How Can I Stretch My Ear Piercing To 16g?

Are you struggling to fit your new 16g jewellery in your cartilage piercing? Don't worry, we're here to help!

First of all, let's explain why the jewellery won't fit through your piercing. Most cartilage piercings by a licensed professional are made with a 16 gauge (1.2mm) needle and fitted with 16g jewellery, however if you had your ear pierced with a gun at Claires Accessories for example, they will simply pierce your ears with a thin butterfly-back stud which has a much thinner post than 16 gauge.

Here are the most common gauge conversions, it's good to remember the higher the number the thinner the post will be.

16 gauge = 1.2mm
18 gauge = 1.0mm
20 gauge = 0.8mm

So the reason why you're having trouble is because your piercing hole simply isn't wide enough for the 16 gauge jewellery. If you were pierced with a 16g needle but removed the jewellery and started wearing thinner earrings, this will cause your piercing hole to shrink down to the size of the earring being worn.

 It's possible to stretch your piercing back up to 16g so you can wear labrets, clickers and barbells. The best way to do this is to use a labret taper. A taper is a stainless steel bar which gradually gets larger, it starts at 20g and finishes at 16g.

Use the taper after showering as the warm water softens and loosens the skin making it easier to stretch. Once you can fit the taper all the way to the thicker end, you'll be able to put the labret through. It may take a bit of time and perseverance and it may be a little sore for the first few hours once fitted but it will subside.