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Check out these excellent links to find out more information about stretching your ear lobes.

Millimeters and Plugs?! What’s That About?

What to Know Before Stretching Your Ears

FAQ on Stretching and Tapering Your Piercings

Tips for Inserting Plugs

Single Flare vs Double Flare Plugs

The Pros of Acrylic Plug

  Material Types
Surgical Steel: Perfect for initial stretching, stainless steel plugs come in many shapes and sizes. You can start your stretching with a stainless steel captive bead ring (CBR) or circular barbell. Once you’ve progressed to larger sizes, you can begin wearing different styles.
Gold: Also great for initial stretching, 14k gold captive bead rings or 14k gold circular barbells are perfect because they are made with nickel-free gold that won’t irritate the skin.
Titanium: A non-reactive metal, titanium is safe for new and old stretched piercings. It’s light, comfortable, and looks great!


Silicone: Never use silicone plugs for initial stretching. Wait until your ears are completely healed. The porous and flexible nature of the material can cause infections and an unstable stretch. They are, however, perfect for sleeping in and great because they are available in flesh colors so they can easily be hidden so save them for when your ears are healed.

Acrylic: The porous nature of acrylic makes it a poor choice for initial stretching but lots of people find it’s a fashionable and affordable material for healed ears.
Glass: Glass is an acceptable choice for initial stretching. It looks great and is available in many colors and sizes.
Organic Materials including WoodHornStone, Bone, and Shell:

The most popular category for healed piercings, these organic materials offer beautiful and unique designs. Save them for healed piercings. Be prepared to become addicted to the gorgeous natural styles.


  Different Plug Types
Tunnels: With tunnel plugs, you can see through the stretching, which shows off the stretching and makes it appear larger. Also, they weigh less since they require less material.
Hangers / Pinchers / Spirals:

Hangers and pinchers look great in piercings. They hang through your ear for an interesting dangle effect. Spirals are woven into the ear in a spiral fashion. Hangers, pinchers, and spirals are available in a variety of materials and styles.

Available in a variety of materials, these are great for stretching and for short-term wear. They look great and the styles and designs are endless.

Single Flared:

Single flare plugs are perfect when you are first stretching a piercing to a new gauge. The plug can be easily slipped into place, and the O-rings are simple to attach. However, care should be taken to avoid single flare plugs that have an indent for the O-rings. The best single flare plugs are completely smooth past the flare.

Double Flared:

Once your piercing is properly stretched, a double flare plug can be used. Some people prefer a type of double flare plug known as a saddle plug. A saddle plug has smoothly tapered flares instead of flares with hard, straight edges. This type of plug is easier to insert and remove, but once inserted, it stays put. Saddle plugs are becoming more popular every day, and they can be made from a wide variety of materials.

Screw-on plugs are easy to insert and stay secure since the back is screwed on. These are typically available in surgical steel, acrylic, and titanium.
Captive Bead Rings / Circular Barbells / Twisted Barbells

Perfect for new and old piercings, CBRs and circular barbells are available in a multitude of sizes so you can always find something that will fit. These don’t fit like the typical plug; they are more like a traditional earing with larger gauges.

If you are not sure that you’re ready to commit to plugs, you can try cheaters. They look like real plugs but are the standard 20G or 18G.