Wnt/β-catenin and NF-κB signaling mechanisms provide central controls in development and disease, but how these pathways intersect is unclear. Using hair follicle induction as a model system, we show that patterning of dermal Wnt/β-catenin signaling requires epithelial β-catenin activity. We find that Wnt/β-catenin signaling is absolutely required for NF-κB activation, and that Edar is a direct Wnt target gene. Wnt/β-catenin signaling is initially activated independently of EDA/EDAR/NF-κB activity in primary hair follicle primordia. However, Eda/Edar/NF-κB signaling is required to refine the pattern of Wnt/β-catenin activity, and to maintain this activity at later stages of placode development. We show that maintenance of localized expression of Wnt10b and Wnt10a requires NF-κB signaling, providing a molecular explanation for the latter observation, and identify Wnt10b as a direct NF-κB target. These data reveal a complex interplay and interdependence of Wnt/β-catenin and EDA/EDAR/NF-κB signaling pathways in initiation and maintenance of primary hair follicle placodes. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.