Solutions for Ears That Stick Out

Updated February 21, 2017

Many people have ears that stick out prominently from the side of their head. This can cause embarrassment as undue attention is drawn to the ears, a feature not generally noticed in flatter-eared people. By using flattering hairstyles, this feature can be toned down and if all else fails, surgery to pin the ears back can be a solution.

Styling Hair to Cover Ears

To hide big ears, one of the quickest ways is to get the right haircut. Longer hair that covers the ears is a necessity. Beauty website Become Gorgeous advises people with finer hair to create volume with curling, which will mask the volume of the ears and make them look smaller in comparison. Shiny, thick hair will skim the ears and layers will confuse the eye as to where the ears start and end. Updos will make the head look smaller and the ears larger in comparison. Ponytails are also not recommended as pulling the hair tight against the head makes the ears stand out. Tucking the hair behind the ears also emphasises the ears, so choose haircuts which have layers that fall in front of the ears even when tucking the majority of hair back.

Pinnaplasty or Otoplasty

Getting an operation to pin back prominent ears is an uncomplicated one as surgeries go.

The surgeon reshapes cartilage in the ear and uses plastic stitches to pin the ears back. Sometimes the stitches alone are enough to get a good result. Risks of the procedure include infection, blood clots, keloid scarring, asymmetric ears which can be corrected with further surgery and complications of anesthetic. The operation is performed under local anesthetic for adults but children can undergo general anesthetic. It takes one or two hours and no overnight stay in hospital is necessary. The stitches can be dissolvable ones which do not need removing after the ear has healed. The procedure will leave a scar behind the ear which will fade over time.

Celebrate Big Ears

If the hairstyles don't suit you or the surgery seems too drastic, perhaps it is time to accept big ears as part of your life. Even some celebrities have big ears, which are barely noticed in Hollywood because the film stars don't draw attention to them, but attract people with a sparkling personality instead. Beauty website Become Gorgeous points out that Jennifer Garner and Kate Hudson both have prominent ears but are adept at flattering their features with the right haircut and by not being self-conscious about them. A point to note is that ears are one of the first body parts to reach full size so prominent ears in children will probably be less obvious as they get older.

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About the Author

Jillian O'Keeffe has been a freelance writer since 2009. Her work appears in regional Irish newspapers including "The Connacht Tribune" and the "Sentinel." O'Keeffe has a Master of Arts in journalism from the National University of Ireland, Galway and a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from University College Cork.