Why The Earring Backing Or Wire You Choose Affects Comfort

Choosing earrings can be fun because of all the great designs, but you'll want to pay close attention to the backing or wire that holds the earring in your earlobe. The type of backing or wire you get affects how comfortable the earring actually feels when it's in your ear, and how secure the earring stays. You have a range of possibilities, so you can play around and find the one that feels best to you.

Heavy Post Earrings and Sagging

From oversized studs to heavy metal dangling from a post, earrings with any weight can cause your earlobe to sag and stretch. With post earrings, the problem has an extra dimension: The weight of the front portion of the earring can cause it to sag downward in addition to stretching your earlobe. For these heavy post earrings, you want to use a stabilizing backing. These typically look like longer backings with a wide plastic disc around them. The disc helps brace the backing and post to hold up the earring. You can also find stabilizing earring backings that look like regular backings with an extra flap on one side, which serves the same purpose as the stabilizing disc.

Open vs. Closed Wires and Secure Earrings

For dangling earrings that use wires instead of posts, security is the real issue. Open fish hook wires or French wires can be insecure, and earrings can work their way out of your earlobe as you move your head around. A simple way to stop this is to get silicone stoppers that fit on the hook behind your earlobe. But if you don't want a second piece to the earring that you have to keep track of, you'll want to change the fish hooks or French hooks to kidney wires or hinged findings. Kidney wires look like fish hooks but have a lower hook that fits around the wire that goes through your earlobe, creating a kidney-shaped loop. Hinged findings are wires that have a hinged closure that snaps up onto the back of the wire, creating a small hoop.

Bullet and Butterfly Backings, and Your Fingertips

Bullet backings are those cylindrical but tapered backings that come in both metal and silicone; butterfly backings are those metal backings that look like a round plate with two curls on one side (also known as friction backings, but they look like one butterfly wing from the side, so they're also called butterfly backings). Butterfly backings are usually smaller than bullet backings and harder to grip; removing them can take dexterity and sometimes involve fingernails if the backing is too tight. Bullet backings are still small but can be just big enough to be easier to remove, even when tight. If you have to have a stabilizing backing, it will most likely be a bullet backing. If you lack dexterity or can't use your fingernails or fingertips to peel the backing away, add bullet backings to post earrings.

For more information on earrings, contact a company near you.