There is no question that hair is more than just hair. You change it when life feels too routine, style it according to your outfit and manage (or try to at least) it during the hot, sweaty, summer months.

But to many black women, hair can also make a statement. They were told it did not fit the beauty standard, not seen on TV and changed to adhere to the expectations set in professional environments.

But in its natural state, it is something black woman have grown (and are growing) to love.

That love brought tens of thousands of people together in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for Curlfest, the world’s largest natural hair festival.

Throughout the day, Prospect Park blossomed into a garden of curls, braids, locs and afros by attendees from all over the country. From California to North Carolina, they proudly celebrated their natural hair.

Meet eight women (and men!) who opened up to “Good Morning America” about why they celebrate their natural hair and how they define black beauty.

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