging down to a smaller size. This process usually takes about two months. If the lobe has grown all the way up around the smaller gauge, you are ready to go to a smaller size.
Have your piercing artist suture the holes shut. Surgery is the fastest option in closing gauged lobe holes, but it might not look the most natural at the end of the process because of possible scarring.
Take the gauges out, and let your lobes close up on their own. This method will not work for everyone; success with this method depends on how large the gauge holes are and how quickly you stretched them. Slower is better when it comes to gauging.
Use skin-coloured earplugs to give the appearance that the gauged holes are closed. This is especially useful if you want to temporarily get rid of your gauges for a special event.
Tips and warnings
- Keep your gauges and ears sanitised and as clean as possible.