Everything You Need to Know About Ear Gauges

Interested in taking your piercing game to the next level?

If so, it's time to listen up, because we're talking everything you need to know about ear gauges. When it comes to this style of piercing, there'a lot to know, so we'll break it down for you here in this handy mini-guide:

1. What Are Ear Gauges?

If you've ever walked by someone and noticed that you could see through their ear piercing, you were probably looking at someone with ear gauges. A traditional style seen over thousands of years in some cultures, ear gauges can range in size and the style of jewelry worn within them. Essentially, ear gauges are more of a procedural piercing that requires holes in the ear lobes to be continuously stretched over time until the desired gauge size is reached. This is done by consistently increasing the size of the "plugs" worn within the ear gauges.

Woman with ear gauges: Shutterstock. young woman with flesh tunnel ear lobe piercing

(via Shutterstock)


Also read about: 5 Things to Consider Before Getting a Piercing


2. All About Ear Stretching: What Does the Process Look Like?

To get ear gauges, you will need to stretch the ear lobe through an existing piercing hole that is fully healed. The next part of the process will require tools that include tapers (pointed tools that begin the stretching process), plugs and lubricant. You'll need to massage your ears and make sure that they are properly sanitized before getting started by inserting the taper into the hole and slowly adjusting it until you can leave the plug in the piercing. It's a time-intensive and precarious process, so when in doubt speak to a piercing professional to learn more about everything you need to know about the actual stretching process of ear gauges. Technically, you can gauge your ears at home assuming that you already have a fully healed lobe piercing. However, you'll want to think long and hard about whether or not they're right for you before moving forward.


Also read about: Everything You Should Know About Ear Piercings


3. Are Ear Gauges Permanent?

Most piercings will heal and "close up" if the appropriate jewelry is not worn for a good amount of time. Ear gauges, however, are different. Depending on how large of gauges you end up with after stretching your ears over time, your ear lobes may never go back to normal if and when you decide to remove your gauges. Your earlobe may shrink a bit, but they will likely never go back to how they were before you decided to gauge your ears unless you seek surgical options.

Man with ear lobe stretched by gauges: Shutterstock. Lobe Hole,To decorate the ear, a large scar.

(via Shutterstock)


Also read about: What Your Ear Piercings Reveal About Your Personality


4. What Else Should I Know About Ear Gauges?

As such a unique and physically intensive style, there a few other items to cover in talking about ear gauges. We've laid a few for you here:

  • You should wait at least eight to 10 weeks between stretches
  • Pain while stretching usually means that you are causing damage to the lobe tissue (this can cause tearing and should be avoided)
  • You should follow the same aftercare procedures for gauges that you would a regular ear piercing
  • It's best to go with a professional when stretching your gauges
  • Do not skip sizes when stretching to speed up the process
  • You can wear different types of gauge jewelry once healed depending on the size of your gauges

Man adjusting ear gauges: Shutterstock Closeup shot of hipster earring, man placing/ putting gauge earring

(via Shutterstock)


So, now that you have read everything you need to know about ear gauges, does it sound like the right fit for you? If not, don't worry. There are plenty of other alternative ear piercing styles to consider! Click HERE to read more about a few of our favorites.