How EnGauged Are You?

3 Mar

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Gauging ears is an ancient art that has made its way into the mainstream of today’s society. Kids in middle school to those in the work force have this type of body modification.

To gauge one’s ears is simply the process of slowly stretching the ear lobe to a desired size and keep a piece of jewelry in the hole to hold the size and shape.

The basic earlobe piercing starts at a size 18, which is 1.0mm. The range in size can go from a 20 (0.8mm) to as big as a person desires. As the sizes of the jewelry gets wider, the numbers get lower. Once the earlobe has reached a 00 (which is 10mm) than they begin to get into portions of an inch such as ½ inch or 9/16 of an inch.

Gauging is a very timely process. If ears are gauged too fast they can tear or heal improperly. This will lead to deformed looking lobes. This can also lead to pain, bleeding, or infection if it is done improperly. For some people it can take up to a month for the gauge to heal, even if the jewelry is very small.

After the piercing is fully healed, than the stretching can begin.  Start off small, if the earlobe is at a size 20 or 18, stretch the ear to a size 16, after letting that size heal, than moving up to a 14 would be the next step. These earrings are still going to be small and are not see through yet.

Once again, the most important thing is to not rush and to keep the piercing clean. These, just as normal earrings can begin to smell.

After reaching a size 10 or 8 tapers maybe needed to get the jewelry in. A taper is an earring that starts off smaller on one end and slowly gets bigger until the end of the earring. The size at the end of the earring will be the size desired.

At this point using  emu oil as a lubricant can be helpful for sliding the bigger pieces of jewelry in. Try not to use oil based lubricants though.

Some people once they get to bigger sizes like to use PTFE tape to help them. Simply wrap the tape around the earring to slowly stretch it to the next bigger size. If there is also of pain when doing this, wait another week before sizing up.

After the earlobe is stretch beyond a size 2 (5mm) it will not go back to the normal size, even if it is taken out for a long time. When a gauge is taken out for a good period of time, it can shrink, and the process will need to be started again from a smaller size than where it left off.

Ears may be slightly sore after putting in a new size, but they should not hurt a great deal. Do not force in an earring or jump sizes.

Gauging is not just for rock stars, boys and girls are partaking in this new trend. It DOES take time, but it is worth it to do it properly.

The first two pictures are of Christopher Pavlik, his ears are stretched to an inch. The first photo is him with the gauge in and the second is what his earlobe looks like without the gauge.

The next three pictures are of Amanda Weigand, her ears are stretch to 5/8th of an inch. She has a tunnel in her ears in these pictures.

The next two are earlobes that are not stretched. They are at a size 18.

The final four pictures are of different gauges. The long ones are tapers and the shorter earrings are either tunnels or plugs. Tunnels have the holes through them and plugs are solid.


3 Responses to “How EnGauged Are You?”

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  1. So, it is the end of the semester. « Modifying College - May 3, 2011

    […] How EnGauged Are You? […]

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