How New York Pilates Founder Heather Andersen Maintains Her Platinum Hair
Breakage, brassiness, dullness—she’s learned how to fix them all.
Going platinum is one of those hair dreams that we think everyone should explore at least once in their lives. Sure, it’s finicky and time-consuming, and lord knows you will need to be back in your colorist’s chair a few times per year to maintain your shade, but the end result can be nothing short of magical. It’s a hair color that says “I am both fearless and radiant” because, let’s be honest, shockingly white hair isn’t exactly subtle.
Some people, however, don’t just go back to their natural color after a few months of dabbling in platinum—instead, it becomes a signature part of their beauty look. Heather Andersen, the founder of New York Pilates, is one of those people. With her waist-skimming white locks, which she’s had for nearly nine years (!!), you might be wondering, How exactly does she keep her hair healthy? or What tips does she have for maintaining the perfect tone between touch-ups? Don’t worry—we were wondering the same thing, which is why we decided to ask the fitness guru herself. More on her platinum hair-care routine, her tips for first-time blondies, and all the products she swears by for daily maintenance, below.
First of all, who does your hair color?
“My amazing friend Amy Lindwall always has and always will do my hair color. She doesn’t let anyone else touch me! She’s incredible. She makes house calls in the city since she lives out on a farm upstate with her family. When I’m lucky, I’ll convince her to squeeze me in as her last appointment of the day so we can have a glass of wine and catch up once she finishes my hair.”
How long do you usually like your hair to be?
“I love wearing my hair long. It’s sat just above my butt for the past few years. I would be totally fine with my hair growing way longer if Amy didn’t remind me to cut it. I get my hair trimmed twice a year. I would never cut it, but she always trims a little off when I’m not looking so I don’t end up looking like a total creep. Thanks, Amy.”
How often do you get your color touched up?
“I don’t mind a bit of root, so I touch them up every 8 to 12 weeks.”
What products do you use in and out of the shower to help with hair health and tone?
“I try to wash my hair only once a week. I wash with PHYTO Phytoargent No Yellow Shampoo and condition with DevaCurl One Condition, which is incredible for color-treated hair. I discovered it by being the worst roommate ever—I don’t have curly hair, but once upon a time, I had a roommate who did. I ran out of conditioner once and ‘borrowed’ this from her. I’ve been using it ever since.
“I swear by Pureology’s Hydrate Shine Max Weightless Serum—it’s the best and keeps my hair from getting tangled. I particularly appreciate it during the winter with all the sweaters I wear. It stops the little sweater particles from tangling up my hair!
“My favorite trick is Brilliant Tone Violet Smoothing Foam from Joico. It’s amazing at keeping your blond bright and getting rid of yellow tones. The brassy thing is just something that happens, especially if you tend to wait too long between touch-ups (me). This product really helps.”
What other rules do you have when it comes to styling to protect your hair from breakage?
“I’m pretty low-maintenance with my hair. I don’t use any heat ever—no blow-dryer, no straightening iron, nothing. After washing, I normally just part it down the center and let it air-dry. My hair has always dried straight, but after I turned 30, a little wave developed. For about six months I thought I had a ponytail kink that I couldn’t get rid of [laughs], but eventually I realized it was a new development that I’m starting to love. I also love wearing braids and find that they help to keep my hair from getting tangled, which is a bonus.”
What is your favorite part about having this shade?
“We have this concept at New York Pilates around ‘bringing your edge.’ It’s about being mindful and aware of what you’re working with, what you’re bringing to each day, and always making a point to bring something interesting. I feel like my hair is a part of my edge—it’s a look on its own. What I love most about my particular tone is that it’s sophisticated, but also has this mystical, opalescent quality, which makes me happy. I feel like a wizard.”
How long do you plan to be platinum?
“Well, I have no plans of changing my hair color anytime soon, so I suppose I intend to be blonde until my hair turns white. I’ll report back here when that happens.”
Any other tips to ensure platinum hair looks its best as often as possible?
“Be mindful about how and how often you brush your hair! I brush my hair really gently with a WetBrush twice daily, morning and night. Another thing that Amy has been begging me to do for years is [to] use a silk pillowcase to minimize breakage. A full nine years later, and I still haven’t made the switch, but you definitely should.”
What advice do you have for the newly platinum or the platinum curious?
“Single process. Single process. Single process! Talk to your stylist to see if that’s an option for you—it helps to keep your hair healthy. Another thing to consider is if your hair is quite dark to begin with, I would recommend choosing a shorter hairstyle to go platinum. It’ll be easier to maintain and reduce breakage. Anyone out there looking to go platinum, I say go for it. Be aware that your hair might break, so keep it strong and do Pilates.”
Photos: Courtesy of Heather Andersen
Want more stories like this?