Body Piercing Jewellery: Stretching

Stretching Your Piercing

Patience is without doubt the main quality that you'll need when it comes to stretching your piercing from one size to the next. There is no exact rate that a piercing can be stretched at, but stretching your piercing one size at a time is your best plan. Stretching 1.6mm to 2.4mm, 2.4mm to 3.2mm etc is going to work a lot better (and be a lot more comfortable) than jumping up two or three gauges at a time! Most people will quite safely be able to stretch their earlobe piercing at a rate of 1mm every 3 to 4 weeks, although for some people a longer time scale may be necessary. As a rule of thumb, it's probably a good idea not to start stretching for a period of time about 2-3 times longer than it took your piercing to completely heal.

Undoubtedly the easiest and safest way to stretch your piercing is to use one of our fantastic Steel Insertion Pins. These Pins come in a huge range of sizes (see availability list below) and are very simple to use. The front end of the insertion pin is domed for ease of use with the back end featuring a concave dimple to make insertion of the jewellery a relatively easy task. The next thing you're going to need is the new piece of jewellery you are fitting, making sure it's of a suitable size and design (if you're unsure on jewellery sizing, check out our guide here)

Assuming that you're stretching an Ear Lobe piercing, it's a good idea to massage the Lobe to loosen the tissue up and make the instillation later more comfortable. Before removing the jewellery being replaced, lubricate both ends and run it back and forward through the piercing to introduce the lube to the whole of the surface. We have found through trial and error that KY Jelly and any other water based lubricants as well as various natural oils such as Olive Oil work very well in this capacity although some people prefer a tiny amount of anti-bacterial soap (either with or without a little water) that can easily be rinsed off after the stretching process is complete. Petroleum based products should be avoided as they tend to leave a sticky, heavy residue which can be difficult to wash off.

Ensure that the new piece of jewellery is thoroughly cleaned and a small amount of Lube added to its leading edge and then remove the old jewellery from the piercing. The Insertion Pin should then be lubricated and slowly pushed through the piercing leaving a small amount of the tail end sticking out. Please be careful not to be over enthusiastic and push the tapered pin straight through the piercing and out the other side as you'll just have to start the process over! Hold the jewellery  firmly against the back of the Insertion Pin and using one hand on the front of the pin and one hand on the jewellery, continue through the piercing in a slow, smooth and most importantly co-ordinated singular movement. Please don't use the jewellery to simply 'push out' the Insertion Pin as this will leave you with the Pin in one hand, the jewellery in the other and nothing but a small trace of lubricant in your piercing! Keep the Insertion Pin and the jewellery in contact at all times during the fitting process to ensure a smooth and comfortable stretch. Clean or wash off any excess lubricant and secure the jewellery with whatever is appropriate, be it a back plate for a Flesh Tunnel or a Rubber O-Ring for an Eyelet etc.

Although most piercings can be stretched, many will require more patience and take considerably longer to achieve the chosen gauge than the standard earlobe stretching.

As with many things in life, patience is a virtue when it comes to stretching, in fact 'Patience, Patience, Patience' is probably the unofficial mantra for stretching!

Insertion Pin Gauges

1.2, 1.6, 2.0, 2.4, 3.2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

(All sizes are in millimetres)

insertion pins
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