People who go into piercing stores or jewelry shops often say they are looking for ear gauges, which will confuse the employees because an ear gauge is the size of a person’s ears. The actual jewelry they are looking for is called plugs. Not many people are familiar with this big difference between the two words, and they use the word “gauges” whenever they want to buy earplugs.
Earplugs are essential in ear stretching, more commonly known as just stretching, which is what you call the process of making a larger gauge in the hole of a piercing. Plugs come in different colors, designs, shapes, and sizes. The larger the earplug, the more expensive it will be. People who stretch their ears buy tapers to increase the gauges of their ears one dimension at a time.
Always consult with a piercer first if you have never tried stretching your ears before, and they can teach you the proper way and techniques to choose the earplug size and may even stretch your ears for you. Before you do anything with your body, you must know what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it. This article will discuss the earplug sizes and more tips for people who will stretch their ears.
What is the Ear Plug
Plugs are sometimes called earplugs or earspools. In the world of body modification, plugs refer to the short, cylindrical jewelry worn with larger-gauge body piercings. Due to their size, plugs can be made out of different substances or materials, such as glass, wood, metal, horn, porcelain, acrylic, stone, or silicone. Historically, plugs have been used as earrings. It does not prevent them from being used in other kinds of piercings in other areas of the human body.
Today, we will discuss tools used to stretch the earlobes, not earplugs that most people understand to reduce noise. You can learn about the size of another earplug in another article.
Can Everybody Have Their Ears Stretched
The only absolute precondition for ear stretching is having your earlobes pierced and having them heal completely. Newly pierced ears have a gauge of 18. The next size is 16, followed by 14, and a lower number means a higher gauge. Ideally, there should be a one-month interval between each ear gauging.
Most piercing shops will perform earlobe piercings on people of all ages. It means just about anybody can get their ears stretched. The only exception is those who cannot have their ears pierced for whatever reason. If you are too susceptible to infections or allergies, we do not recommend that you use any earrings for stretching.
Plugs Size Guide
The taper does the work of stretching out the ear, but it’s not meant to be worn long-term. Once you’re done stretching, you’ll need a plug of the correct gauge that you can insert in your piercing so that it can heal without closing.
Like tapers, the plugs are available in different materials:
- Acrylic – Like they are with tapers, these are the most affordable option and widely favored as a result.
- Steel – Generally a better option than acrylics, but more expensive as well.
- Titanium – Similar to steel but lightweight and can reduce the likelihood of irritation for people with sensitive skin.
- Silicore – A good material to avoid any adverse reactions, but silicone plugs get dirty more easily than the alternatives and need to be cleaned more often.
- Organic – This is a general category that encompasses plugs made of materials such as wood, stone, and glass.
Plug Size Conversion
|20g||0.8mm||1 / 32"|
|18g||1.0mm||5 / 128"|
|16g||1.2mm||3 / 64"|
|14g||1.6mm||1 / 16"|
|12g||2.0mm||5 / 64"|
|10g||2.4mm||3 / 32"|
|8g||3.2mm||1 / 8"|
|6g||4.0mm||5 / 32"|
|4g||5.0mm||3 / 16"|
|2g||6.0-6.5mm||1 / 4"|
|0g||8.0mm||1 / 3"|
|00g||9.0-10.0mm||3 / 8"|
|11.0mm||7 / 16"|
|12.7mm||1 / 2"|
|14.0mm||9 / 16"|
|16.0mm||5 / 8"|
|19.0mm||3 / 4"|
|22.0mm||7 / 8"|
Ear piercing is done using 20 gauge piercing earrings, which are among the smallest sizes. The maximum plug size that most people can accept is 00. Stop stretching your ears if you notice any redness, swelling, or irritation on them.
As earrings and other body jewelry became popular, many jewelers adapted to the American Wire Gauge as their sizing system. The critical thing to remember is that a smaller plug number relates to a thicker earring. So, an plug that's a 16 gauge is wider than a plug that's a 20 gauge.