How to Gauge Your Ears
Knowing how to gauge your ears properly should greatly ease any discomfort and lasting damage. The key to the experience is slowly but surely; being patient and giving it time. Use the proper equipment and don’t cut corners!
1- Start with a size 16 gauge as most ear piercing parlous tend to use this size. You should preferably use stainless surgical steel for the plugs as they are easier to disinfect (infections are the main source of pain when gauging).
2- Massage your earlobes with emu oil, Vitamin E oil, jojoba oil, or with Holey Butt’r. Heat up the earlobes by either taking a hot shower or using a hot compress to encourage them to soften.
3- With clean hands disinfect and then lubricate the taper with a water based lubricant or Holey Butt’r. If you’re using steel as suggested, place it in boiling water and then allow it to cool, but if you’re using acrylic, soak it in rubbing alcohol and then wash it with unscented antibacterial soap.
4- Take your time and take great care in guiding the taper into your earlobe until it is all the way through and is sitting in at the wide end. If it’s hurting, stop and reassess.
5- Once the taper is in, you can either add the O rings to leave the taper as it is, or swap in the plug. To do this, simply place the plug next to the taper and push it through so that as the taper exits your ear lobe it is replaced by the plug. Add the O rings to keep the plug in place.
6- After each stretching, soak each earlobe in a warm sea salt solution (1/2 tea spoon with 500ml hot water) for 5-10 minutes. Use a new solution for each ear to avoid possible contamination (this goes for any treatment of each ear- never re-use solutions or wipes).
7- After having given your earlobes a few days to adjust, keeping a keen eye out for infection, remove and clean the plugs or taper daily, whilst massaging your lobes as in step 2.
8- Allow a couple of hours each day for your blood to properly flow to your earlobes by removing the plugs/taper.
9- Don’t try and stretch any further until at least a month has passed. A month is only a rule of thumb however. Pay attention to your body and listen to what it’s telling you!
The uneven weight of the taper will distort your lobe. Always use plugs or spirals.
Gauges increment in even numbers from 20 to 00. Smaller numbers are larger in diameter.
If starting from scratch, have your ears pierced using a proper needle rather than a piercing gun as guns do not always pierce straight and may make it difficult to stretch.
To heal after a blowout, reduce to a gauge a size smaller and repeatedly massage the area with an oil rich in Vitamin E. If you’ve rushed things too far, you may have to consider minor surgery.
Check whether you are obliged to any dress code before investing in gauging equipment.
Don’t use Vaseline to lubricate the taper as it can trap bacteria.