Welcome to the vast, beautiful world of body modification. Before it became synonymous with alternative fashion and lifestyles, body modification marked a rich cultural heritage, tradition, and beliefs.
Today, some body modifications have made their way to mainstream culture and have opened their doors to welcome the masses, and by extension, you. If the art of piercing and stretched lobes have captured your heart, here’s your go-to guide to understanding the differences between plug, tunnels, and gauges!
Plugs and gauges are two terms that are commonly used in the world of ear stretching and stretched piercings. They are often used interchangeably to refer to the jewelry worn with stretched piercings - but they are not one and the same.
Gauge actually refers to the US scale of measurement used to identify the thickness of the jewelry or diameter of the stretched piercing (in countries that use the metric system, millimetres (mm) is generally the preferred measuring metric). And plugs are the jewelry themselves!
Here’s a visual of two different gauges of the same jewelry:
Our Classic Croissant Saddle Hangers on @twigmakeup in 20mm and @astralfriendd in 12mm.
Ear plugs are a type of jewelry worn in a stretched piercing.
Plugs have existed for thousands of years. Then called earspools, they date back to the various early civilizations across the globe that practised ear stretching as part of their sacred cultures.
In addition to their historical significance, plugs then (and also today) help keep the stretched piercing in shape and stop them from shrinking to their original size.
Due to their design, ear plugs can come in a variety of forms, designs, and even materials. Whilst they are more commonly cylindrical-shaped, plugs can also come in other forms, such as teardrops. You can get a pair made from acrylic, glass, wood, stone, and even bone! Most ear plugs’ designs are plain to bring forth the natural allure of the material, but if you wish to show more of your personality, plugs come with elaborate and intricate designs at the front plate.
Before you fall in love with your perfect pair, take note that not all plugs are designed and will wear the same. So here are 5 of the common types of ear plugs you’ll find:
Double Flare: Double-flared ear plugs are flared at both ends and fixed. As such, don’t require any o-rings.
Single Flare: Single-flared ear plugs feature a flare on the top end, with the bottom end held in place with an o-ring
No Flare: Non-flared plugs are the same size throughout and are typically held in place with an o-ring.
Screw-Fit: Screw-fit earplugs and flesh tunnels are flared at both ends, but one end is screwed in, making it easier to wear and take off as the lobes won't have to overcome the typically wider flare.
- Saddle-Fit: Saddle-Fit ear plugs have ends that flare just a tad bit, its edges are more smoothed out in comparison to the double-flared. They also feature smooth, gentle slopes on the ‘waist’ that meet their flare ends - a distinct characteristic unique to only saddle-fit plugs.
Adorn your ears with our ear plugs and kindle your newfound flame for the alternative. Take your pick from our favourites below!
Similar to ear plugs, ear tunnels are cylindrical pieces that fit in a stretched piercing. The only difference being tunnels (as its name suggests) is hollow inside and you can see through the jewelry. With its design, ear tunnels give you more flexibility and creative freedom to curate your ear however you want! If you want to go for a simple, everyday look, a more minimal design can give you that added subtle charm or if louder looks are more you, add on a hanger or earring to craft a unique stack of your own.
Have a look at how our Circle curates their own:
Let your creativity take over and create different looks that are unique to you!
Plunge Into the World of the Alternative Style
Your alternative adventure is just getting started and we hope you enjoy the journey of discovering another side of you.
Find your new favourites to add to your growing collection here, and enjoy free shipping when you hit the minimum order value*.
*Minimum order value may vary from country to country.