How Do You Keep Tapers In Place?

Tapers are small conically shaped rods or plugs that are gradually inserted into stretched piercings in order to help gauge up to larger sizes. The gradual stretching is typically done over many weeks or months in small increments of 1mm at a time to allow the piercing to slowly adjust without causing trauma or damage.

Tapers serve an important purpose in the stretching process as they allow for controlled and safe incremental increases in size. Their tapered shape allows the jewelry to gently ease through the fistula rather than forcing enlargement all at once. When used properly and with patience, tapers can help aid in stretching piercings and improving overall ear health.


Proper preparation is key for keeping tapers in place safely and comfortably. Prior to insertion, make sure to thoroughly clean the area that will be stretched, including the lobes and jewelry, using a mild soap and warm water. Avoid using harsh soaps, chemicals, or rubbing alcohol, as these can dry out and irritate the skin. Pat the area completely dry afterwards.

Gather any materials needed beforehand to make the process smoother. Having on hand:
– The tapers or plugs in the next size up
– Fresh sterile lubricant like emu oil or jojoba oil
– A hot compress or shower to relax the tissue
– Gloves, if desired
– A soft towel or gauze for aftercare
Taking a few minutes to get fully prepared with cleaned ears and all necessary supplies will set you up for easier stretching and keeping tapers secure.

Sizing Tapers Properly

When stretching any body part, it’s crucial to size up tapers gradually. Skipping taper sizes can lead to tears, blowouts, and other injuries. Start with a taper that is only 1mm or less larger than your current jewelry size. From there, wait until your lobe has fully healed and loosened before inserting the next incrementally larger taper.

Ideally, stretch no more than 1mm at a time. Half sizes (0.5mm) are even better for gradual stretching without trauma. Listen to your body and don’t force larger tapers if there is resistance or pain. Rushing the process almost always leads to blowouts, while patience allows healthy, comfortable stretching. Give your lobes several weeks or months between each new taper until the next size slides in smoothly without forcing.

Purchase high-quality tapers in every available increment to stretch safely. Skipping sizes simply to save money leads to harm. Proper sizing is the key to happy, healthy stretched lobes.


Lubrication is an important step when inserting tapers that helps ensure a smooth and comfortable experience. Applying lubricant like oil or balm to the taper makes insertion easier by reducing friction. The taper glides in more smoothly when properly lubricated, which prevents unnecessary irritation or abrasion of the sensitive ear canal tissue.

Only use lubricants specifically designed for body use, like high-quality emu or jojoba oil. Avoid petroleum-based oils like Vaseline. Apply a moderate amount around the tip and down the sides of the taper. Spread the lubricant thoroughly and evenly along the taper’s surface. Reapply if needed during the process to keep things slick.

Proper lubrication allows the taper to slide in gently rather than requiring force. It protects the delicate skin inside the ear canal so that the stretching process is as painless as possible. Don’t attempt inserting tapers without lube as this can lead to tearing, bleeding, and other damage. Take the time to lubricate tapers well so that ear stretching is smooth and comfortable.


When inserting tapers, go slowly and gently to avoid pain or injury. Never force a taper in place. Slowly guide the taper into the stretched piercing, allowing time for the tissue to gradually relax around the taper’s increasing width. Apply a small amount of pressure and pause for moments between incremental movements. Listen to your body’s signals. Any sharp or sudden pain is an indicator to stop and wait. Rushing the process can cause unnecessary soreness, bleeding, blowouts or tears.

Patiently ease in the taper until it slides through smoothly. Avoid extensive pushing or tugging which strains the area. The taper should slide in with little resistance if your piercing is ready to size up. Forcing them to stretch prematurely leads to damage. Wait longer between stretches if the taper won’t slide in comfortably. Your lobes will gradually relax around the taper as they get accustomed to the slightly larger gauge jewelry.

Take deep breaths and relax the muscles around the piercing. Anxiety and tension impede the stretching process. Go slowly until the taper moves through the piercing smoothly and easily. The gentle journey allows your lobes time to conform around the taper without excess stress or trauma.


Once the taper is fully inserted, it’s important to keep it stabilized in place for the duration it needs to stay in. There are a few methods to ensure the taper doesn’t slip out or move around:

  • Taper locks – These are small devices that lock around the flare of the taper to hold it in place. They come in various designs from simple plastic locks to more heavy-duty metal hinged locks.
  • Bondage tape – Wrapping bondage tape (self-sticking non-residue tape) around the taper and ear can help stabilize it. Wrap gently taking care not to restrict blood flow.
  • O-rings – These rubber rings can be used to stabilize jewelry. Slide an o-ring up against the taper’s flare to hold it in place.
  • Tunnels – Wearing a flesh tunnel in the next size down nestled against the taper can add stability.
  • Taping – For short-term wear, wrapping a small piece of medical tape gently around the taper’s exposed end can hold it securely.

Avoid excessive movement, touching, or playing with the taper once it’s inserted. Try to sleep on the opposite side. Stabilizing the taper properly ensures it stays put for safe stretching.


When it comes to how long to keep tapers in, patience and care are key. After inserting a new taper size, it’s crucial to wait until your ear is fully healed and adjusted before attempting to size up again. This can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks or even longer if there is any pain or resistance.

It’s important not to rush the tapering process. Forcing a taper through before your ear is ready will likely cause injury and set you back in your stretching journey. Give your ear ample time at each new size to relax, stabilize, and regenerate healthy stretched tissue.

A good rule of thumb is to keep the same taper in for at least 2 months before moving to the next increment. Some people find they need 3-4 months or more between sizes, especially at larger gauge stretches. Listen to your body rather than aiming for a particular timeline.

Patience now prevents problems later. Allowing proper healing time will help your ears gradually adapt to larger sizes. Rushing can lead to blowouts, tears, and other issues that may require letting your ears shrink back down and restarting the process. Take your time and let your tissue fully adjust at each taper size.


When removing tapers, never force them out or pull on them aggressively, as this can damage your earlobe. Instead, follow these steps for safe removal:

Massage your earlobes with oil for a few minutes before removing your tapers. This helps relax the tissue. Gently wiggle and twist the taper to loosen it without causing trauma. Rotate the taper back and forth as you ease it out of your lobe. Go slowly and stop if you feel any pinching or pain. Removing tapers should never hurt if done properly.

Once the taper is out, clean your ears and jewelry thoroughly with saline solution or an antibacterial soap. Examine your lobes for any tears, bleeding or irritation. If your ears look red, swollen or feel hot, take a break from stretching to allow them to heal before inserting your next size jewelry.

Patience is key when removing tapers. Never yank them out forcefully. Taking your time prevents injury and allows your lobes to adjust to each decrease in size. Proper taper removal sets you up for healthy, successful stretching.


Once the taper has been removed, it’s important to perform some aftercare on your stretched ears. This helps prevent infection, swelling, and irritation.

First, gently massage your lobes to promote blood flow. Use a natural oil like jojoba or vitamin E and make gentle circular motions around the lobe and piercing. Massaging helps reduce inflammation and discomfort.

Next, clean the piercings to remove any discharge or dried bodily fluids. Use a saline solution or gentle soap to wipe away debris. Avoid using harsh cleaners or chemicals that could further irritate the area. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel.

It’s also advisable to apply a healing ointment like vitamin A&D to the lobes after cleaning. This soothes the skin and prevents drying or cracking. Continue massaging daily with oil and cleaning with saline for a week or two while the lobes heal.

Proper aftercare ensures stretched piercings recover properly. Always be gentle and patient with new tapers as the lobes adjust to the new size.


In this piece, we’ve explored the importance of properly sizing, lubricating, inserting, and stabilizing taper plugs for beginners. While the stretching process requires diligence, patience, and care, the results can be quite rewarding if done correctly. Always start small, listen to your body, stabilize tapers well, and take ample time between each new size. Rushing the stretching journey often leads to pain, blowouts, infections, and other issues that could set you back for weeks or months. Be safe, be patient, and happy stretching!

The journey toward your goal size is a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time, do your research, and proceed with caution as you gradually size up. Your lobes will thank you in the long run. Remember to keep your plugs and tunnels clean and lubricated at all times as well. With mindful, steady progress, you’ll be rocking your dream gauge in no time. Just remain patient, listen to your body, and keep safety first above all else.

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