The chances are you have seen influencers, celebrities, and others wearing stunning ear jewelry with holes in the middle.
Or weighted ears with more significant gaps and luxury ear weights.
Maybe you are considering ear stretching yourself and aren’t sure where to start! Well, it is always a good idea to get as much education as you can before you buy any ear stretching kits for yourself.
We all know the standard ear piercing and are familiar with studs, hoops, huggies, and many different ear piercing spots on the ear.
However, not everyone knows that there are differences between ear stretching kits, flesh tunnels, plugs, and ear weights.
What is an ear plug, and what is an ear tunnel?
Many people use ear plugs and flesh tunnels interchangeably, yet these pieces of ear jewelry are different.
A flesh tunnel, when placed in the ear lobe, will have a ‘hole’ through to the other side. Meaning you can see through the space in the ear and out the other side – exactly like a tunnel.
Most often, ear tunnels are decorated at the front.
Ear plugs do not have the same look that a tunnel has. They are solid pieces of material.
What is an ear stretcher?
An ear stretcher is a piece of apparatus (jewelry) used to widen the regular ear piercing hole to a larger diameter.
A typical ear piercing hole is around 1.5mm. To stretch the lobe, a larger, tapered post will be used.
They start smaller and are known as 8 or 10 gauge or 2-3mm.
Starting with the smallest tapered end and gradually moving it to the wider end, you will carefully make the ear-piercing hole bigger.
This takes time to do correctly and without scar tissue or damage to the ear.
An ear stretching kit will contain a number of gauges, allowing you to gently increase the size of the ear-piercing hole over time.
It is essential that you read an ear stretching guide to make sure that you don’t cause what is known as a blowout or create tears and scar damage on your earlobe.
When stretching your lobe, you should keep in mind that due to the healing rate, it is better than you wait between two to six months between stretching. This gives the ear a chance to heal.
What are the different types of ear plugs?
Starting with the most common ear plugs and tunnels.
Screw fit plugs are only used for piercings that have healed. The screw-fit plug has two edges, and the back and front are removable by unscrewing the fastening.
Screw plugs usually have patterns or details on the removable parts.
A no flare plug is a smooth plug that has no flares or ridges. Since it doesn’t have flared ends, a no flare plug is held in place by two O-rings. The O-rings can be adjusted to give you the fit that you prefer.
The no flare plug slides easily into the piercing hole as there are no flares.
Single flare plugs have one lipped edge. The flare is gentle; however, it is enough to stop the plug from falling out.
An O-ring is only needed on one side of the single flare plug. Single flare plugs give more room for details and designs on the larger surface.
Double flared plugs have a flare at each end. You don’t need O-rings to hold these in place.
A double flared plug can only be used for piercings that are fully healed and are healthy. They require the smallest amount of stretch and a gentle touch to get them in place.
What materials do ear plugs and tunnels come in?
You can find a plug or tunnel to suit your tastes in more design and the material.
You can find both types in implant-grade stainless steel, glass, silicone, titanium, wood, bone, acrylic, synthetic stone, and other metal types.
Each of the different metals will need a different cleaning and care routine.
It is essential that you keep both the piercing hole and the jewelry type clean at all times, as this will reduce any build-up and keep your ear lobe healthy.
What are ear weights?
As the name suggests, ear weights are weighted items of jewelry that will fit into a fully healed stretched lobe.
They come in several different weights and styles and can add a unique look to a regular ear lobe stretch.
Much like regular stretched, ear weights come in several sizes and are perfect for short-term wear.