Gyaltsen grew up as a nomad in northeast Tibet, riding horses, herding yak, and singing from the mountaintops. After leaving Tibet, he became a different type of nomad, travelling from country to country in Asia until he eventually came to the United States. In 2005 he began his career as a hairdresser, studying under John Carden, and he now serves as one of Salon Druknya’s senior stylists.
Gyaltsen enjoys art and has a particular affinity for calligraphy, but his true passion is for the future of his homeland. In conjunction with Salon Druknya & Druknya House, he steadily organizes benefits for the Tibetan Healing Fund’s and Arura Medicine of Tibet work in transforming rural Tibet, and is constantly eagar to meet people who believe in his vision for Tibet.
Born and raised in India, Tashi came to America in 1992 as part of the Tibetan Resettlement Project. She soon relocated from Santa Fe to Charlottesville, where she apprenticed under John Carden. She has extensive experience in color formulation and foil highlighting, her favorite service.
Tashi is now one of Salon Druknya’s senior stylists and has overseen our apprenticeship program since 2006. Her first student completed training in 2008.
Packmo has lived since 2001 in Charlottesville, where her family business became part of the vibrance of the City’s Downtown Mall. She long dreamed of being a hairdresser, and her dream came true in 2006 when she began her apprenticeship at Salon Druknya under the direction of John Carden and Tashi Druknya.
Packmo has a strong attention to detail and a unique sense of observation and insight for an individual’s daily social appearance. In addition to serving as one of our hair designers, Packmo also offers eyebrow, lip, and chin waxing.
Laurel has been a resident of Charlottesville since 2004 and has been with Salon Druknya for almost as long. She hails from Southern California and attended school in Berkeley where she obtained a bachelors degree in Landscape Architecture. She and her husband Chris moved back to Chralottesville after spending two years in Portland, Oregon “just to see what it was like”. Conicidentally, that is also how she ended up in Virginia in the first place. Laurel currently lives in Belmont with Chris, her two daughters Faye and Margot.
Hailing from Lhasa, Tibet, Sonam loves art, reading, styling hair, and being with her kids. Since leaving her homeland, her travels have taken her to 12 countries around the world. She has visited Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Kathmandu, and most recently Reykjavík, Iceland.
Sonam’s professional life has been full of creative endeavors, from acting in film to teaching Tibetan language courses at the University of Virginia. She began her career as a hair stylist in 2001 apprenticing under John Carden. Sonam was happy to return to Salon Druknya in the summer of 2008, where she continues to serve as one of our senior stylists.
Natalie graduated from Stanton School of cosmetology in November 2002. That same week she moved to Orlando, Florida with her husband Tory. There she worked in area salons specializing in precision cuts and natural hair coloring. In August 2018, Natalie moved back to Virginia where she is currently working at Salon Druknya and living in the Shenandoah Valley. She enjoys training and working with dogs in her free time.