Gauging is the process of stretching the skin by using a hole [piercing]. It originated with African tribes centuries ago and now in the modern day has become a fashion trend common among the piercing and tattoo crowd.
Some Basic Facts:
The sizes for gauging go by two’s, starting at a 20 gauge, [the size of a normal ear lobe piercing]and as the diameter goes up, the size number goes down by two. [i.e. 20,18,16,14,12,ect] Gauges can go over one inch in diameter, however this usually requires a lot of time and customized jewlery to achieve. The tissue on the ear is very stretchable and any gauging done under an inch can go back to normal over time. Any gauging over an inch will most likely require surgery to restore the ear lobe to it’s normal state.
How to Gauge Your Ears:
Gauging your ears can start one of two ways. If you want to start out with a larger gauge, you can go to a professional piercer and have them pierce your ear with a larger gauge size. By doing this, you have removed the amount of skin that you would normally stretch with gauging skipping a few sizes. This is usually done by people who don’t want to take the normal amount of time required to do traditionally gauging.
The other way to gauge your ears is to start with a smaller size [it’s pointless to start at a 20 gauge since it’s a normal piercing size and a waste of money]. I suggest starting at a 16 gauge, it’ll make some progress but not be too painful. Whatever you do, do NOT skip gauge sizes after you get to a size 10 gauge, it will hurt really bad. Treat your newly gauged ears as new piercings. Soaking your ear lobes in salt water will help speed up the healing process and make sure you don’t get infected.
You should allow one month of healing time while going up gauge sizes, one month for each new gauge. After the gauged ear has healed, you should take your gauge out and clean it frequently [a few times a week]. An easy way to remember doing this is to take your gauges out while you’re in the shower and to put them back in after you get out of the shower. The heat and moisture of the shower allows you to clean your gauges without having them close up.
Warning if you are not a fan of pain or have a very low tolerence for it, gauging may not be for you. It is not incredibly painful but the larger the gauge size, the more painful it will be.
Types of Jewlery Used For Gauging:
There are many types of jewlery used for gauging ears. For smaller gauges, I suggest captive ball rings made of andonized titanium. For medium gauge sizes, I suggest tapers or smaller plugs. For larger sizes, I suggest tunnels or plugs. Your jewlery can be changed as often as you’d [after the gauge has healed]to suit your mood or your style. These can be found in stores such as Hot Topic, as well as online as stores such as MsPiercing.Com .
I hope this has helped :]