I consider myself fortunate to have had a grasp on millimeter sizes before the first huge jump you come across during the ear-stretching journey: 0g. Usually, people begin to convert gauges into millimeters when they hit fractions of an inch, but I believe it’s very helpful to know that information beforehand. I know America doesn’t use the metric system, but this is one situation where it’d come in handy.
In a nutshell, I like to think that the ‘smaller’ sizes are considered standard (20g or 18g) to 8g. Each stretch in this range is less than a millimeter. Your first big stretch will be 8g to 6g because it’s your first full millimeter jump. I’ve heard many people- including me- have trouble with this stretch. Since I was aware about the jump, I didn’t question the difficulty of stretching up and instead went back to my previous size. People might not realize that’s your first big jump, and try to force it in out of frustration thinking that stretch should go as smoothly as the others.
All stretches from 6g until 2g are all one millimeter each, and then that leads you to your first huge jump you hardly hear anyone easily stretches in one sitting: 0g. The 2g (6mm) to 0g (8mm) jump is two millimeters. In this case, I used the taping method to get to 0g, and it worked much better than a taper would. Of course, patience is key because it takes longer to get to that size than with a taper. I’d hope you’d prefer that wait over severely irritating and damaging your lobes.
The last informative millimeter conversion you should know before sizes reach fractions of an inch is 00g. Quite a few people I’ve talked to are unaware that 00g can range in THREE sizes: 9mm, 9.5mm, and 10mm. I feel like knowing that would come in handy when you buy jewelry, or when you stretch up. That way you know why the 0g to 00g stretch is giving you a hard time (you might be going up another 2mm jump), or why your 00g jewelry is too small for your ears, yet bigger than 0g.
From that point on, people tend to start using millimeters to explain sizes. So 7/16” would be 11mm, 1/2” is 12mm… So on and so forth. So just stay informed and listen to your ears because they tell you a lot through the journey. Happy stretching!