So you have decided to join the crowd and stretch your ears, but you don’t know what kind of piercing tool to use to get started. The tool used to turn a small gauge hole (18g to 16g in size) into a larger hole are called tapers, or ear stretchers. Tapers are available in a multitude of shapes, sizes, colors and materials. (The ones shown are UV reactive plastic tapers.) They come in straight, curved, and circular cross-over varieties, or they can be made of steel. The idea is to use smaller tapers and gently work your way up by placing the smaller end inside the hole and pushing/twisting the taper further in each day until you have reached the end. Then, if you still want to go larger, you simply insert the next size taper and work that one in and so on until you have reached the size you want to be.
Of course, you will need to begin with a small hole. This hole can created with the help of a body piercer (by use of a needle) or by getting a standard ear-piercing. Just make sure that before you start ‘stretching’ the hole that it is completely healed and ready. Also, do not stretch too quickly or you could tear the tissue and create permanent scar-tissue around the area, also called a ‘blow-out’. The other major consideration is that once you have stretched beyond a certain point (usually beyond 00 Gauge) your ears will require plastic surgery to return them to their natural shape.