How To Stretch Your Ears for Plugs/Tunnels

ear tunnel

So you are thinking about stretching your ear lobes so you can wear tunnels or plugs?  Have you come to this site because you are doing your “research” and looking for the “answers”? Well, my friends you have come to the right place.

What is ear stretching?

Ear stretching is the practice of expanding a piercing hole over time to a larger gauge.

How is it done?

Well, if you are like me, you may have begun your journey with getting a standard ear-piercing. My first piercings I ever got were done at a jewelry shop with your standard piercing gun.  The typical gauges for a piercing gun are either 18g or 20g.  My studs from the piercing gun were 18g.  I am currently at 8g.

What you will need to get is a set of tapers and tunnels.  I purchased my kit on What you will also need is a lubricating and moisturizing oil for your ears. I recommend JoJoba oil.  It is fantastic!  Now, I am going to full on say it right here right now, this takes PATIENCE.  If you don’t have patience and you try to just shove the tapers through without allowing your body to recover each time you will regret it.  Also, this is PERMANENT.  If you stretch your ears, yes to an extent if you take out your plugs and just let them shrink, they may go down a few sizes.  However, do not expect to get to a 0g and have your ears shrink back down to a 20g. It won’t happen and it will require a surgical procedure to correct.  With that said, if that is something you understand and accept then by all means please proceed.

Steps to stretching:
  1. Determine starting size hole gauge
  2. Take your lubricant and moisturizing oil and massage your ear lobe front and back for a minute.
  3. Take the O rings off the back of the taper.
  4. Dip a Q-Tip in the lubricant oil and brush it along the taper until the taper is evenly coating in the lubricant.
  5. Take the thin “pointy” part of the taper and insert it into your existing piercing. SLOWLY slide it in until you reach the full width of the taper. Note: You are going to feel pressure while doing this.  However, extreme PAIN is not normal. It is your body trying to tell you something.  Stop at the point where you feel pain and let the taper stay at that width.  Give some time for your ear to adjust and stretch before you continue.  Add more lubricant with a Q-Tip as well.  This will help.
  6. Once your taper has been in long enough, grab your tunnel that is of equal gauge size as the taper.  Line the back of the tunnel up with the front of your taper.
  7. You are now going to pull the taper out via the back of your ear low, while pushing the tunnel thru the front.
  8. Once you get your tunnel all the way thru, put an O ring on the back and pat yourself on the back.  You have completed your first stretch.

Note:  You may notice that your ears smell like cheese from time to time. I know you are thinking “OMG, that is DISGUSTING!” Yes, on occasion you may get this cheesy, funk smell coming from you ears.  Well don’t freak out, this is common and it is the result of a normal bodily function.  You see your body secretes this substance called “Sebum”.  This often occurs at the stretch site.  It will smell like cheese and often leave a thick residue that you can actually wipe off your jewelry.  Not to worry, it’s NOT permanent.  This is just something that will require you to on a daily basis clean you ear.  I recommend using a saline wash.  It is what I use daily and it cleans my ear very well.  I can report that aside from the one time when I first started, I have not had the cheese smell.

Once your stretch site is completely healed, I recommend removing your tunnels or plugs when you shower.  In the shower clean your ear very thoroughly and then after your shower clean your jewelry very well before insertion.  That should keep the sebum secretion in check and eliminate that foul funk!


Feel free to reach out if any of you are thinking about stretching and have any questions!



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