One gauge at a time!
If you have never stretched your lobes and are only use to wearing basic studs, you would be sitting at 18 gauge right now. Gauge means the thickness of the metal on the posts you wear. Gauges start at 16 and get thicker as the number gets smaller. So it’s 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 0, 00, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, 3/4, 7/8 and 1 inch.
It’s important to increase your size one gauge at a time to prevent blowouts and scarring. Try to consider that you may change your mind about those large holes sometime in the future. If you scar from bleeding because you’ve tried to stretch too fast, your hole will not bounce back to it’s normal size. If you go one gauge at a time your lobes will bounce back.
Here’s how to stretch.
Starting off stretching to 14 gauge. Buy a 14 gauge taper. The best way to stretch is while you are in the shower. Your lobes will have more elasticity because they have been softened up by the steam. Lube up your lobes and the taper with KY jelly or an unscented soap like dove. Clean the tapers with soap and water. Move the taper slowly through your hole until you you feel like it won't go any further without ripping it (meaning that the taper will not move further unless you really give it a push). Tapers have 2 O rings on them. If you have met with tight resistance you need to stop here and place your O rings in that position on the taper…one in the front and one in the back. Rinse your lobes. Leave the taper in that position until you feel it loosen in the hole. I find that using the spin method works best in knowing if you can push the taper through further. If you can easily spin the taper in your hole using your finger tips then you are good to go. Once the taper is all the way to the end you can choose to just use tapers to go to the next gauge or to insert plugs and leave them at that gauge. Stretching is actually pretty simple to do. If you go by resistance and pain as your guide to know when to stop for a while then you won’t run into blowouts. Everyone seems to have a gauge that gives them greater resistance than others. I've found that using silicone plugs to get through that gauge helpful. It's a slower stretch (few days) but at least you get there. Make sure you wash the silicone with a mild soap (unscented)
This is what tapers look like. You can usually get them in different colors.
We carry several different styles of tapers....just follow this link
This happens when you’ve pushed too hard and tried to go to fast in getting those larger holes. Blowouts are tissue from the inner part of your lobes that gets pulled out and sits in the back of your lobe (see picture). So, you have a blowout, now what? Unfortunately it could be permanent if you don’t act right away. Even using the method we suggest may not work but we’ve seen a lot of success with it.
Go by a bottle of extra virgin olive oil (No you can’t use anything else). You will also need to get some plugs that are 2 sizes smaller than what you are wearing. So if you are at 5/8 inch you need plugs that are 1/2 inch. Massage the extra virgin olive oil into your lobes for 5 minutes. Insert the 1/2 inch plugs from the back of your lobe ,coming forward. This will bring the blowout back into your hole. If you find that the 1/2 inch just falls out, don’t put any plugs into the hole until it’s had a day or 2 to shrink up…then try again. You need to massage the oil into your lobes 2 times a day for as long as it takes. It could be 2 weeks or 2 months but do it because other than scalping (cutting) the blowout off, this is the only other thing that has a chance of working.