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Thread: How to Stretch Using the Taping Method

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    How to Stretch Using the Taping Method


    While it does not specifically note taping, many of the same suggestions apply, such as potential damage, wait times, and listening to your body, which is the most important part of stretching. Remember, if it hurts, that's your body's way of telling you that it isn't ready to stretch. Time is the best tool for stretching well and stretching healthily.

    Taping is a method of stretching your piercing by wrapping one or more layers of non-stick, non-porous tape around a suitable piece of jewelry, then using it to gradually stretch your piercing by adding more tape every few days.

    Recommended Tapes :
    • Plumber's Tape/Teflon Tape/ PTFE Tape: This can be found in your local hardware store's plumbing section, and generally costs under $2 a roll. It is a plastic tape that contains no toxic adhesives. It's very thin, and can sometimes be difficult to work with, but that does make it very easy to smooth out any wrinkles.

    • Bondage Tape: This tape can be found in sex shops or ordered online. Many people prefer it because it because it's a little thicker, so it takes less wraps to achieve the size you want, although that does make it slightly sharper. Obviously, it can be hard to get a hold of if you are under 18.

    • Do NOT use electric tape. It's adhesive contains carcinogens and other potentially harmful chemicals.

    Recommended Lubricants :
    Lubricating the tape after wrapping it around your jewelry is very important, as it can prevent damage by making insertion easier and can prevent the tape from sticking to your ears. Emu oil and Jojoba oil are two popular oils. You can read about some of their benefits on their product pages:

    • Emu oil: Emu oil IS made from emu fats, so it is not a vegan-friendly oil.

    • Jojoba oil: This is a noncomedogenic plant oil, very close in composition to your skin's natural sebum.

    • Mineral oil:This is a medical grade oil that will not go rancid, unlike the other two. It is, however, comedogenic, unlike the other two oils, and is not as easily absorbed by the skin.

    *Please be aware that you could have sensitivity or an allergic reaction to any of these oils if you are not familiar with them, so please do a patch test somewhere OTHER than inside of your piercing before you use it!*

    The Process:
    Begin with appropriate jewelry: single or no flare, non porous jewelry is recommended - titanium, niobium (except matte black), glass or steel.

    Wrap one or two layers of tape around the jewelry as smoothly as you can. Once you have done that, slather the tape in oil. Really work it in, because the tape will absorb the oil. If you can insert the jewelry into your piercing easily, do so. If you cannot, it is either A) because you have used too much tape; remove some, or B) you have not used enough oil. If in doubt, always go with A. You should never, EVER, have to force a piece of jewelry into your piercing.

    After several days (a minimum of 4-5 is recommended) add more tape. Some people wrap new layers around the original tape with no ill effects; some replace all of the tape so that they can thoroughly clean everything. Keep repeating this until you reach the next size, at which point you should stop and give your ears time to rest and heal before starting the taping process again.

    There is no definitive answer to "How many wraps of tape will I need to get to such-and-such gauge?" All the variables are different every time so it is impossible to answer. Your best bet is to invest in a pair of calipers and measure for yourself. It is also advisable to invest in a pair of plugs in the aforementioned materials at each size to aid in healing and make it easier to continue taping.
    Last edited by omnipotato; 08-29-2010 at 06:06 PM.

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