It could be argued that earlobe stretching has been in fashion for millennia since it has been common in many civilizations for thousands of years. Some don't just leave it there, and have made stretching of lips and even the fleshy parts of nose into an art form. However, in Western civilization today, it is the next logical step after tragus and other forms of cartilage piercing have become commonplace.
In earlobe stretching, or earlobe gauging as it is technically known, the original ear piercing is allowed to fully heal while remaining open, and then increased in diameter, or gauge, in small increments, each step being permitted to heal before continuing with the next.
The 'gauge' reference begins at the highest figure, 20g, for the smallest size hole, 0.8 mm and goes all the way down to 00g, or 9 - 10 mm. So as the diameter of the piercing increases, the gauge drops, and after 00g any further increase is expressed in the diameter of the pin, the step after 00g being 11 mm. So, increasing the size of the ear piercing is referred to as 'gauging down'.
So how is earlobe stretching carried out in practice, and must it be carried out by a professional? In fact, gauging earlobes is not difficult, and you can do it yourself, or have a friend do it for you. However, there are some rules that you must obey strictly, or you could end up damaging your ears. Here are the basic procedures involved in stretching your earlobes.