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Matthew Ostrove. Photo by Rhonda Spivak.


By Rhonda Spivak

Thirty year old Winnipeg entrepreneur Matthew Ostrove is selling  Natural Formula hair shampoo and related products  from Israel  via the internet.

The slogan that goes with the $16.99  silky shampoo is “Bring out your Sexy !”

Ostrove told the Winnipeg Jewish Review that  some  women who see the product say “Hey-I am sexy, maybe I should buy it,” and once they try it they are sold.

How did Ostrove, who has a degree in Economics from the University of Manitoba come to start up this business?

It all can be attributed to his ex-girlfriend, a Russian Israeli immigrant to Winnipeg who  swore by this product, and kept on asking friends of hers to bring her some back when they traveled to Israel.

Although she and Ostrove, who is currently a bachelor, broke off their relationship, Ostrove says the relationship resulted in his deciding to embark on a business venture to  market the Israeli shampoo.

“Out of our relationship, I gained insight, growth, maturity, excellent memories and a hair product line,” he says, with a chuckle.

The Natural Formula hair line has shampoo for dry hair, coloured hair, curly hair and you name it hair, and establishments such as SETS in Winnipeg and the Rady JCC (sports desk) are carrying it. There is also hair mask and cream, gel and silicone drops, mousse, hairspray and men’s and woman's deodorant.

Ostrove is the exclusive distributor of these products for Canada and soon for all of North America.

Ostrove says that he has been finding that women with curly hair have really been positive about the product.

“It really works for curly hair, especially that of African American women. It enhances the curl,” Ostrove says.

“It makes curly hair feel like velvet.  It would work for Michele Obama… If Michele Obama wanted, I would assist her not only  regarding her hair, but also regarding her husband’s foreign policy!!,” Ostrove jested.

Ostrove says he has been selling the products to a lot of non-Jewish people.

“The shampoo is more expensive than some others, but it is a better product.  It uses scientific technology from Israel which is very advanced.  It has lots of silicone to keep  hair silky, and it is phosphate free, so it doesn’t pollute the environment. People who like the product will pay a little more, because they want it,” he says.

Ostrove says that he likes selling a product that promotes Israel.

“I am selling this product to Muslims in Ontario.  They tell me they love this product. It’s crossing political borders,” he says, noting he is “going to give this product five years to brand itself.”

Priscilla Kerr, an acupuncturist and new immigrant to Winnipeg from Brazil, who attended the interview with Ostrove said, “I use the shampoo for coloured hair and I really like it. My hair is very silky.”

Erin Goldberg, 21, says “It’s true. The product is amazing. I have the So Shiny shampoo and conditioner.   My favourite is the mask conditioner which really takes out the tangles, better than others I have tried.  The ‘split end locker’ for taking out split ends really works.  My hair is silky with fewer tangles and people compliment me about the fragrance all the time.”  


After hearing Ostrove describe this product, I couldn’t resist sampling it.

My first decision was which to try out.  I decided not to go with the mousse, because the only mousse I like is the kind that has lots of chocolate in it and is served on a dessert table.

My  ten year old son Dov put dibs on the gel, although we since have told him to use only small amounts—after all, how sexy should he try to be at age 10?

Dov also tried the men’s deodorant, which has a really distinct nice smell. (Man, you smell Israeli ! , Ostrove told my son)

We decided that my sister should get to sample the So Curly shampoo and we are awaiting her findings. (Since she is an accountant and this is tax season she may not have as much time as usual to bring out her sexy.)

I chose the Natural Formula shampoo (I used two kinds) and the real truth is that I rather like it.  My hair is smoother than usual, feels lighter and fluffier.  My eleven year old daughter Leah also tried it and gave it the thumps up- “It feels really nice.”

Has it brought out my sexy?  I am not sure it has done that but it may have improved my writing skills.  I’ll let readers decide.

Oh yes- I have definitely decided to use the shampoo before I attend this year’s Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebrations on April 20th at the Rady Centre.  Who knows, for Yom Ha’atzmaut, I may even try the mousse!

For more information about Natural Formula, please visit
By the way, Ostrove also has another business called Luco Light Systems started in 2005 which sells LED lighting products for residential and commercial uses. He says LED technology is the future of light and in a few years when demand increases LED will be everywhere! 

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.