Aug 15

Ear Lobe Droop; Are Your Earrings Pointing toward the Pavement?

By Calla Gold

 

Earring sagging on ear lobe-ear lobe droop

Ear Lobe Droop, It’s Like an Epidemic!

This Santa Barbara Jeweler loves solving jewelry problems and ear lobe droop comes up a lot! Do some of your earrings end up pointing toward the pavement? If so, it’s time to read this post and fight back against this silent Jewelry Enjoyment Killer!

What Is Ear Lobe Droop?

This problem stems from too large and heavy an earring being worn on too thin or too bendable an ear lobe. Your earring just points toward the pavement.

It sags, it doesn’t sing. It looks the opposite of pert.

What Causes the Dreaded Ear Lobe Droop?

The combination of the thickness of your ear lobe and the heaviness or three dimensional quality of an earring determine how an earring will present on your ear.

The way your lobe is shaped, its size and where it is pierced, also determine whether or not you will look good in different types of earring designs.

Earring Backing Thin and Small

This Thin Poorly Designed Backing Hasn’t the Strength to Support Your Ear Lobe

Everyone’s ear lobes are different, some are thick, some are thin, some are large and some are small.

Another cause of Ear Lobe Droop is tiny, thin, poorly designed earring backs.

“What Kind of Ear Lobes Do I Have?” Check it Out!

Look at your lobes from the front and side in a mirror and the position of your  piercing to get to better know what you have to work with.

Testing for Ear Lobe Droop

Test yourself with an earring like that pictured or described here.

Drooping Earring on ear

Button Style Tiger Eye Earring suffering from Ear Lobe Droop

One of the most challenging styles of earring a person can wear is the circular button earring. If it’s half and inch in size and has a post in the middle.

Put it on with a normal sized gold backing. Most likely that earring will little by little tip forward until it’s pointing to the pavement.

This is not only a very unattractive look, but it is hard on your ear-pierced area.

The tricky thing about testing is that at first it looks great, but as the day wears on and you use the phone and other activities, it starts to droop or sag.

Handling the Dreaded Ear Lobe Droop

There are a number of ideas to try out on the earrings that you discover are drooping on you. In this post I’ll focus on specialty ear backings.

Using Larger  Earring Backings On Post Backed Earrings

Earring Backings,Nice Big Ones, Called Monster Backs. 10mm in size.

Monster Backs are 10mm Wide or 6/16ths of an Inch. Big and Supportive. Sort of Like a Bra for Your Ear Lobes!

This Santa Barbara Jeweler loves her Monster Backs. They solve a lot of problems with drooping earrings. But there can be problems with them too. Fore-warned is fore-armed. Here’s my opinion pro and con on Monster Backs:

Pro’s of Monster Backs

  1. They flatten the back of your ear lobe, preventing it from bending and so support your earrings all day long in comfort and beauty.
  2. Your earring is held in place firmly, so the weight of it is not pulling on your ear lobe.
  3. Monster Backs support the weight of your earrings, so you can wear heavier more complex designs.
  4. They are made of gold, so they won’t give you an infection.
  5. They are made of thick heavy gold, therefore they don’t come off till you take them off.

    Monster Backs shown supporting the Ear Lobe

    The Monster Back Supporting the Ear Lobe and Presenting the Earring Pertly

  6. They are large and therefore easy to grasp.
  7. They just feel really great in your fingers.
  8. No one will lose their diamond studs with Monster Backs holding them in place.
  9. If someone sees them because of your short hair they look fine because they are gold!

Cons of Monster Backs

  1. They require you to align them correctly. If you try to put them on at an angle to your earring post they may refuse to go on.
  2. If you have very long posts, they can more easily bend your posts.
  3. They take a bit of pin-point strength to put them on. They are so sturdily made that they need a proper shove to get them on the post. Some of my elderly clients cannot muster the fingertip control for this task.
  4. Using these backs require more push to get them on which can stress your posts. You may occasionally break off a post when putting them on.
  5. You need to grasp the front of your earring in front of your earring to hold it while you pull your Monster Backs off. If you have a glued on pearl, you may pull your pearl off. So these shouldn’t be used if the front of your earring cannot be handled and grasped.

    Normal Earring Backings are about 5mm or 4/16ths of an Inch in Size

  6. They are gold and therefore expensive. (But worth it in my opinion!)
  7. If you have tiny ear lobes or super low post holes and are wearing tiny earrings, your Monster Back may show below your lobe. This is not a great look. You may not be able to use them on your tiny earrings. (Hmm, but your tiny earrings don’t droop so no problem!)

A Less Expensive Alternative Large Earring Backing; the Plastic Disc Back

Plastic and brass disc backs

Plastic Disc Backs Support a Front Heavy Earring

I’m the Jeweler so I get to wear Monster Backs. But plastic disc backs work too. So here’s my full disclosure on them, Pro and Con;

Pro’s of Plastic Disc Backs

  1. Plastic disc backs use a wax filled barrel to grasp and hold your post. It grasps quite well and once it is on it stays on, except where mentioned in cons.
  2. They are inexpensive. So you can get a pair for each problematic pair of droopy earrings.
  3. They ably support your earrings pertly.
  4. They save your ear lobe from being pulled on and irritated.

    Properly Fitting Earring

    With Plastic Disc Back, This Tiger’s Eye Earring No Longer Droops. Nice.

  5. Use plastic disc backs or 14kt gold monster backs with an earring that wants to tip forward. The large flat area of the earring backing behind your earlobe supports your lobe, the way a buttress supports a castle wall. Image.
  6. They are large and easy to grasp.

Cons of Plastic Disc Backs

  1. The wax filled center dries out after a time and the hardened wax now isn’t grippy any more, risking the loss of your earrings. (It happened to me in a parking lot. Luckily I found the earring. Unluckily I stepped on it first. But it’s OK.)
  2. For those with sensitive ears, the plastic disc backs can causes irritation, so isn’t an option.
  3. When the disc backs are new the wax in the center can be so grippy that you can stress out your earlobe trying to get your earring off.
  4. You must grasp the front of your earring to get these off. If you have a glued on pearl or something similar you might accidentally yank it off.
  5. When the grippy wax is super grippy, you risk bending or breaking a post putting them on or taking them off.
  6. If you have tiny ear lobes or super low post holes and are wearing tiny earrings, your plastic disc back may show below your lobe. This is not a great look. You may not be able to use them on your tiny earrings. (Hmm, but your tiny earrings don’t droop so no problem!)
  7. Earring posts have a locking line near the end to keep your backings from falling off when they work their way back toward the end. Plastic disc backs don’t stop at that line, they just keep going.

Don’t Let Ear Lobe Droop Cramp Your Blingin’ Style!

This Santa Barbara Jeweler has just shared one possible solution to Ear Lobe Droop with you. There is more to come.

Also read my blog post: Confessions From a Jewelry Designer: Do You Suffer From Droopy Dangly Earrings?

Don’t let your earrings point toward the pavement! Fight sagging earrings and wear your gorgeous earrings, because you need to Wear it Don’t Warehouse it!

Santa Barbara Jeweler,
Calla Gold


40 thoughts on “Ear Lobe Droop; Are Your Earrings Pointing toward the Pavement?

    • Dan,
      Those, stretch your ear lobes out, “gauges” would create massive ear lobe droop.
      Ouch my ears hurt just thinking about it!
      Calla Gold

    • Fortunately, 90% of earlobes can be repaired to look like they did BEFORE they got stretched out by gauges. It will take a Plastic Surgeon but many give a heafty discount to do the surgery and it is done as an outpatient procedure in most P/S offices. We used to do such repairs in the ERs…back in the 80s, when a lady or child might get their earring caught and accidentally tear the earlobe. Now they are done in the office.

      • Dear Holly Jaye RN,
        I am so happy to hear from a health care professional on this topic. I didn’t know that it was a, done in the office, action and I’m happy to know that.
        The fact that some plastic surgeons are offering discounts to people who change their minds about gauges in their ears is a wonderful thing. Yay, plastic surgeons!
        And yay, their nurses!
        Thanks again for your input on this conversation.
        Your Personal Jeweler,
        Calla

  1. Calla Gold,

    Will monster backs work on drop or dangle earrings to distribute the weight on the ear?

    Thanks

    • Yes Susan, monster backs can be very effective with drop earrings in supporting your ear lobe so they present pertly and keep the dragged down feeling on your earholes at bay.
      Calla Gold

  2. Hi Calla,

    I realize this is a very late reply, but I was wondering how your suggested solution would work with earrings that are on earring hooks instead of posts. Let me know if you can!

  3. I visited your site while I was looking for ear cartilage piercings and I admit that I am very fortunate for doing so.

    I believe that this is an extremely helpful post you got there on drooping earlobes!

    Is it OK if I shared your post on FB along with your url and the header of your post:”Ear Lobe Droop; Are Your Earrings Pointing toward the Pavement?”?

    Regards!!

  4. Do you have a suggestion for screw-0n posts? Since the monster backs are push-on, I don’t think they would work for my stud earrings.

    • Kathy,
      I assume that you only wear clips. You might try having omega clip ons put on your earrings.They offer more support. The thin screw-ons offer little in the way of earlobe support and can let an earring droop badly.
      If you are pierced I’d recommend converting to posts and then wearing monster backs.
      Thanks for asking.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

    • Hi Brandon,
      I sell monster backs. In fact I sold a 14kt yellow gold pair about an hour ago. I love how well they help your earrings behave!
      My email is calla@callagold.com or call me at 805-963-4157.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  5. Do you have white gold monsterbacks for PIERCED diamond screw posts? Thanks! Jennifer

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Screw back posts tend to be thicker than a normal post. Your monster backs will not normally fit on that thick of a post. If you have a tiny grinding thingie to grind back and forth in the little opening you can enlarge the opening to accept your thicker post. I did it for someone years ago.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla Gold

  6. These are wonderful answers to lots of questions about droopy ear lobes.
    I am looking to buy 3 ctw diamond studs ,so it seems to be better to go with white gold than platinum to make them lighter and prevent drooping. Is the 3 prong vs 4 and martini vs basket also making it lighter ?
    Does the 3 prong tend to burry itself into the pierced lobe thus taking away from the brilliance beside eventually damaging the earlobe?
    thanks! Dana

    • Hi Dana,
      I’m glad you liked the information on my ear lobe droop post. I was afraid I’d post it and no one would find it. Happily that hasn’t happened. I guess Lord Google can relate to ear lobe droop.
      You are right Dana that white gold will be lighter weight than platinum for the settings.
      The martini setting makes the setting less noticeable and it does dimple your ear lobe a bit. It doesn’t enlarge your ear hole from what I’ve seen. The clients who have had me set their large diamonds in martini settings love them. They look classy.
      Sometimes the basket setting is too cumbersome looking. This is especially true when your earlobe presents your earrings more side on than straight ahead.
      You’ll want larger ear backs to keep your diamonds pert! See if there is a way for you to try on a friend’s martini setting to see how it works on your lobe.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  7. I know this was posted many years ago, but I’d like to propose a potential solution for this problem that could be of use in many cases.

    As you’ve said so well, the “droop” is an issue of support (larger backs) but it’s also an issue of balance (the other reason those heavier monster backs can help).

    If you think of your earring as a see-saw, and your lobe as the pivot point, a heavy-fronted earring is going to slide through to the more heavily weighted side… So another solution may be custom backs that have decorative elements that complement the front of the earring; this would even out the weight and wouldn’t have to be hidden the way monster backs or plastic disks would be. In addition, if the complementary design element is kept fairly simple, it could easily be mixed and matched with other front-heavy post earrings. 🙂

    • Hi Therese,
      I see that you have an idea hear. I got lost part way through the description. It seems I’d need a diagram. I’m not clear on why the backs would be decorative as usually no one sees the backs.
      Just because I don’t totally follow you doesn’t mean you’re not onto something. I thank you for sharing your idea here.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla Gold

  8. I got my ears pierced 6weeks ago for the first time. I have switched to the post styles earrings Monday. When I put the post styles earrings in my ears do I have to wear the little rubber backs too?

    • Hello Ashley,
      I recommend those backs to keep your earrings from drooping. Usually with post earrings the small gold backings will keep your earrings pert on your ear.
      If you can I’d recommend that you wear 14kt metal backings if you can. It helps keep your ear from getting infected by being non-irritating.
      I think you are smart as well to choose posts for your first earrings after the healing of your pierced hole. I hope as well that you have chosen 14kt or 18kt gold and not a costume metal. Again to keep your ear happy. I’d wait a few months before wearing earrings heavy enough to need the monster or plastic disc backings.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  9. I currently have a plastic set of supporters, what just have a whole in the middle to slop your post through. I love these things but only have 2 so if I lose one, I will have a problem. Also, they have turned yellow so i would really like a new set. Do you have any idea where I can get them? I have no problem at all using them.

    Thank you

  10. do you have any solutions for an ear lobe with a double pierce? I need a back that will not slip off and be small enough so that two of them will fit without interfering with each other and not permitting a good fit.

  11. Hi – I just purchased a beautiful pair of diamond earring jackets and I’m on here because I was going to return them because they do just that … droop to the pavement. My yellow gold diamonds studs have screw backs so what do you recommend as I really love them and want to keep them. Don’t laugh but I actually tried to superglue them to my ears in place – won’t do that again! Thanks so much! Brooke

    • Hi Brooke,
      My ears said ouch when I heard you’d tried superglue. I think you like me are a little scientist and just have to try to solve problems. I like that about you. I’m going to suggest two things to do:
      1. Remove your screw backs as they do not allow for supportive backings to support your ear jackets.
      2. When you put on straight (non-screw) posts, get longer ones than you have so you have a long enough post to hold the backing and your earring jackets. For example if your posts are currently 9mm long, get 11 or 12mm long ones.
      Then I would definitely use the monster backs which are very grippy and won’t let go and will support your ear lobe so your diamond studs with their framing jackets will look pert!
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  12. Hi, Calla:

    I just found this EXCELLENT post – I splurged on a beautiful pair of 18k yellow gold earrings, each with four bezel set diamonds in a quatrefoil design. They have long screwback posts. And yes, they point to the pavement. The sparkle is completely unseen, which is maddening! I don’t have thin or elongated holes, but it must be the angle of the piercings. Anyway, do you think the plastic backs can work on a threaded post? If not, I will have to take your monster backs suggestion. Thank you for such a professional and informative site!

    • Hello Audrey,
      Thank you for making me smile!
      Your earrings sound beautiful. Me personally I’d remove the screw back posts and put on posts with that single locking line near the end. If you use the excellent monster backs, they need to go onto a non-screw back post. Screw-back posts are thicker and do not have the necessary locking line at the end. So A) you’d have a hard time getting your monster back to go onto the thicker post and B) in the unlikely event that the mmonster backs worked there way to the end of the post, having no locking line would allow them to pop off the end.
      I do not think the plastic backs could fit over the larger screw post. Since your earrings are valuable, plastic disc backs are not as reliable.
      I think your safest and good looking solution is plain posts with the locking line at the end and monster backs.
      Let me know if you need any help making that happen.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  13. You make me wish I lived in Santa Barbara, just so you could really be my Personal Jeweler. But even I don’t and you aren’t, you still helped me identify the problem and find a possible solution. Thank you.

    • Hi Anna,
      I’m so happy to hear that I may have helped you with the heartbreak of earlobe droop. For the record some of my distance clients have ended up working with me at a distance.
      May your droopy earrings fly straight and look perk once more on your ears!
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  14. I have a wonderful snap bar pair of earrings. What can I do for that? A medium size “diamond” appears to be suspended, and it seems to be wanting to face the ground.Help?

  15. My problem is diamond halo setting studs facing to the side.My holes are low which I like and pretty close to my face which I like.My holes are years old and I have an idea they should have been angled in the first place. Do I have any options to pick from? (I have monster backs by the way)

    • Hi Mary,
      One of the super annoying things about our ears is that the lobes do not face forward, they face somewhere between forward and sideways. Most often sideways. Even if you get them pert and not droopy sometimes they still don’t show because of the direction your lobe faces.
      I have taken some women’s diamond studs, created an earring with a little drop to it and twisted each one inward. It means there is a definite left and right. Then their diamonds faced more forward.I hope this little word picture makes sense.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  16. Do these keep earring from slipping backward thru hole??
    Where can they be purchased?

    • Hi Kate,
      For my clients who have had gauges or just have large ear holes you’d need something in front to keep your earrings from going backward thru the ear hole. These backs are for behind the ear lobe. I’d recommend larger earrings with a fairly flat surface on the front to stop that going back thru the hole thing.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  17. Hi! I have two holes in my left ear lobe. The second hole started to droop and it pulled the hole a little which looks like a stretched hole and not circular like my other piercings. That part is now mis-shapen and if I put an earring in, the earring does not fit well. It is almost like a very small tear in my earlobe. I am trying to heal it but I’m not sure if it will heal by itself or not. Please let me know what to do so that I can heal my ear piercing. Usually when I take out my earrings all I see is a hole but because of this small stretch, the earrings don’t stay on straight. I don’t know what to do to heal this so that I can wear my regular stud earrings again. I am afraid if I put an earring in now, it will stretch more and ruin that piercing entirely. I hope you can help me.

    • Dear Katie,
      I’d try to find a plastic surgeon who deals with piercing and the problems with ear lobes. Not all of them specialize in these situations. Often what is needed is for the plastic surgeon to cut slightly to freshen the piercing and sew in shut. As long as your ripped ear hole is healed, or perceives it to be healed, your body will be less likely to try to heal it as it thinks all is well.
      By re-injuring it, what the Dr. does, and sewing it shut the body will heal it and then you can start over again with a new piercing.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

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