How to Trade the Head and Shoulders Pattern

The head and shoulders chart pattern is a reversal pattern and most often seen in uptrends.

Not only is “head and shoulders” known for trend reversals, but it’s also known for dandruff reversals as well. 😂

In this lesson, we’ll stick to talking about trend reversals and leave the topic of dandruff for another time.

Head and Shoulders

A head and shoulders pattern is also a trend reversal formation.

It is formed by a peak (shoulder), followed by a higher peak (head), and then another lower peak (shoulder).


A “neckline” is drawn by connecting the lowest points of the two troughs.


The slope of this line can either be up or down. Typically, when the slope is down, it produces a more reliable signal.

Head and Shoulders Pattern

In this example, we can easily see the head and shoulders pattern.


The head is the second peak and is the highest point in the pattern. The two shoulders also form peaks but do not exceed the height of the head.


With this formation, we put an entry order below the neckline.

We can also calculate a target by measuring the high point of the head to the neckline.

This distance is approximately how far the price will move after it breaks the neckline.

Head and Shoulders Pattern Breakdown

You can see that once the price goes below the neckline it makes a move that is at least the size of the distance between the head and the neckline.

We know you’re thinking to yourself, “the price kept moving even after it reached the target.”

And our response is, “DON’T BE GREEDY!

Inverse Head and Shoulders

The name speaks for itself. It is basically a head and shoulders formation, except this time it’s upside down. 🙃

A valley is formed (shoulder), followed by an even lower valley (head), and then another higher valley (shoulder).

These formations occur after extended downward movements.

Inverse Head and Shoulders Pattern

Here you can see that this is just like a head and shoulders pattern, but it’s flipped upside down.


With this formation, we would place a long entry order above the neckline.


Our target is calculated just like the head and shoulders pattern.

Measure the distance between the head and the neckline, and that is approximately the distance that the price will move after it breaks the neckline.

Inverse Head and Shoulders Pattern Breakout

You can see that the price moved up nicely after it broke the neckline.

If your target is hit, then be happy with your profits.

However, there are trade management techniques where you can lock in some of your profits and still keep your trade open in case the price continues to move your way.

You will learn about those later on in the course.