Wearing pierced earrings made from plugs or ones that have thick and showy posts and rings have been in fashion for quite a while now. Even if the ears have been pierced to a regular size, it is possible to stretch the openings with a process popularly known as gauging. Ear gauging is not a professional term, yet it has now received common usage to describe the stretching process.

You have to remember that this process is gradual, but once it is performed with care, users can wear thicker jewelry. Not to mention, the ears will also become healthier.

Usually, people’s earlobes are pierced with a 20 or 18-gauge needle. Gauge sizes, for the most part, are notified with even numbers down to 00. Note that the actual size increases as the number decrease and larger gauges are written as fractions.

Many people wonder why go for gauging and why not get a larger piercing initially? The problem is, a majority of piercing professionals simply refuse to do so, the reason being that it is highly complicated to size down an opening after a large plug of ear tissue is removed.

Gauging, on the other hand, takes advantage of the hardwearing quality of the ear to stretch an opening, and it is relatively easy to size down the hole if a person decides to gauge down. However, it is impossible to bring the earlobes to the same form they were before the procedure.

Moving on, it is possible for a person to gauge his/her own ears, but do not proceed without first consulting a professional. In addition, it is crucial to give some time for the whole process, as the ear requires some healing after each advance in size.

If enough time is not given between each size, the ear skin can be damaged and the tissue can be scarred. Scars will destroy the appearance of your ear, and they will obstruct the gauging process, making sizing up or down difficult.

So what is needed for stretching openings? Try getting surgical stainless steel or SSS (jewelry grade) rings or plugs. Since SSS is not an absorbent material, bacteria and dirt cannot enter in to cause infections.

Moreover, it has a significant weight which only helps to stretch the ear. Of course, the ultimate purpose is aesthetics, and for that you can always have decorative plastic and wooden pegs but only after the ears have been given enough time to heal after gauging.

Now we will offer some tips on how you can gauge your ears for up to 6 earrings:

  • Get a gauge chart to find out your current gauge


  • Now get rings at a larger size than your current gauge


  • Clean your hands and earlobes, preferably with antibacterial soap


  • Choose the first ear for gauging and massage it


  • Once massaged, insert the ring into the lobe. Give it some time and don’t force it in to avoid injuries. Do the same with the other ear


Antibacterial soap was recommended not only because it makes the ears clean but also makes them smooth enough for the ring to slide in.