Depilatory creams are essentially a “chemical shave.”
There is no clinical evidence showing such creams induce more hair follicles to produce more hairs (same with shaving). What you are experiencing is visual: from zero to “original amount” of hair … the amount only appears more than the original; it’s not.
Could the skin inflammation from repeated depilatory use awaken sleeping follicles (via increased blood flow)? Somebody’s going to make the case. I don’t know. It is somewhat conceivable.
The chemicals in a depilatory are similar to chemicals used in what was called a “permanent wave”: a process to curl (or straighten) a woman’s hair. (The chemicals were exactly the same in those “good old days.”)
Doing a “salon permanent,” a depilatory-like chemical is applied that dissolves the hair’s outer “shell” which frees-up the shingle-like hair cuticle (outward pointing over-lapping scales). At the right time, a neutralizer is applied to stop the chemical reaction. The hairs are then wound around a “curler.” While on the "curler," a “setting” solution is applied that somewhat reestablishes the hairs bond and holds the curls (but not really permanently).
In effect, the depilatory is analogues to a “salon permanent,” except stronger: the entire hair is dissolved (above the skin).
Both products present a potential hazard if used improperly (usually: left on too long). The depilatory can, after dissolving the hair, dissolve the skin. In most cases, only the epidermis is dissolved because at that point your skin would burn like “holy hell!” There are gazillions of nerve endings located in (just under) the epidermis. You WILL feel it ... YIKES! And the old "scrotes" will turn bright red, burn and swell: lovely!
Similarly, if the “permanent wave” is left on too long, the hair becomes lighter in color (almost always). Or,OMG! … the woman’s hair “fall outs” in chunks. Combining hair dye and a permanent wave almost always results in a “hair disaster!” Maybe that’s how the “Bob” hairstyle got invented? Or maybe those wigs of the 1960s (I still have one of Cher's wigs) ... or my favorite, a SNOOD!
Bring back the snood … very sexy! Lana Turner in a snood! WOW!