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Video:See a Gauge Piercing

with Allison Lahikainen

Stretched or gauge piercings have become very popular in the past years. To properly stretch your ear piercing, it is important to know the correct timeline for each gauge and what kind of jewelry to use. Here are the basics for gauge piercing.See Transcript

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Transcript:See a Gauge Piercing

This is Allison Lahikainen for About.com. Today, we're going to talk about stretching your ears, which kids commonly call gauging. I'm at Graceland Tattoo in Wappingers Falls, New York and, I'm your piercing expert for today.

How Gauge Piercings Work

You can start the stretching process from a very basic size, 18 or 16 tend to be your initial piercing sizes. The way the sizes work, the bigger the number, the smaller the wire. So you start out with your 18 gauge, your most basic earring size. From there, 16 is a very small jump…14,12 and 10. After 10 gauge, your increments get a little bit bigger so a little more patience is necessary. You should be waiting about 3-4 weeks in between stretches once you are past the 10 gauge you are going to go 8, 6, 4. At this point, you should be waiting a good couple of months if not 3 months. You should never force your ears to do something they don't want to do. It is very important when you are stretching to not tear your earlobes and to not traumatize your ear. If these things happen, you can cause scar tissue. Your ears won't stretch naturally, they won't shrink when you take them out and you could cause a blowout where you actually push the skin from the inside of the ear out the back. It's pretty nasty looking and you do not want to do that.

Types of Gauge Piercings to Use

Stretching should always be done with a nice surgical steel or titanium. You should never stretch with wood, bone or other natural materials because they are porous and they can cause allergic reactions in your ear. This is just an assortment of sizes from here we have a 14 gauge plug, a 12 gauge plug, a 10 gauge earlet, 8 gauge, 6 gauge, 4 gauge, 2 gauge, and 0.The tapers aren't really in size but these are 8 gauge, 2 gauge, and a little bit over a zero. Acrylic is never perfect size; acrylic always seems to be a little bit off size. Likewise over here, we have an 8 gauge, a zero, and a double zero.

Variations of Gauge Piercings

These days everybody calls every piece of jewelry a gauge. Realistically, it's good to know what your jewelry is made out of and what it's actually called. That leads you to be a better consumer, better buyer, and to get higher quality jewelry. These are called plugs, you can get them in stone, wood, acrylic or steel. When you see through it, you can call it a tunnel, an earlet or an eyelet. Just follow these tips to make your stretching process painless and easier, just remember not to stretch faster than your body can handle.

For more information about stretching, visit About.com. Thanks for watching.
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