Gauge piercings, also known as stretched piercings, are a popular form of body modification. Many people are drawn to the unique look of gauge piercings, which involve gradually increasing the size of earlobe piercings over time.
However, before taking the plunge, it’s important to understand all the costs associated with this process. This article will break down the average pricing and additional expenses to help you budget properly for gauge piercings.
Getting gauge piercings is an investment – both financially and in terms of health and safety. Working with an experienced professional piercer at a reputable studio is paramount to ensure the process is done properly and safely.
With the right information and budgeting, gauge piercings can be an exciting and rewarding body modification.
How Much Do Gauge Piercings Cost?
Here’s a rough breakdown of the total expenses for getting gauge piercings and properly maintaining them:
- Initial piercings: $80 – $150
- Jewelry: $30 – $60
- Stretching sessions: $30 – $60 per session
- Aftercare products: $20 – $40
- Long-term jewelry replacements: $30 – $100 per pair
This means a complete gauge piercing project from start to goal size could cost $500 – $1,000 or more, factoring in studio fees, jewelry, and supplies for aftercare. However, costs ultimately depend on factors like desired gauge size, studio rates, and extra piercings.
Reddit users report a wide range of costs, including an average of $50 for a professional to do the piercing, $70 for both sides at a specific location, and varying costs for stretching kits and aftercare products.
Factors That Influence the Price of Gauge Piercings
There are several factors that affect the total cost of gauge piercings:
The Studio and Piercer
Choosing an experienced piercer at a studio that follows rigorous sanitation and safety standards is the most important factor. Licensed studios charge more than independent piercers because they have higher overhead costs.
However, paying more for a reputable studio and piercer greatly reduces the risks of complications. Expect to pay $50 – $100 per piercing session at a professional studio.
High quality jewelry made of implant-grade materials like titanium or glass will cost more upfront but are safer for fresh piercings. Lower quality metals like surgical steel can irritate the piercing. Quality jewelry starts around $30 – $60 per pair but customized designs can cost over $100.
Larger gauge sizes require more sessions to stretch the lobes gradually. Most studios charge a flat rate per session, but some charge slightly more for larger gauge increments. The initial standard earlobe piercing costs $30 – $50. Going up one gauge size at a time costs $30 – $60 per session.
Getting multiple piercings at once adds up quickly. For example, a transverse lobe piercing (in the flat part of the ear) may cost $30 – $50 in addition to standard lobe piercings. Most studios offer package deals for multiple piercings in one session.
Hidden Costs and Aftercare Requirements
Along with studio fees and jewelry, you’ll need to budget for aftercare costs:
- Sea salt sprays and saline solutions for cleaning – $10 – $20
- Vitamin E oil or moisturizers for massages – $5 – $15
- Special soaps – $10 – $20
Regular massages and cleaning the piercings is vital during the stretching process. Plan to purchase supplies for the entire stretching journey, around 6 – 12 months. There’s also the possibility of needing custom jewelry if your ears swell or shrink, which can cost $50 – $200.
Don’t forget the cost of follow-up visits and tipping your piercer, which can add $40 – $100 or more.
Should You Get Piercings at Home?
With the right tools and education, it’s possible to stretch piercings yourself at home. But the risks are much higher without professional guidance. Improper stretching can lead to:
- Blowouts – torn earlobe tissue
- Scar tissue
These complications end up costing more to fix – if they can be fixed at all. The healthiest option is to let an expert handle the piercing process.
Bottom Line: Paying a professional saves money and headaches in the long run.
Tips for Budgeting for Gauge Piercings
- Get quotes from different studios to compare pricing
- Ask what’s included – some offer aftercare products with the initial piercing fee
- Look for studios that provide package deals for multiple piercings
- Purchase quality jewelry that won’t need replacement
- Stick to a stretching schedule to spread costs over time
- Clean piercings consistently yourself to minimize follow-up visits
Take the time to budget and understand all the costs before starting your gauge piercing journey. With proper planning, you can get the look you want while prioritizing your health and safety.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gauge Piercings
Do gauge piercings hurt?
The initial piercing will cause a sharp, quick pain as the needle goes through the earlobe. But a skilled piercer will minimize discomfort. Once the jewelry is inserted, the pain subsides to a mild throbbing and tenderness for a few days.
During stretching sessions, there should never be excessive pain or resistance putting in the next gauge size. If there is, wait longer between stretches. Use lubricant and go slower to minimize discomfort. Larger gauge increments will have more pressure, but the process should never cause sharp or stabbing pain.
Is it worth it to gauge your ears?
For gauge piercing enthusiasts, the commitment is absolutely worth it. Slowly stretching the lobes over time allows for creative self-expression and a sense of control over one’s body. The bonding experience at studios and the feeling of achievement upon reaching their goal size makes the effort worthwhile.
However, gauge piercings require diligent aftercare and a willingness to invest in quality studios and jewelry. For some, this high-maintenance body modification isn’t a lifestyle fit. It’s a personal choice based on your style, comfort with body mods, and budget considerations.
How long do gauge piercings take?
It takes 6 months to 3 years to reach large gauge sizes, depending on factors like:
- Goal size – Larger gauges take longer
- Healing – Waiting the recommended 4-6 weeks between stretches
- Ear elasticity – Some stretch faster than others
Rushing the process risks injury and uneven stretching. Most reputable piercers advise waiting at least 4 months to begin sizing up from a standard piercing before gradually increasing every 1-2 months.
Patience is very important for a healthy gauge piercing journey. Listen to your body, invest in quality jewelry and care, and take your time. The end results are worth it.
While gauge piercings require a serious commitment and financial investment, the process can be extremely rewarding when done safely and correctly. Taking the time to understand all the costs involved allows you to plan, budget, and set realistic expectations.
Do your research, select qualified professionals, invest in quality jewelry and aftercare, and take the process slowly. With proper care and patience, gauge piercings can become a meaningful form of self-expression.