IPL Special Offer- up to 41% Off on Elearnmarkets Courses & Webinars. Use code AMIKKR & REGISTER NOW

Chart Patterns

Head and Shoulders Chart Pattern

First let us begin with ‘Head and Shoulders pattern


What is a "head and shoulder pattern"?

The Head and Shoulders pattern is quite popular amongst the market participants due to its reliability in the past and of course the success ratio. Traders often study trends and patterns when analyzing the market, in hopes of detecting the next most probable price movement.


Let’s understand the pattern in detail.


This is a reversal pattern and can act both as a bullish and bearish reversal pattern depending upon the prior trend and type of this pattern. The usual pattern is formed after an established uptrend.


This pattern gives a market reversal signal post breakdown from the neckline which is accompanied by heavy volume. 


The neckline is basically the horizontal line which joins both the troughs to each other.


The possibility of breakdown increases if the slope of the neckline is flat to downward sloping and the right shoulder is relatively smaller or equal to the left shoulder.


Post breakdown from the pattern, there may be a possibility of retesting the neckline. The further breakdown is also accompanied with heavy volume which gives confirmation of the weakness.


The pattern can be formed in any time frame from a few minutes to weekly and monthly charts. However, higher the time frame, higher is the chance of success.


It’s important to keep in mind that this pattern is almost never perfect. There will likely be small price fluctuations in between the shoulders and the head, and the pattern formation is rarely perfectly shaped in its appearance.



What does the inverse head and shoulders pattern mean?

Inverted pattern is exactly a mirror image of the original pattern but is formed after a prior downtrend and is usually a bullish reversal pattern.


How to Interpret the Pattern?

This pattern is one of the popular patterns amongst the trader due to its pre-determined price target estimate after breakdown from the neckline.


The minimum target is vertical distance from the head to the neckline post breakdown. Usually one can place stop loss at the high of the right shoulder and trail the same as the price corrects. With an inverse pattern, stops are usually placed at the low of the right shoulder.


Example of Head and Shoulders pattern:

Head and Shoulder pattern example Escorts Ltd


This is an example of this pattern formed in the daily chart of Escorts where post breakdown from the neckline, the stock witnessed sharp selloff and achieved the pattern target (shown by the blue line) in mere single candle.

Moreover, the breakdown was also supported with high volume which further confirmed the weakness.


Example of Inverse Head and Shoulders pattern:

Inverse Head and Shoulder Pattern example Bandhan Bank

The above image is an example of an Inverted pattern that was formed on the daily chart of Bandhan Bank Ltd.


The stock witnessed sharp movement post breakout from the pattern on very high volume. One important thing to note here is that the stock made a retest to the neckline here.

Did you like this unit?

Units 3/14