taping

The In Depth Stretching Guide.

In depth stretching guide.

What you need: KY Jelly (or another skin safe water based lubricant), correct jewellery, bondage tape, BioOil (or another oil like jojoba, vitamin e or emu oil), a lot of patience and a lot of time.

Let’s start off. Your ears. They should have been pierced for a minimum of 6-9 months before you begin stretching. You should also know what gauge they were pierced at. For the purpose of this guide, I’ll assume they are pierced at 16g (1.2mm).

Starting out: Get some 1.6mm internally threaded jewellery. It can be a labret, barbell, septum keeper. Massage your ear whilst bathing/showering, and cover the jewellery, and the front of your lobe with the lube. Slowly, push the jewellery through. If you meet any resistance, stop, wait a week (whilst massaging daily) and try again. Congratulations, you’ve made your first foray into the world of stretching!

Now, you want to wait a month,  and get some 2mm/12g jewellery. Make sure, it has to be internally threaded/not threaded. Repeat the process again, remember. Any pain, stop, and wait a week whilst massaging your lobes daily. Continue through 2.4mm/10g to 3mm/8g.

Now, we’re up at 3.2mm/8g. It should have taken you three months to get here. Now we want to start taping. You want to get some surgical steel/titanium plugs (or tunnels, your choice!). Lube your ears up, and pop them in. I say pop, but, make sure you do it slowly and carefully. As this is the first stretch up into ‘larger’ territory, you can use a taper. Now, the number one rule of stretching, tapers aren’t jewellery! Get the taper, and hold the larger end against the end of the plug. Make sure they line up. Lube them both up, as well as the piercing, and in one swift motion, push the taper through. As you have the plug lined up on the end of the taper, it’ll slide through into place. Try not to use acrylic tapers, as they have a very bad size gradient and often lead to tearing of the piercing fistula. So.  Now you have a nice 3.2mm stretch.

How do I start taping?! I hear you cry. Well. Here we go. Wait a week. Make sure the stretch is happy, healthy, and not sore in anyway. Carefully cut a strip of the bondage tape, and wrap one layer around the plug. You want to make sure it doesn’t overlap, as you just want one layer on the begin with. Cover the tape and plug in your chosen oil, and put it back in. Now, wait for another week, and do another tape wrap. And then one last time in another week. So, you’ve done three tape wraps in three weeks. Every other day, you want to remove the plug and cover it in oil again to make sure the tape doesn’t dry your lobes out.

Now, because you need to include every mm increment, you may find the most cost effective way of doing this, is using acrylic. As you should be aware, acrylic is terrible for stretched piercings. So, there’s a way around this. Instead of waiting a month before reaching the next g/mm, wait 5 weeks, and do one more tape wrap. This means, when you reach the next mm (ie 3mm to 4mm) you end up with a fraction over 4mm. This means, you can pop a new tape wrap over the new plug, preventing the acrylic from ever touching your ears.

Now, you’ll want to repeat this allll the way up (and I mean ALL THE WAY) up to your goal size. Never skip, never keep going if it hurts, and never use acrylic. Always lube and oil!

So, here it is in a nutshell (from 3mm)

1.       Insert the plug safely, using a taper. Wait a week.

2.       First tape wrap. Oil oil oil!

3.       Wait a week. Second tape wrap. What’s the magic word? OIL!

4.       Wait a week, third wrap. Oil.

5.       Wait a week, fourth and final tape wrap. Oil.

6.       Get the next plug size up (4mm in this case) and do one tape wrap.

7.       Then, insert the plug. Any resistance, stop, wait a week.

So, there we go! The seven step next size tape wrap method!

Any questions, just ask!

© Hayflick – Emily Armstrong.

Time to put on your shades! For today’s summer lightning nail art I used all 7 of the new faded neons from the KBShimmer 2015 Summer Collection, plus one of the crelly glitters. While I am enjoying the occasional rain we are having right now in San Diego, California, I always anticipate those summer months. Who else is ready for summer?
Bright Summer Lightning Nail Art using KBShimmer & Nail Mail