An existing piercing hole which you stretch to a bigger size. Most famous stretch place is your earlobe. you can have it done at a piercing shop, but you can also do it yourself. For that you need to learn more about stretching, seek all the information you can before starting, and find out if your earring hole is placed in the middle or if it is skewed. if you're not sure ask a piercer and if necessary let it re pierce . When fresh piercing, wait at least 2 months before you start stretching, to give it enough healing time.
Stretching is a slow process, be very patient to achieve your desired size, too fast can cause trauma for your earlobe, such as sanding out, or a blowout. Stretching is painless, to get results you need at least wait a month to size up. (this depends per person) If you have pain with stretching you should wait longer, your ear lobe needs to be healed.
Tapers are the best tools for stretching, preferably steel or better titanium and glass, these are smoother than acrylic, you can also be hypersensitive to acrylic, and that makes the process not more comfortable. There are also spirals and there is the tape-wrap method.
With stretching you start with the first subsequent size of your earlobe hole (which usually is 0.8 or 1.0) you start with 1.2 mm after which the successor sizes 1.6 mm 2.0 mm 2.5 mm etc (see size chart)
Do not skip size!
Your stretch supplies:
make sure you have a correct size taper, vitamin E oil/Jojoba oil and a plug or tunnel in the right size, have a mirror at hand.
Wash your hands. Massage your earlobe with the oil, and do a little oil on the tape, slide the tape with the smallest tip first in your earlobe, make sure you have 2 finger points resistance at the back of your earlobe, slide carefully the entire taper through, put you plug or tunnel in place, a taper is only a tool for stretching , no wear ornament!
Good to know:
* Best time to stretch is after a shower/bath your ear will be warm and soft.
* Stretching may not hurt, if you feel pain, then wait a little longer
* Blood or a too tight feeling, downsize, go back to a smaller size, let your ear heal first
* Have your plug or tunnel out for a longer time, your hole will shrink
* Blowout, (a bit of skin behind your ear) means you stretch too quickly or used a too big size.
* listen to your body, take care of the earlobe, irritation: use saline soaks
* Safe stretch size, up to 8 mm, there still is a chance, you can downsize back to normal, this depends per person. beyond 8 mm the chance is very small.
* Clean your tunnel/plug regularly, it can smell!
* Best is to stretch with glass, and go 1mm at the time, stretch naturally with 3 months apart
* Please consider good material, invest in good stuff!
* when in doubt or need advice ask your piercer
* Stretch no further if you only have about 2 mm to the outer edge, much chance of tearing out.
* Please be patient, it takes time to get to your desired size.
Listen to your body and be patient!
Good luck with your stretch journey
- Published Tattoo Planet E Magazine 101/september