Parlor vs. Salon — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on November 1, 2023
A parlor is a room in a house for receiving guests; a salon is a commercial establishment offering beauty or grooming services.
Difference Between Parlor and Salon
Table of Contents
A parlor is traditionally a formal room in a residential setting, used for entertaining guests. A salon, on the other hand, is typically a commercial establishment where beauty or grooming services are provided.
The term parlor often evokes a sense of antiquity and is associated with older homes. Salons, however, are modern spaces, frequented for haircuts, styling, and other beauty treatments.
In historical context, parlors were essential in homes for social gatherings. Modern salons serve as social hubs too, but their primary focus is on personal care services.
While a parlor is more about the ambiance and social interaction, a salon emphasizes personal grooming, beauty, and wellness services.
The functionality of a parlor is largely static, centered around hosting and relaxation. In contrast, a salon offers dynamic services that change with fashion and beauty trends.
Providing beauty/grooming services
Associated with older, formal homes
Social interaction, ambiance
Personal care, grooming
Static, for hosting and relaxation
Dynamic, following trends in beauty and grooming
Compare with Definitions
The Victorian house had an elegant parlor.
The new hair salon had modern equipment.
Funeral Home Room
The viewing was held in the funeral parlor.
Nail Care Center
They offered nail services at the salon.
Ice Cream Shop
We visited the local ice cream parlor.
The salon provided both haircuts and shaves.
Formal Sitting Room
They discussed business in the parlor.
An establishment where a hairdresser, beautician, or couturier conducts trade
A hairdressing salon
Have your hair cut in a professional salon
A room in a private home set apart for the entertainment of visitors.
A reception room in a large house.
A small lounge or sitting room affording limited privacy, as at an inn or tavern.
An annual exhibition of the work of living artists held by the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris from 1648, originally in the Salon d'Apollon in the Louvre.
A business establishment with one or more rooms equipped and furnished for a special function
A tanning parlor.
A funeral parlor.
An ice-cream parlor.
A large room, such as a drawing room, used for receiving and entertaining guests.
The living room of a house, or a room for entertaining guests; a room for talking; a sitting-room or drawing room
A periodic gathering of people of social or intellectual distinction.
(archaic) The apartment in a monastery or nunnery where the residents are permitted to meet and converse with each other or with visitors from the outside.
A hall or gallery for the exhibition of works of art.
(archaic) A comfortable room in a public house.
A commercial establishment offering a product or service related to fashion
A beauty salon.
A covered open-air patio.
A large room, especially one used to receive and entertain guests.
A shop or other business selling goods or services specified by context.
A tattoo parlor
A gathering of people for a social or intellectual meeting.
A shed used for milking cattle.
(arts) An art gallery or exhibition; especially the Paris salon or autumn salon.
(Philippines) beauty parlor
A beauty salon or similar establishment.
A room for business or social conversation, for the reception of guests, etc.
An apartment for the reception of company; hence, in the plural, fashionable parties; circles of fashionable society.
A room in an inn or club where visitors can be received.
An apartment for the reception and exhibition of works of art; hence, an annual exhibition of paintings, sculptures, etc., held in Paris by the Society of French Artists; - sometimes called the Old Salon. New Salon is a popular name for an annual exhibition of paintings, sculptures, etc., held in Paris at the Champs de Mars, by the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts (National Society of Fine Arts), a body of artists who, in 1890, seceded from the Société des Artistes Français (Society of French Artists).
Reception room in an inn or club where visitors can be received
Gallery where works of art can be displayed
A room in a private house or establishment where people can sit and talk and relax
A shop where hairdressers and beauticians work
The guests were seated in the parlor.
Elegant sitting room where guests are received
She booked an appointment at the salon.
The salon was known for its trendy styles.
Is a parlor a common feature in modern homes?
Less so; contemporary homes favor more versatile spaces.
Were parlors only in wealthy homes?
Initially, yes, but they became common in middle-class homes too.
Do salons offer only hair services?
No, salons often offer a range of beauty services.
Are parlors used for entertainment?
Historically, yes, especially for music and conversation.
Can a parlor function as a study?
Yes, in some homes, parlors double as studies.
Is a parlor the same as a living room?
Not exactly; parlors are more formal than typical living rooms.
Are salon services expensive?
Prices vary widely depending on the salon and services.
Did Victorian homes have multiple parlors?
Yes, some had separate parlors for men and women.
Can a parlor be used for dining?
Traditionally, parlors are for socializing, not dining.
Can a salon also be a spa?
Some salons offer spa services, but they're distinct entities.
Do salons offer makeup services?
Many salons do offer professional makeup services.
Are all beauty salons for women only?
No, many salons cater to all genders.
Can I get a massage at a salon?
Some salons offer massage services, but it's more common in spas.
Is a barbershop considered a salon?
Yes, barbershops are often classified as a type of salon.
Can a parlor be converted to a home office?
Yes, many homeowners repurpose parlors as home offices.
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Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.