trading Head and shoulders on IQ Option
Trading head and shoulders on IQ Option

Trading head and shoulders is very popular among those using technical analysis. Today we take it apart and show you how to do it properly.

Trading with repeatable patterns can be a good way to make a profit you desire. Some patterns are more reliable than the others, though. Today, I will present to you a reversal pattern that belongs to the first group. It is called the head and shoulders pattern.

Key Takeaways🔑

→Head and shoulders is a strong, reliable reversal pattern in technical analysis.
→It can be found at the top or bottom of a trend, signaling a potential trend reversal.
→Patience is crucial when trading head and shoulders patterns, as they take time to form.

What is a head and shoulders pattern?

The head and shoulders pattern is a very strong formation and it takes much more time for it to complete in comparison to other patterns. The long time of creating is caused by the fact that it appears at the peak of the upward movement. So when the bulls have control over the market you may start looking for the head and shoulders pattern. The advantage of such a long creation time is that the formation is very reliable. Its accuracy is greater than other reversal patterns like double tops formation. It follows that trading head and shoulders patterns can prove lucrative.

Head and shoulders pattern
The head and shoulders pattern reverses the current trend

Sometimes you may get tired of waiting for a pattern to complete. Remember, do not trade until it is finished. Otherwise, you may lose money as the situation on the market may change at any second and the pattern may eventually not appear. But once it is there, once it is finished, you get nearly 100% certainty of the next price movements.

Is the head and shoulders pattern always at the top?

Yes and no. The head and shoulders pattern develops always at the top of the trend. If you spot a similar formation in the middle of the trend or within a range, it is not the pattern you are looking for. It may look like the head and shoulders at the beginning, but later you will see it is not the same. So you search for it only at the top.

But it can be the peak of the uptrend and the downtrend as well. This way it can be the top or the bottom. If it appears during the downtrend, it is called a reversed head and shoulders pattern. The most important thing is that it develops at the highest/lowest point of the trend.

How to identify the head and shoulders pattern on charts?

The shape reminds of the head and shoulders, thus a name. Let's consider the uptrend. At the top point there is a rise in the price and then a fall. After that, the price rises again, higher than the previous peak just to fall again. This is the head. Then, the price rises for the third time, but not as high as the second time, and it falls afterwards. The first and the last rises are the shoulders, the middle one is the head. One peak and two lower highs, this is a shape of the head and shoulders formation.

In the downtrend the situation will look very much similar, only reversed. First, the price will fall to the new low and then rise a bit creating a shoulder. Then, it will fall more and rise again, and we will get the head. After that, the price will fall, but not as low as the second time and next, it will start to rise. The second shoulder is created.

There are three attempts made by bulls (or bears, depending on the direction of the trend) to carry the price higher (or lower) and create new peaks. This is why it takes such a long time for this pattern to develop, but this is also why it is so reliable. If you only have the patience to wait until the bears (or bulls) will take the market over, you may gain significant profit.

How to use the head and shoulders pattern on IQ Option

Let's take a look at the example below. Find the uptrend and notice how the price is moving. It rises to a new peak and then falls. Next, it rises to a higher peak and declines afterwards. Finally, it rises to a lower high and falls again. Three subsequent rises and falls. The shoulder, the head and the second shoulder. Our pattern is developed.

Head and shoulders pattern on GBPUSD 1m
Trading Head and shoulders pattern on GBPUSD 1m

Now the main question is how to trade with the head and shoulders pattern. All you have to do is wait. Yes, patience is crucial not only in private life but in trading as well. You were waiting for the pattern to create for a time and what you are waiting for now, is the moment where the price breaks the neckline. And what is the neckline? It is the trendline that connects all three lows of the formation.

Be careful, as the price may test the neckline. It may come close, touch it but not go beyond. Again, be patient. You are waiting for the point where the price breaks through the neckline.

Your entry point is where the first candle closes below the neckline. Once it is done, you open a sell position.

The next example shows the reversed head and shoulders pattern that develops at the bottom of the downtrend. Look how the price falls and rises, then falls more and rises again and at last, falls only a little just to rise above the neckline.

Reversed head and shoulders on USDJPY 15m
Trading head and shoulders on USDJPY 15m

In this case, the neckline joins all the highs of the formation. You should open a buy transaction when the first candle closes above the neckline.

Pros and Cons of Trading Head and Shoulders Patternsđź‘Ťđź‘Ž

Pros:

  • Highly reliable reversal pattern
  • Applicable in both uptrends and downtrends
  • Clear entry points based on the neckline

Cons:

  • Takes a long time to form, requiring patience
  • False formations can occur, leading to false signals
  • Requires practice to identify and trade effectively

Head and Shoulders Pattern Characteristicsđź“Š

Classic Pattern Reversed Pattern
Occurs at the top of an uptrend Occurs at the bottom of a downtrend
Left shoulder, head, and right shoulder form Left shoulder, head, and right shoulder form (inverted)
Neckline connects lows of the pattern Neckline connects highs of the pattern
Trade by selling when the price breaks the neckline downwards Trade by buying when the price breaks the neckline upwards

Final words on the trading head and shoulders pattern

The remarkable thing is that the price tends to fall (or rise) as far as the height of the head in the pattern.

The other thing is that the more symmetrical shape, the more valuable the pattern.

The last thing is that the head and shoulders pattern is a reversal pattern which means you may be pretty sure the trend will reverse. This gives you an excellent opportunity to make some money.

Wish you enjoyable trading!

Common Questions and Answers About Head and Shoulders Patternsâť“

  • Q: Can head and shoulders patterns be used in any timeframe?
    A: Yes, head and shoulders patterns can be found in various timeframes. However, the reliability and significance of the pattern may vary depending on the timeframe used.
  • Q: How can I avoid false signals when trading head and shoulders patterns?
    A: Always wait for the pattern to fully form and for the price to break the neckline. Additionally, use other technical analysis tools, such as support and resistance levels or trend lines, to confirm the pattern.
  • Q: Can I use other indicators with head and shoulders patterns?
    A: Yes, combining head and shoulders patterns with other technical indicators, such as moving averages, RSI, or MACD, can provide additional confirmation and improve your trading strategy.
  • Q: How can I set stop loss and take profit levels when trading head and shoulders patterns?
    A: A common approach is to set a stop loss above the right shoulder for a classic pattern or below the right shoulder for a reversed pattern. Take profit levels can be set based on the distance from the neckline to the head, which is then projected from the neckline breakout point.
  • Q: Can head and shoulders patterns be used for both long-term and short-term trading?
    A: Yes, head and shoulders patterns can be used for both long-term and short-term trading. However, keep in mind that longer timeframes generally provide more reliable and significant patterns.

GENERAL RISK WARNING

The financial products offered by the company carry a high level of risk and can result in the loss of all your funds. You should never invest money that you cannot afford to lose.
Kindly note that this article does not provide any investment advice. The information presented regarding past events or potential future developments is solely an opinion and cannot be guaranteed as factual, including the provided examples. We caution readers accordingly.

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Bart Bregman

Author / IQ Option expert: "My name is Bart Bregman, I have 9 years of full-time professional trading experience. I've been trading with IQ Option for more than 7 years, mainly on the shorter time frames doing technical analyses, and have many experience with Binary Options, CFDs, Options, and Crypto trading. There is no such thing as a bad trade! As a digital nomad trader, I'm mostly traveling all over the world. Follow my journey on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/bart_bregman/. "

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