Step 5: What Now?
After you've stretched your ears and at least 4 weeks have gone by with no troubles, you can consider your ears to be healed from your stretch! Keep your lobes clean to keep them happy. We recommend doing regular oil massages as well.
From here, you can take one of two paths. If you are going to keep going on your stretching journey, you should stick to wearing plugs made from steel, titanium, glass, or Pyrex to keep your lobes healthy as you prepare for your next stretch.
If you’re going to wear new plugs at the newly healed size, you can safely start wearing materials that are only recommended for healed ears such as silicone and organic materials like wood, bone, stone, and horn. Organic materials are porous and can dry your lobes out, so both the plugs and your lobes will benefit from a few drops of oil (or other moisturizing ear cream) before wearing.
You can also switch to wearing styles like double flared plugs, ear weights, and hanging/dangling jewelry if your ears seem to be ready for it. Sometimes it can take longer than a few weeks for the ear tissue to regain the stretchiness (elasticity) needed to accommodate double flared jewelry though, so don’t force them in if they don’t go in easily. Wait a few more days or weeks and try again.
Your next stretch should only be done when your ears are undoubtedly healed from your last stretch. A waiting period of at least 1 month and up to 2 months is a good guideline, but the timing is different for everyone. (See our ear stretching FAQs for more info.) Pay attention to how your ears feel as you stretch, and always stop if you experience any pain or bleeding. Improperly stretching can result in permanent damage, and you only get one pair of earlobes!
Ear stretching is an awesome and rewarding form of body modification. The plugs and jewelry that you wear will give you a way to accent your unique personality and style.
Check out our Gauge Size Chart to see the next size in your stretching journey or if you need help converting between gauges, millimeters, and inches for your jewelry.