How to Trade Inverse Head and Shoulders Patterns

Inverse head and shoulders patterns are a bullish pattern. It’s made up of a head and two shoulders. The left shoulder marks the first support level. As price rises, it goes up to make a new high, then it pulls back and falls below first support level, thus creating the head. Next up, price pulls back up to the left shoulder area, creating the right shoulder. Watch for neckline break above to confirm breakout. Watch our video on how to identify and trade inverse head and shoulders patterns.

What Is an Inverse Head and Shoulders Pattern & How to Identify These Patterns?

An inverse head and shoulders is an upside down head and shoulders pattern and consists of a low, which makes up the head, and two higher low peaks that make up the left and right shoulders. The right shoulder on these patterns typically is higher than the left but many of times it’s equal. Sometimes there’s a fake out which makes right shoulder lower than the left. Traders know that these patterns are major reversal patterns. They share many characteristics of their counterpart; the head and shoulders pattern. The difference being they’re upside down.

Inverse Head and Shoulders Pattern

Watch our video above to learn more about inverse h&s. Also you can read more below.The inverse h & S pattern forms in a downtrend signaling a change in trend. In fact, inverse h&s patterns are pretty reliable in signaling a change in direction. Volume is an important part of the inverse head and shoulders.

Every chart pattern is filled with candlesticks that tell a story. Candlesticks such as bullish candlesticks, bearish candlesticks and doji candlesticks make up chart patterns. You group them together and you get more information.

These help us know what traders all over the world are thinking. In other words,  it basically lets us know what’s going on in their heads without ever talking to or meeting them when stock trading.

Basics of Inverse Head and Shoulders Patterns

Inverse Head and Shoulders patterns

The inverse head and shoulders patterns have a left shoulder, head, right shoulder and neckline. We sometimes call the head and shoulders pattern an F you pattern but there’s no secondary name for the inverse pattern.

Inverse head and shoulders patterns form in a major downtrend. When the pattern completes it marks the change in a trend. When the break out of the pattern occurs, sometimes there’s a large gap up. Other times you get the candlestick to run upwards.

Read our post on the gap and go strategy to learn the best way to trade this strategy.

Not every stock will employ that method but if the pattern completes and breaks up, you can take advantage of the moves up.


As stated earlier, this pattern forms in a down trend. Without a prior downtrend to reverse, you can’t have the inverse head and shoulders. The left shoulder forms making a trough with a reactionary low. As a result, it’s a new low in the trend. After the trough is made, price moves up (take our free courses and you’ll learn how to read the market).

This completes the left shoulder formation of inverse head and shoulders patterns. The high that happens in the decline needs to stay below trend lines to keep the down trend in effect.

The head of the inverse h&s patterns forms a new low. In fact, it needs to be lower than the left shoulder. This is what differentiates it as the head.

After making the bottom, it needs to move back up and form another high. Sometimes in a down trend, when it’s going to turn, you might find hammer candlesticks. They’ve hammered out the base. Also known as the head as far as this pattern is concerned.

The high from the left shoulder and head are forming the neckline. The neckline is a key resistance level. If the high forming the neckline breaks the downtrend trend line, the strength of the downtrend can be called into question by other traders. Take our candlesticks patterns course.

Right Shoulder

You’ve got that high from the head helping to form the neckline. As a result, you need price to fall once more to form the right shoulder. This low should be higher than the head. It’s usually in line with the low of the left shoulder. However, that might not always be the case with inverse head and shoulders patterns. Real life patterns aren’t always perfect looking.

Sometimes the right shoulder will be higher, lower, narrower or wider. Symmetry isn’t as important as the neckline break. Hence why the right shoulder is important.

For the pattern to be complete, you need that neckline break. Otherwise the right shoulder fails and you need to look at the candlesticks. Are they long legged doji candlesticks or high wave candlesticks?

Did inverted hammer candlesticks form? If the pattern breaks down usually the candlesticks are giving you warnings ahead of time.

We teach how to trade candlesticks in our trading rooms. Check out our trading service to learn more.

SPY Hourly Inverted Head And Shoulder Pattern

Neckline of Inverse Head and Shoulders Patterns

The neckline is formed by connecting the reaction highs. You get these highs from the end of the left shoulder and the beginning of the head as well as the end of the head and beginning of the right shoulder.

In fact, you can connect them together with trend lines. The correlation between the two highs affects the patterns degree of bullishness. The neckline can slope up, down or be horizontal.

An upward slope of the neckline is going to be more bullish than if the neckline was sloped downward before the break.

Neckline Break

Volume plays a critical role in the inverse head and shoulders patterns. Without volume you don’t get the breakout. If you don’t have enough volume, any breakout is suspect. Read our post on what does volume mean in stocks?

The pattern isn’t complete without the neckline break nor is the down trend reversed. You need the resistance to be broken and then hold.

inverse head and shoulders patterns

How to Trade Inverse Head and Shoulders Patterns

  • How to trade inverse head and shoulders patterns:
  • Watch for first low to form which will end up being left shoulder.
  • Once first low is formed, watch for price to break below that level forming the head.
  • Next, look for price action to rise then fail back to left shoulder area.
  • Watch for right shoulder formation then hold support around left shoulder area.
  • Some traders that a long position at break above right shoulder using a close below as a stop.
  • The safest way to trade is take a long above neckline break using a close below right shoulder as stop.

Resistance Becomes Support

Inverse head and shoulders patterns have a key resistance level that needs to be broken. Once it is, price may come back to what is now support and test it to make sure it holds. It doesn’t matter if you are trading bitcoin, forex or stocks. Inverse head and shoulder patterns are useable on anything that has a candlestick chart and one of my favorite patterns.

Plan your trades accordingly. Never trade what you’re not willing to lose. Take our free online trading courses for beginners.

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