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Gauging Your Ears Yourself: The Do's and Dont's

Updated on February 18, 2019
TheHiddenAgenda20 profile image

I've had lots of experience with gauges so I want to pass on my knowledge to others.

Gauging Your Ears at Home: The Do's and Dont's of Gauging

Some of us are too stubborn to go to someoe and have to pay to gauge our ears after piercing them. Although, I think to start you should have someone intitiate it for you, here's how to gauge at home WITHOUT messing up your ears competely!

Product of not properly taking care of his lobes and stretching way too much to quickly
Product of not properly taking care of his lobes and stretching way too much to quickly

Gauging or Stretching

So, you're thinking about gauging, or stretching, your ears and you want to know how to do it? First, stop and think if it is something you truly want to do. If the answer is yes then I can give you some advice on how to gauge without messing up your ear lobes entirely.

  • To start, always use tapers to gauge up. Using a plug to size up is ignorant and is a great way to blow your ear out, and I am speaking from experience. When I first started gauging my ears I used plugs and messed them up so that every time I gauge up, using a taper and doing it the right way, my ear blows out. It has taken me more time to get to the size I am at because of using a plug in the beginning.
  • Second, don't rush! Every time you size up, it is like opening a new wound in your ear, so give it time to heal. I wait about 2-3 weeks before each sizing but everyone's body heals differently. To start, give your lobe's about a month to heal and prepare for the next size. Yes, it's time consuming but in the end it will make the process ten times easier.
  • Now on to actual sizing. I suggest starting with a size 16 taper. Without knowing what I was doing, I put in a size 14 to start. It was painful and took longer to heal. After time to heal just continue in size, 16,14,12,10,8,6,4,2,0,00,7/16,5/8,3/4 and so on.
  • Another suggestion, do not skip sizes!! I have skipped sizes and once again regret doing so. It is more than likely going to tear the inside of your ear lobe, and it is incredibly painful.
  • Always remember to put some sort of ointment on the taper before you gauge it in order to make it easier to go through your lobe. Gauging with dry tapers is not only dumb but difficult and causes many issues with tearing and infection. Never leave a taper in for more than a day. After 24 hours of having in a taper replace it with a plug. Gauges are not like most piercings and will not close immediately. It will give you the time you need to replace it; now I am in no way saying it won't hurt. Sometimes it does, and other times it doesn't. It depends on the care you're taking of your lobe.
  • Cleaning: Make sure to clean your newly gauged lobe at least twice a day if not more. I normally clean mine five or six times depending on how new it is. Use antibacterial soap or piercing cleaner and clean q-tips or cotton balls. Keeping your lobes clean is also a very important part of gauging. Not cleaning them can lead to infection and/or loss of your ear lobe.
  • Warning about silicone: If at all possible, stay away from using silicone! Silicone has a very specific way to be able to be used in gauging. Many of my friends have used silicone to size up and have in turn really messed up their lobes because they didn't know how to use it correctly. My suggestion? Just don't use it! It causes major infections and blown lobes. Just within the last week, a friend of mine had to remove her gauges all together because the silicone had really messed up and infected her lobes.
  • Recap: Start small, use tapers, take your time, don't skip sizes, keep it clean, and don't use silicone.

If you have any doubt in your ability to gauge your own ears properly, have a professional piercer gauge them for you!

Good luck and hope they turn out beautifully!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 TheHiddenAgenda20


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    • profile image

      Brian B. 

      2 years ago

      Thats funny, a professional ay my local body modificatuon shop told me very specificaly not to use tapers. I think the best advice is to consult a reputable body modification shop

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Greetings humans, Quick question I Literally just put in a tapper and I kept it in for about an hour now, Why am I required to use a plug after stretching ?

    • profile image

      Faith Deitman 

      2 years ago

      Hey, I've got a question for anyone who has stretched ears. I've had stretched ears for about four years now and I recently went from a 2g to a 0g last night, I do think that the experience of pain and burning is normal considering to me, a 2g to a 0g is a pretty big jump. There is no swelling, it does hurt when I try to move the rubbing alcohol inside my lobe to clean any infection but what should I do to prevent any infection. Also, about two weeks ago, I recently got my second hole pierced and I'm experiencing pain there as well but my ear isn't fully healed.

    • profile image

      Angry reader 

      2 years ago

      Oookay. *deep breath in*

      WTF ??

      NEVER use tapers to size up, ALWAYS use single flared plugs made of glass or titanium, your ears have blown out because of the tapers you've used, not the plugs, or maybe you've used shitty plugs made of acrylic or something

      Wait at least 1 month between each stretch

      "Any sort of ointment" NOPE ! Only use vegetable oils, preferably Jojoba oil, and the oil you're using has to be virgin/extra virgin and pure

      Don't give advices on a topic you know nothing about, kids out there might rip their lobes because of your article, or just have shitty earlobes but in both cases it's not worth it

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      What would possess you to write an article on a topic you don't have a clue about?

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Wow... Just... Wow... I've torn my ears due to info like this, from the past. Got surgery, which wasn't cheap, just to fix them. And I most likely have to wait atleast a year to wait to re pierce them and start stretching again. I was at 1"

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      YOu think people in the Amazon Rainforest and Africa use any of the crap we use? NO.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Okay, so cleaning 5-6 times a day is so not healthy for your ears. Its disrupts body's natural healing process.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is a joke. First of all gauging makes no sense. A gauge is a measurement. And in America tunnels, plugs, and body jewelry in general is only measured in gauges up to 00g and even then it's a measurement not a name. It would be like going to Europe and talking about someone's "millimeters." Second you're only supposed to use tapers in small sizes and preferably used by a professional. Anything after a 2 gauge the piercing should be big enough to start taping which causes the least skin irritation, and damage to lobes. Silicone should never be used to stretch. Never to be used in a freshly stretched piercing. And on a side note tapers ARE NOT jewelry. If worn for too long the lobes could form a memory and develop the piercing at a bad angle and cause tearing.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      wow that was some of the worst advice I have ever heard. Let's get one thing straight: Tapers AND silicone BOTH are not for enlarging lobes. The teflon taping method is non-traumatic and effective. Tapers are actually called "insertion" tapers. They are actually for inserting jewelry of the SAME size. Ignorance like this is exactly why people have problems. If people want more info go to, and stick you "gauges" up your ASS..


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