Ear tunnels
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Plugs | Tunnels | Ear Gauges: everything you need to know

Ear tunnels are a form of body modification common among hipsters.

Tunnels, along with tattoos and other piercings, are a way of attracting attention and expression. The history of this type of piercing dates back to ancient times. Ear tunnels are a common jewelry among African and Polynesian tribes.

Ear tunnels

All About Ear
Stretching (Ear Gauging)

The ears of different people differ in size and shape.

Some have a lobe attached to the face, others - freely hangs down. In the first case, the maximum diameter of the hole usually does not exceed 12 mm. In the second case, the tensile efficiency is higher. You can reach a diameter of 30 mm. The location of the hole is important. In order to stretch the lobe strongly, it is important that the hole is located slightly above the middle.

The first priority is to find an experienced master who will perform the puncture in the right place, respecting the standards of sanitation. Piercers use two methods of creating tunnels - puncture expansion and lobe cutoff with a scalpel. Each method has advantages and disadvantages.

Ear tunnels
Ear tunnels

Ear stretching (ear gauging)

The hole in the lobe is often made by a process of a planned stretching.

The master pierces the lobe of the ear with a needle and inserts a jewelry. After 2 weeks, a 2 mm extension tool is inserted into the hole. Gradually, the expansion tools are changed to larger diameter. The expansion of the hole is done to sizes that suit the client. The completion time depends on the individual features and the desired diameter, can reach 12-24 months. The speed of stretching depends on the factors:

  • Individual skin characteristics - elasticity, softness.
  • Size of the earlobes.
  • Aftercare. Proper aftercare speeds up the procedure and prevents complications.



The stretching of the lobe is performed to the size that satisfies the client. The maximum hole is 2 mm from the inner surface to the outer edge of the lobe. If you keep stretching, there’s a higher risk of rupture of the lobe.

Ear tunnels

Scalpel cutting

Using a scalpel, the piercer makes a cut on the lobe taking into account the required diameter.

The method is suitable for creating a large tunnel. Plus, decisions are quick. The disadvantage is the necessity for plastic surgery to restore the integrity of the lobe if you decide not to wear tunnels or plugs.

Ear tunnels
Ear tunnels
What jewelry to
choose for the tunnels

The main types of jewelry are tunnels and plugs.

In the first case, it is a ring that has a hole in the middle. Plugs are solid decoration without holes. Choose jewelry that is made of hypoallergenic materials and are biologically compatible with living tissues. The best options are titanium and stainless-steel decorations. High-quality decorations are perfectly smooth surface without chipping, defects and cracks. The comfortable fit simplifies and comforts the stretching process.

If you are at the stage of stretching the hole, refuse jewelry that contains nickel. Metal can provoke an allergic reaction. Nickel decorations can be worn when you reach your desired size.

Ear tunnels
How often should I clean the jewelry

The decorations are cleaned of contaminants daily to avoid the development of inflammatory process and unpleasant odor.

The tunnel, which stays in the lobe for less than 2 weeks after the puncture, should not be removed. It will be difficult to install it back without professional assistance.

Ear tunnels
Ear tunnels
How painful is ear stretching?

Usually, the pain is moderate when the earlobe is stretching.

The pain may increase if the area is too wide. If the pain is strong, throbbing, there is a high probability of inflammatory process. Contact a piercer or a doctor in case of fever and signs of suppuration.

Ear tunnels
Insightful recommendations

In «VeAn» salon you will receive detailed instructions on how to stretch the hole in the earlobe.

As a result, you will be able to stretch your ears as much as possible and wear any decoration to your taste. Stretching the ear is a long process. Do not rush and apply excessive efforts, which can lead to tissue damage. Additional recommendations:

  1. Be patient and observe personal hygiene measures.
  2. Starting stretching, use tools with a diameter of 1.2 mm, gradually increasing the index to 1.6 mm, 2.5 mm, 3 mm and so on.
  3. Have a break of at least 2 weeks before installing the tool for stretching the larger diameter.
  4. Massage the lobe before installing a larger stretching tool.
  5. Wear heavy jewelry to speed up the process without unnecessary injury.
  6. Use the special skin softeners recommended by the piercer. Thanks to the use of emollients, the skin becomes elastic and less damaged when stretched.
  7. Do not remove the decoration. If you do not wear the decoration for several days, the hole may decrease.
  8. Do not touch your ears with dirty hands. Install tools for stretching and decoration after warm shower when the skin is clean and soft.
  9. Disinfect the decorations with the compositions recommended by the piercer.
  10. Protect your ears from accidental damage while playing with pets, exercising and putting on clothes.



The master can enlarge the hole by 3 mm using a titanium tunnel. Silicone tunnels are usually used for holes of more than 6 mm. Bleeding, scarring and other complications are rare in slow stretching. The hole up to 8 mm can be tightened independently if the stretching process has been slow and no aggressive action has been taken.

Ear tunnels
Ear tunnels
What tools are used
to stretch the earlobe

Usually masters use special cones, which are a rod length of 40-60 mm with different diameters.

On one side the diameter of the cone is 3 mm, on the other - more than 8 mm. The wide side corresponds to the size to which you aspire. For stretching the lobes are suitable acrylic spirals and expanders, which should be carefully scrolled until the painful sensations.

Ear tunnels
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