Step 1: Getting Started

To properly stretch your ears, you should first determine what size you are currently at. Never skip sizes! Jewelry sizes are typically referred to in gauges ranging from 20g to 00g, with 00g being the largest and 20g being the smallest. Sizes larger than 00g are referred to in inches or millimeters. In countries that use the metric system, jewelry sizes may only be referenced in millimeters, rather than gauge. To eliminate confusion, a table of gauge sizes with their nearest size in inches and millimeters is listed below.

Size Guide

Gauge Millimeters Inches
20G 0.8mm 1/32"
18G 1mm 5/128"
16G 1.2mm 3/64"
14G 1.6mm 1/16"
12G 2mm 5/64"
10G 2.4mm 3/32"
8G 3.2mm 1/8"
6G 4mm 5/32"
4G 5mm 3/16"
2G 6mm - 6.5mm 1/4"
0G 8mm 1/3"
00G 9mm - 10mm 3/8"
11mm 7/16"
12mm - 12.7mm 1/2"
14mm 9/16"
16mm 5/8"
19mm 3/4"
22mm 7/8"
25mm 1"

If your ears were pierced with a piercing gun (such as at Claire's or Piercing Pagoda), they were pierced at 20g or 18g. It should be safe to start your stretching at 16g. If you were pierced properly at a professional piercing studio, your ears were probably pierced at 16g, but you can ask your piercer to make sure. Start your stretching one size larger than your current size.

Your ears should be fully healed from piercing before you begin stretching them. Wait at least 4 to 6 months from a fresh piercing, assuming there were no complications during the healing process.