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Timelines Ear Stretching: A Timing Guide for Stretching Earlobe Piercings

Timelines Ear Stretching: A Timing Guide for Stretching Earlobe Piercings

Stretching ears timeline (Ear Stretching Timeline) refers to the expected timeframes for following to properly stretch earlobes when stretching ears.

The stretching time periods include waiting times, rest times and recovery times for allowing the earlobes to heal properly when stretching. It's important to ensure the ears are properly healed before stretching to the next size so a timeline can help you better understand change in sizes and track your significant progress stretching to greater sizes over periods of time.

Timelines are useful as they help you to establish the proper pace to stretch ears. Going slowly but surely is the way to go according to researcher Elayne Angel when she stated, "The slower you go, the better you will preserve your tissue elasticity," in her book, The Piercing Bible: The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing. It begs the question, though: how slow do you go?

In response to the uncertainty surrounding timing, questions arise like how long does it take to stretch ear lobes, and how long you should wait before attempting to stretch your ears after a fresh piercing. Those answers along with the the timeline for stretching, what timeframe to expect when stretching, what happens if ears hurt along with other potential risks to avoid during the journey, how to care for ears during stretching phases, and more is covered in this guide.

We've seen it time and time again -- since 2006, when PlugYourHoles.com was founded: you want the right timing to plan out your next move when it comes to stretching lobes. This timing guide for ear stretching is here to help you along your journey so you can wear the quality stretching jewelry that Plug Your Holes is known for while you stretching your ears.

Understanding the ear stretching timeline is crucial for anyone considering this form of body piercing stretching technique. A well-planned timeline ensures a safe and healthy process, reducing potential risks, and helping you get to your goal size in a timely fashion, with healthy stretched lobes.


What is the timeline for stretching ears?

The timeline methodology guides you during the ear stretching process knowing when to carry out the next stretches and which wait times to consider before the next stretches.

Timelines for stretching ears works by defining your end-game goal size, and working backwards. Between each incremental size increase to there from your current size, there are times to stretch and times to wait to rest the lobes. Each size transition has its corresponding timeframe recommendation (shown below) so you always know the recommended timelines matched to the current size of your lobes.

In general, it can take months or years to achieve you desired size so you want to know a general timeline when stretching ears.


How long does it take to stretch ears?

Stretching ears to new gauge sizes can take anywhere from months to years, depending on your goal size. Stretching with ear weights quickens the time-to-stretch, but its not recommended because of the risk of uneven stretching among other potential risks when used for stretching. The amount of time required for earlobes to properly heal differs per person. Before considering the next stretch, at least consider the minimum wait times recommended before stretching-up.

The Table below shows the minimum wait times before considering stretching up to a larger jewelry size.

Gauge Size Transition Minimum Wait Time Between Transition
16g to 14g 1 month
14g to 12g 1 month
12g to 10g 1.5 months
10g to 8g 2 months
8g to 6g 3 months
6g to 4g 3 months
4g to 2g 3 months
2g to 0g 4 months
0g to 00g 4 months

Considering the table of gauge size transition sizes and their minimum wait times between transition, it's important to wait the minimum time in order to avoid potential issues.

For a regular piercing, this is especially true to avoid potential issues. An unscarred earlobe can be repaired every 3 months according to The American Academy of Pediatrics (2017), but that sets you back another several months from getting the stretched lobes that you want.

Other issues ranging from mild issues to serious issues can occur when not considering the timeframes to stretch properly. That's why it's recommended to go beyond the minimum wait times between stretching-up, and instead think about stretching in a way to extend the length of time to wait between stretches.


How long should you wait to stretch your ears?

Postpone the decision for 3 to 8 months before deciding to stretch for fresh piercings, depending on how quickly they heal. Fully healed piercings are required to avoid potential tearing so wait even longer if your piercing could use the extra time.

You can start stretching now with fully healed earlobe piercings.

Stretching Wait Times:

Earlobe Piercing Hole Diameter Size Wait Time (Conservative)
16g / 1.2mm 2 months
14g / 1.6mm 2 months
12g / 2mm 2 months
10g / 2.5mm 3 months
8g / 3mm 4 months
7g / 3.5mm 5 months
6g / 4mm 6 months
4g / 5mm 6 months
2g / 6mm 6 months
1g / 7mm 8 months
0g / 8mm 8 months
00g / 9mm 8 months
000g / 10mm 8 months

For bigger sizes (e.g. 7 to 7.5 to 8 to 8.5 to 9 to 9.5 to 10), consider going up half sizes (0.5mm) because the 1mm might be too big of jump for some lobes.

  • Use half sizes when stretching can be helpful for earlobes that have a tendency to stretch slower.
  • To stay on the cautious side, provide yourself with more wait times to use as wiggle room for recovering from the last stretch, when desired.

  • Wait ≥ 2 months (3 months is ideal per size) before each stretch (no more than 1mm at a time) as a conservative approach, and sometimes 3 to 6 months for bigger size transitions.

  • Choose to prolong the waiting times even further in order to toughen the lobes to have more strength enduring the next size, for the smoothest lobes.

  • Choose to stretch without awaiting the entire duration if you find that your plugs are loose waiting 8 months at 0g.

Stretching your ears is a gradual process that requires patience. After a fresh stretch, it's generally recommended to wait at least 6 weeks (or more) before attempting the next stretch. This allows your ears to heal and adjust to the new size.

Allow your pierced ears ample time to heal and adjust after each stretch. To learn how to gauge your ears for the first time, check out the Beginner's Guide to Ear Stretching for more tailored information about getting started because now we're covering the waits in-between stretches and when to stretch-up.


How long should you wait in between ear stretches?

Wait ≥ 6 weeks in between stretches to ensure you are fully healed according to researchers Andrew M. Williams and Sanjib Majumder at the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery.

Waiting 6 to 24 weeks is how long to wait between ear stretches, as the general recommendation. A minimum wait time of at least one to two months between each stretch is the recommended timeframe to wait in between stretches. This gives your ears enough time to heal and reduces the chance of potential risks. However, it is important to note that everyone's body responds differently. Listen to your body and adjust your timeline accordingly.


When should I stretch my ears to the next size?

Wait at least 6 weeks to even consider stretching to the next size. Waiting longer, for example up to 24 weeks after your last stretch, is taking a more conservative approach to stretching. The longer you wait, the better as your lobes strengthen as they become thicker with each passing day which is the most ideal for establishing a foundation for healthy lobes long-term.


Can I stretch my ears every 2 weeks?

No, 2 weeks is generally not enough time to properly heal from a previous earlobe stretch.


Why is implementing a rest period crucial in timing ear stretching?

Rest periods are essential as these intervals allow your earlobes to recover from the strain of each stretch, promoting healing and helping regain elasticity.

Regular rest periods can help preserve your desired size while preventing further thinning or tearing of the lobe tissue. Allow your body the chance to adjust and heal before progressing.

The duration of these breaks can vary significantly depending on individual circumstances, but longer is better when it comes to ensuring optimal health for those precious lobes.

NOTE: A bonus is that rest periods also offer mental benefits, providing an excellent chance for reflection and making necessary adjustments going forward based on personal experiences.


How long should ears hurt after stretching?

Ears hurting after stretching is a sign of potentially having a mild to serious issue because ears should not hurt after stretching when performed properly. Hurt is a form of pain, and mild stinging sensations lasting a short while after earlobe stretches (and then goes away) isn't as potentially problematic as prolonged pain lasting for days.

That's why 2 to 24 hours is the approximate timeframe to wait out for normal everyday discomfort when stretching ears. Use your best judgement based on personal circumstances and severity, of course, but the main cause of ears hurting in 90% of the cases is that the proper methods are not be used correctly when stretching.

Deciding on the proper method of ear stretching is an important choice that can determine success or failure in achieving your goal in a timely way, as well as influencing the speed and duration of the process. The right technique not only determines how effectively you reach your desired size but also impacts the overall timeline and pacing of your stretching as your chosen method dictates when you're ready for each subsequent stretch.

The results show when carefully following proper methods and seeking professional help when needed. If it hurts, you're doing it wrong. Avoid the risks of stretching at all costs.


What are the potential risks of stretching your ears too quickly?

Infections, ear blowouts and permanent injuries are just a few of the risks with stretching ears too quickly. Future pacing, don't stretch too quickly unless you like the look of cat butt. Stretching too quickly can not only make the lobes look unsightly but also cause complications and sometimes damage.

Identifying potential problems early on during your journey stretching ears can save you from major headaches down the road. Complications like tears, blowouts, infections, or keloids can put a damper on your stretching goals if not addressed promptly.

Not taking proper care of your stretched ears may also result in infections. An infection can be incredibly uncomfortable and potentially dangerous if left untreated. Watch out for redness, swelling, warmth, pain, discomfort, and unusual discharge.

If you experience any complications stretching ears, such as bleeding or swelling, stop stretching immediately and address the issue immediately. Better to be cautious than sorry.


What happens if you stretch ears too fast?

Tears can turn into keloid scar tissue, if you're not careful, and dead skin cells can accumulate emitting a foul ear cheese smell, too, when stretching the ears too quickly.


What happens when you stretch your ears too quickly?

One of the most severe consequences is tearing your ear tissue, causing a painful split in your lobe or even detached skin hanging from your head, commonly referred to as an ear stretching blowout. Ouch.

NOTE: Remember, stretching your ears should be a fun and enjoyable experience. By following these tips, you can ensure that your journey towards larger gauges is a safe and successful one.

Always monitor your healing lobes for any signs of infection or irritation. If you notice any unusual symptoms, consider seeking medical advice. Remember, your health always takes precedence over your desire to stretch further.


How do you take care of your ears while stretching?

Properly care for your ears as you adapt to a safe stretching regimen for the next several months (and possibly years).

Taking care of your ears while stretching is crucial to maintaining the health of your earlobe skin. This involves keeping it clean and well-moisturized to prevent it from tearing or dryness during the stretching process.

Proper care takes time and that's why it is important to include it in your daily regimen as a priority when stretching ears. Prioritize safety over speed when planning your journey. Remember, taking proper care during each stage of the stretching phase can ensure a safe and successful experience overall. By following these tips, you'll not only have healthier-looking lobes but also Have a smoother and faster journey stretching piercings while having healthier-looking lobes during the process.

Keeping your earlobes clean and moisturized is crucial for a successful journey with stretching. Taking care of your ears while stretching requires careful attention to the regular use of some form of lubricant that can be used for inserting jewelry and tools (if using tapers or tape). Maintaining the moisture of your earlobe skin is important for health and elasticity.

Lubricants used during stretching phases help prevent dryness and promote elasticity, making the stretching process smoother.

Keep them clean and well-moisturized to promote healing and flexibility. Applying an ample amount of either ear stretching oil lubricants which help because they not only hydrate but also promote blood flow to the area, which is essential for the healing process. Regularly massaging these oils into your lobes can help speed up recovery times between stretches and reduce the risk of complications.

For example, moisturizing your lobes with vitamin E oil or jojoba oil can help the lobes stretch more easily. This makes stretches easier over time.

Stretching to larger sizes should always be a gradual process and proper aftercare with these natural oils can make a significant difference in your stretching journey.


What size do you start gauging at?

14g is the starting point for most people stretching from their initial piercing size (the standard size for a new ear piercing is usually a 20 or 18 gauge) which the the starting point to the ear stretching journey.

You start at the stretching size you're at now if you've already begun gauging ears -- so long as you have completely healed earlobes. Start at whichever stretching ear size currently fits your lobes -- this is your current gauge size and the starting point of your journey -- and only aim for the next size-up, at a time. It's important to increase the size of your ear gauges incrementally, allowing your lobes to adjust to each new size.

Stretching to new gauge sizes is a significant body modification that requires careful planning and patience. It's crucial to consider this when choosing jewelry size, as the type of jewelry used can affect the stretch size.

After reaching your goal size, you might decide to let your ears shrink back to a more normal size. The extent to which they'll shrink varies from person to person. Some people's ears may revert almost completely back to the original size, while others may see less drastic changes.


Timing Takeaway

Timing is everything when it comes to stretching ears - wait the recommended amount of time, estimate intervals accurately, and take rest periods to keep your lobes healthy. Earlobe stretching is a process that requires patience and following guidance from a proper ear stretching guide to help navigate size transitions and materials to use throughout the process. It's important to take your time and stretch your ears slowly to prevent damage to your ear lobes.

Imagine: the process begins with a small piercing, which gradually increases in diameter size over time. Start there if you need to and remember, each increase should be done carefully and gradually. Taking care of your ear lobe during this process is also essential.

Your earlobe stretching journey may take longer or shorter than someone else's, and that's okay. The goal is to stretch ears safely and healthily, not quickly.