Point of no return?

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Tuesday April 29th, 2008 @ 8:40 PM

Filed under: Ear

I have heard there is a “point of no return” with ear lobe stretching, where the hole will never return to a “normal” 16 or 18g size. At what gauge of jewelry is this “point of no return?”



There’s no solid answer- “it depends” is the best I can do.
I’ve seen people at 1.5″ who’ve shrunk down to nothing, and people who’re at 1″ stay at 00g permanently. It depends on a variety of factors and as such there’s no definite answer.

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22 Responses to “Point of no return?”

  1. My husband got “lost” his stretched ears when he tried to stretch from 2g to a 0g pair of bamboo tunnels (I know, I know, porous organics for stretching or any other non-healed state is a huge no-no…he knew better too). He’s always been able to leave the jewelry out for a week without trouble. He stopped wearing any jewelry in his lobes about three years ago and can still pop a 6g-8g (depending on jewelry type and flare) in either lobe. Mine are at 00g now and if I leave my jewelry out for a week they’ll shrink all the way to 2g or 4g. So it does go both ways.

    Stephanie on April 30th, 2008 at 5:10 am
  2. This is true. My ears are at 1 1/4″ and I have downsized several times. Letting my ears rest naked for several months brings my ears down to a loose 3/4″, that’s it.

    Our bodies are very fickle and individual things.

    Kaylee on April 30th, 2008 at 12:19 pm
  3. I would think that massaging the lobes with jojoba or emu oil regularly would speed things up a bit.

    Quinnie on May 23rd, 2008 at 5:10 am
  4. I stretched my ears very safely, I got my ears pierced for the first time at age 19 and I let them heal for the suggested 8 weeks. I then started to stretch them by putting a 16 gauge in and letting it heal for 2 weeks, then I went up each size til I hit a 0 gauge. I wore my 0 gauges proudly for about 8 months. I noticed when I spoke to my managers at work (petsmart) about me moving up in the field they always seemed uneasy or almost amused at the suggestion. Then again, none of the current manager have even seen my resume since the only two who have no longer work there. I told myself I’m tired of working on the bottom and tired of people not taking me seriously as a business man, so I decided to ‘downgauge’ my ears. I still did this the smart way, taking my 0’s out and putting in 4’s, letting it heal then putting in 10’s, letting it heal then putting in 16s. I had the 16’s in for about 2 months and when I decided to take them out all together last night, I noticed my ears have only went down to about a 12 or 14. It doesn’t appear as if they will return to a smaller size anytime soon.

    People’s bodies can react different ways, just keep in mind the longer you have a stretched ear the harder it will be to ‘downsize’, and the bigger you stretch it the harder still.

    Austin B on June 18th, 2008 at 11:01 am
  5. I downsized from a 7/16 and when I decided to re stretch I had to start at a 16 again, now I’m currently and a 1/2″ and stretching. My fiance was at 2 3/4″ and completely downsized to a 12g. So it honestly does depend on the person.

    steve on October 12th, 2009 at 10:42 am
  6. i have mine at a 6 going to a 0 i might have went to fast but i had my ear pierced for 4 years then i stretched to 14 in minutes left it in for 2 months then started stretching i stretched to a 6 in 3 days but i tried numerous times to do it once i had it at a 6 for 10 days and it grew up in a night so i dunno trying to avoid a blowout haha

    josh p on October 31st, 2009 at 10:11 pm
  7. Slightly off topic, but here’s my recent experience with a large gauge non-lobe piercing:

    I had a 0g lorum scalpeled about a year ago. It was slightly too shallow at one end and never toughened to my satisfaction, even with very light teflon jewelry, so I finally gave up on it about 6-8 weeks ago and removed it completely.

    Two nights ago I thought I’d see if the fistula had indeed closed, so I tried sliding a 14g barbell through, which fit with plenty of room to spare. I stepped it up to an 8g cbb and it was still a little loose. I couldn’t get 6g jewelry all the way through, but if I had a taper on hand it would have been a breeze.

    I’m wearing 8g jewelry for the moment, but should I decide to ditch the piercing altogether, I highly doubt the fistula will completely close by itself - the diameter only dropped by about half in well over a month. Eliminating the hole completely will probably require severing the thinnest part of the skin at the very least.

    Anyway, estimates can be made, but interpersonal variation is huge. A friend was able to reinsert 14g jewelry into her tongue piercing effortlessly after leaving it out for 8 years - your mileage *will* vary. There certainly is a point of no return, but you probably won’t know until you’ve passed it…

    redeye on November 3rd, 2009 at 4:26 am
  8. The whole “point of no return” is completely diffrent for everyone because i have a friend that was at a size 2 and within a month and half they were completely closed up. I on the other hand who has had size 7/16s for about 2 years now will still close up atleast 2 sizes over night if they happen to fall out. Personaly i wouldnt recomend going past maybe a 5/8s

    Kody on January 20th, 2010 at 12:00 am
  9. well, what i have researched is that typically around a 0G-00G is where you are in danger of reaching the Point Of No Return, however there are always the “exceptions” who have gone back down to normal from 1″ or so, and some people who could only go back to a 4G or 6G after only being at a 0G.
    just look at the size and shape of your ears. tug on them a little. are they small, sort of tight? are they stretchy? i would say that if you are having an easy time stretching your ears, then they have a better chance of going back to normal in the future. but if stretching is becoming a painful process as you go to bigger sizes, and you feel like you’re “stretching them beyond their capacity”, then you might have a little trouble going back down.

    Liz on February 9th, 2010 at 8:43 pm
  10. I went up to 0g and my ear went back to its normal size within a couple of months im at 14 g again.. & my other ear that got infected completely closed up but let a scar.

    Cindy on April 30th, 2010 at 10:46 pm
  11. Everyone is different - I was up to 0g and I took it out and was back to normal overnight. Seriously.

    Lauren on June 20th, 2011 at 1:51 pm
  12. I had gone up to 00’s once and had to remove them. in 3 days, they closed all the way up to standard 18g.

    I have since re gauged to 00’s. if i leave out my tunnels, they’ll close to about a 4 in a few hours, but they restretch easily,

    Tom on September 26th, 2011 at 9:05 pm
  13. i stretched my ear with a 04g taper over 3 months. yea i had a taper hanging out my ear for my summer. once it was a 04 i put a plug in for a week or so. then i took it out and it shrunk in 3-4 days with no problem. and i recently stretched that ear back from a 12-10g to a 04g in 20 seconds.

    Raine on October 8th, 2011 at 5:33 pm
  14. Well I’ve stretched my ears a couple of times now. First time i went to 2’s then they fell out so i just left them out; healed back to about a 10 in 2 days. Second time i stretched to a 0, healed back in 7 days. Now im at 00’s and i kinda wanna go to half inch, but i am kinda scared to find out if my ears will go back. Help?

    Nai on October 14th, 2011 at 1:14 am
  15. I stretched my ears all by myself. I started last April & went up to a 6 in July. My dad said he didn’t want me to have them, so he forced me to take them out. As the weekend past, they completely closed up. I talked to my dad about it & he decided to let me have them again. Started at 10s & went up to an 8 the next week, then to a 4 about 3 weeks later & then went to a 2 after another 2 weeks. I’m wanting to go up to a 0 or 00 but I’m not sure if my ears will be permanently like that. & My ears are pretty stretchy too.

    Sydney on November 13th, 2011 at 6:31 pm
  16. Well I had mine at 00 for a course through a year of high school. I took them out when. I realized how hars it was to get a well paying job. In a month they shrunk down to where they just looked like normal ungauged ear lobes. But I finally got a good paying job where they didn’t flip on body Jewelery or gauges so I decided to pop them back in. I started with the 8s but they slid right through. So I kept going up. And I was able to go straight to the 0s then 00 a few days later.

    alex on November 25th, 2011 at 1:20 am
  17. hahaha i stretched my ear to 10 mm in 2 weeks jumping 2/3mm each time and decided to take it out last night and its basically fully healed already! i think the only variable is it just depends what your skin can do!

    ashley on March 9th, 2012 at 8:05 am
  18. I went from 12s to 0s
    With no problem
    Really hurt a lot but
    There awesome now

    Cheuy on June 19th, 2012 at 12:01 am
  19. A LOT of it has to do with age and genetics. (I’m a neuroscience major) and to get into hospitals and programs I can’t have my gauges…which are 5/8. I’ve had them so long they’re a part of me and I cannot imagine life without them. But nonetheless around 30 most of us lose a lot of our skin plasticity. So if you do indeed want to “go back down” the younger the better. If you notice other things are starting to sag…then so are your ears.

    Cait on August 20th, 2012 at 9:17 am
  20. I had mine at a 2 and went back to normal size in a week but my friend had the same size and her’s stayed at a 2 for several months

    Really depends on the person.

    Jenna on December 16th, 2012 at 2:48 pm
  21. I don’t know, I won’t try anyway.
    I have 00g in one ear.
    My earlobes heal slowely. It tooks me 6weeks always when I stretched for the last time.
    But when I do 2times there is a time from 1month. [like my piercer always adviced]
    so I don’t know, my piercer knows where he is talking about,
    skipping gauges doesn’t matter as long as it isn’t more than 2mm.
    so I started with 4mm than 6mm..I waited 1,5 year than decided to go to 8mm to come to 10mm. :)
    so soon I have my ear stretched for 2 years. :)

    I don’t know if they ever go back to normal if I give it a chance… I don’t know why I should ever try, I don’t want to get rid from it.

    someone on June 14th, 2013 at 9:21 am
  22. I stretched my ears two weeks at a time, until I reached a 00g and left them in for almost two 1/2 years, I took them out and they went down to about a 12g, and it’s been about a year since, they aren’t going down anymore

    d.y on June 24th, 2013 at 7:50 pm

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