Solving jewelry problems and helping my clients get back into their earrings is a favorite activity of mine. Do some of your earrings end up pointing toward the pavement?
Ear lobe droop is a real thing. In this post I'll share various solutions with their pros and cons.
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.
Four Common Causes of Ear Lobe Droop
- Thin ear lobes droop more easily than thicker lobes.
- Too heavy an earring.
- An earring design that is three dimensional with much of its weight forward of the ear lobe.
- Wimpy, thin earring backings that easily pull back from your ear lobe fail to support your ear lobe.
How to Test Yourself for Ear Lobe Droop
- Find a heavy earring and put it on. Do not push the earring backing super tightly on the back.
- Find a pair of earrings that have their weight outward from the lobe. Again try on without making the backing super tight.
If either of these designs points downward, that is ear lobe droop. 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.
Three Ways to Handle 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.
- Monster backs
- plastic disc backs
- Silicone Sliders
1) Using Monster Backings
I personally love my 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
- They flatten the back of your ear lobe, preventing it from bending and so support your earrings all day long in comfort and beauty.
- Your earring is held in place firmly, so the weight of it is not pulling on your ear lobe.
- Monster Backs support the weight of your earrings, so you can wear heavier more complex designs.
- They are made of gold, so they won't give you an infection.
- They are made of thick heavy gold, therefore they don't come off till you take them off.
- They are large and therefore easy to grasp.
- They just feel really great in your fingers.
- No one will lose their diamond studs with Monster Backs holding them in place.
- If someone sees them because of your short hair they look fine because they are gold!
Cons of Monster Backs
- 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.
- If you have very long posts, they can more easily bend your posts.
- 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 or strength for this task.
- 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.
- 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.
- They are gold and therefore expensive. (But worth it in my opinion!)
- 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!)
2) Using Plastic Disc Backs
I'm the Jeweler so I get to wear gold 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
- 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.
- They are inexpensive. So you can get a pair for each problematic pair of droopy earrings.
- They ably support your earrings pertly.
- They save your ear lobe from being pulled on and irritated.
- 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.
- They are large and easy to grasp.
Cons of Plastic Disc Backs
- 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.)
- For those with sensitive ears, the plastic disc backs can causes irritation.
- 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.
- 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.
- When the grippy wax is super grippy, you risk bending or breaking a post putting them on or taking them off.
- 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!)
- 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.
3) Using Silicone Sliders
I recently reviewed Silicone Sliders after wearing them for approximately two years.
Pros of Silicone Sliders
- Silicone lasts way longer than the hard plastic of plastic disc backs.
- The backing that holds the earring post is 14kt yellow gold. Avoiding the base metal allergy problem with plastic disc backs.
- Through two years of regular use I found the flexibility of silicone to remain.
- These hold those heavy earrings pertly on your ear.
- It's easier to get the silicone slider on a post than either the plastic disc backs or the monster backs. They aren't so grippy they cause problems.
- They have a more pleasing tactile feel than the plastic disc backs.
- They have a screw back option which is impressive.
Cons of Silicone Sliders
- There's just something about a full gold backing. Monster backs are my fav.
- Because they contain 14kt gold they are not 'cheap.'
- I'm out of cons.
Don't Let Ear Lobe Droop Cramp Your Blingin' Style!
If you enjoyed this information, you might like my blog post dealing with droopy dangly earrings: Confessions From a Jewelry Designer: Do You Suffer From Droopy Dangly Earrings?
Sometimes if you just need a little help, a heavier normal size backing will solve the problem. My advice if you buy good quality thick backings, don't switch them around. The reason for this advice is the fact that earring posts come in different thicknesses. It's a subtle difference, but a loosened backing loses the advantage of its heavier construction. A heavy back will hold well with a larger earring, but if larger posts have been used, it may not grip as well. When an earring back doesn't grip well, your earrings will sag.
Don't let your earrings point toward the pavement! Fight sagging earrings and wear your gorgeous earrings pertly, because you need to Wear it Don't Warehouse it!
Santa Barbara Jeweler,