To Taper or Not To Taper? (pt. 1)
To taper, or not to taper? That is the question!
No matter how long you’ve been stretching your lobes, you’ve probably at some point considered using tapers (the long, cone-shaped things designed to ease the jump between gauges).
For those of us wondering whether or not to use tapers, let’s start by asking one simple question: What size are you currently at? If you are under 00 (10mm) then yes we definitely recommend using tapers. If you’re currently 00 or over, we’ll have you guys covered with next week’s blog.
So for you folks in the proper size range (which again is under 10mm) here is the recommended use for stretching tapers. Take your pick from each of our two recommended methods of tapering:
- Slow and Steady
The slow and steady method is exactly what it sounds like: slowly pushing the tapers through your lobes little bits at a time and wearing them around in your ears as you gradually move up to the next size. If you go this route, you can either use acrylic tapers (see pics above), which are cheaper but harder to sterilize and more difficult to move through your skin – or steel tapers (recommended) which are a little more expensive, but cleaner and move through your skin more easily. Go as slow as you like, but just make sure to use heavy amounts of moisturizer/lubrication to keep your lobes healthy and to prevent tearing.
- Fast and Clean
Want to just get it over with? Get a good quality (and sterile) pair of steel tapers for gauging ears that have concave ends (see pics above). These hollow ends will leave room for you to place your next size plugs so that they’ll slip directly into your lobes with the taper. Again, you will need to use, heavy amounts of lubricant as you guide the taper through your ear until your new plugs are in place. A great place to stretch is in a nice, hot shower.
Everybody has that friend who is impatient and jumps sizes, or sizes up too fast. Do not be that guy. Trust us on this one. Wait a minimum of six weeks between stretchings. That way, your ears will have time to heal and you won’t get scar tissue. If you bleed, go back down a size and let it heal completely before trying again. And never, ever skip sizes. If you want thick, healthy lobes with no blowouts or major scar tissue/permanent damage, take your time and use your head. You’ll look way better and save yourself a ton of pain.
Stay tuned for next week when we cover stretching to sizes above 00!