Ear Stretching 101: Our Guide to Safely Stretching Your Ears

In recent years, ear stretching has become one of the most wanted body modifications around but it has existed for a lot longer than you might realise!

The ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamen was one of the earliest people recorded to have stretched ear lobes and ancient tribes have been using this popular body mod to alter their appearance for centuries. Check out the extreme ear stretching examples below starting with a Mursi Tribe girl from Ethiopia, some impressive lobes on a woman from the Thailand Hill Tribe, outrageously huge ear plugs worn by a Rikbaktsa man from Brazil, and finally a Maasai girl from Kenya keeping her ear stretches from closing with grass and rolled leaves!

Of course, you don’t have to stretch your ears as much as some of the examples above, you can make your ear stretches as subtle or as eye-catching as you want. Read our guide to ear stretching and find out how you can give your lobes the attention they deserve!

Not *that* kind of ear stretching…via GIPHY


If you want to make your ears look awesome with stretchers and plugs, it’s important to do it sensibly and safely. Your piercer will talk you through the process and will also choose the most appropriate taper for your ear.

The ear needs to be thoroughly cleaned first and the stretcher or taper needs to be sterile. Vaseline should then be applied to the taper and one of the bands should be removed in order to get the taper into your ear lobe smoothly.

The narrow end of the taper should be gently placed into the ear lobe piercing hole first. It’s completely normal to feel a little bit of stinging and resistance. However, if you experience a throbbing pain you should consult a professional piercer.

When there is no longer any resistance you have stretched your ear to its full capacity but once it heals and the elasticity in the skin increases you can gradually continue increasing the size of the hole to the size you want.

Finally, lace the band onto the taper behind your ear lobe to secure it in place until you are ready to stretch again!


It is recommended to wait at least a month in between stretching so that your skin can heal properly.

It might be tempting to rush the process but this could lead to tearing or scarring which wouldn’t look attractive and would prevent you from stretching your ears again. So it’s important to be patient!



There’s a huge range of ear stretching jewellery available in different sizes and colours. The most common choices are tunnels and plugs which are available in everything from silicone and steel to bright UV acrylic designs.

Here at Blue Banana we also stock an awesome range of stretchers and tapers to keep you looking cool during the stretching process as well.

The best kinds of jewellery to use during the stretching process are the stretchers and tapers, but don’t panic because we have a huge variety of these in different coloured designs and prints. And when you are happy with the size of your ear hole, there are loads more fun and creative options to experiment with!

All of our alternative ear stretching jewellery is affordable and comfortable to wear and we even have fake versions so you can experiment with what you would look like with an ear stretcher!



The good thing about ear stretching is that you are working with a previously healed piercing, so if you follow the correct aftercare, your stretched ear should heal quickly and smoothly without any problems.
To keep your lobes healthy and looking great, just follow these simple steps:
  • Clean the area with salt water twice a day
  • Take out the jewellery and clean it and the ear daily to clean out dead skin, dirt and moisture
  • Only wear jewellery made from high quality materials
Though tapers and stretching kits are readily available online and in stores, it is strongly advised to visit a professional piercer to assist and advise with ear stretching as mistakes during the stretching process can result in serious damage to the ear lobe.
Acrylic piercings will need to be taken out and cleaned more often than metal because they are covered in tiny pores. If you want to use our tunnels and plugs for stretching we’d advise the metal variants and using a lubricated taper to insert the jewellery. Tapers are ideal for easing your lobes into a new gauge, much healthier than dead stretching and they also look great as well!
Ear Stretching

So if you fancy adding some awesome alternative jewellery to your accessory collection, head over to one of our piercing studios and find out more!

If you are under 18, you must seek the permission of your parent/guardian prior to starting the stretching process. The information contained here within is based on our experience as one of the UK’s largest piercing chains. Please note that each individual’s experiences will be subjective and therefore each person will have a different experience of pain, healing and maintenance. For more information, please view our article guides terms and conditions page.

Have you already got stretched ear lobes? Head over to our Instagram, Twitter or Facebook page and show us a #BBEarStretchingSelfie!

Written by BlueBanana