In contrast to standard ear piercing, which is performed with an 18-gauge needle, ear plugs range from 12 gauge to over two inches. These require time and patience to gradually stretch the ear lobe to the size that you want. For some ear plugs, O rings or black rubber rings are inserted around the ends of the plug to prevent them from falling out. Double flare plugs, on the other hand, do not need O rings because the ends of the plug have a lip that keeps the plug in place.
Make sure the holes in your ears are big enough for the double flare plugs to fit. Although this is not a huge stretch, your ears must be ready. Gently tug on your ear with your current plugs in. If you see a space of a few millimeters remaining between the plug and your skin, then you are ready. If you do not see a space then you will not be able to fit the double flare plugs in or have difficulty doing so.
Take a shower. Massage your ears in the hot water and gently tug on the lobes to loosen them up. After a hot shower your ear lobes will be much more elastic, and it will be easier for the plugs to fit in.
Lubricate the double flare plugs with vitamin E oil. This will not only prevent friction which could cause tearing; it also reduces swelling and the buildup of scar tissue once the plugs are in.
Stick one double=flare plug into your ear starting with an edge. Work your way around and press the edge into your ear until the plug is completely in. Do this with the other ear as well. Apply more vitamin E oil to reduce swelling.
Using a taper will help and is advised if you are moving up to a higher gauge.
Do not force them in. If you see blood, chances are your ears are not ready to be stretched. Listen to your body.
Ian Moore is a student pursuing an associate degree in music and holds a bachelor's degree in English. Moore has been a writer for more than 10 years. He holds a TESOL certification and has taught English abroad. Moore has published work for Transitions Abroad.