I have the exact same variation of trich if you'd like to call it that. I'm 22 and have had it since about 12 or 11 years old. I developed it sometime in middle school, where it was at it's worst (bald spots) the ridicule was bad enough that I managed to stop picking from the same spot to the point of severe bald spots. I still pick to the point of noticeability at times (tonight has been a significant relapse, hence why I signed up here and am making this post! I have a spot on my left side of my beard now, and it makes me sad, I might have to shave it off tomorrow), but I no longer pick large holes out of my scalp.
Anyhow about the roots thing. I know how you're feeling. Sometimes I feel like as a person with trich I'm a bit of a freak in society, and then being a person with trichtillophagia (eating hair, but really, just the roots), I'm abnormal even in the world of people with trich.
It becomes like a... treasure hunt, psychotic as that sounds. You pull pull pull pull. Every pull gives some relief, but there's no true relief until you get a hair that still has that full semi-transparent whiteish root attached to the end all the way out of the skin. It's tough to do. It takes a special pore to allow the root to get out without being blocked and held down inside. Truthfully, I don't think that's the entire "root" because I've had hairs in spots where I pulled those roots out grow back, but we'll call it the root.
Anyhow, once you FINALLY get a rooted hair out, this could take 3 pulls or 300 pulls, you take your prize and examine it. Study the interesting little special hair you removed. I tend to touch it to my lips first because it's a little wet. It feels kind of interesting. Then I bite it off and swallow it, or more often, I strip it. I take my finger nails and I peel that little transparent coating off the tip of the root and just eat that, discarding the rest of the hair.
Why I do this? I have no freaking idea. It baffles me. All I know is that I like how rare they are. It usually takes a very special kind of pull to get one. I like the hunt to find it and once I do find it, I guess I eat it because... what else would I do with the prize I spent so long to obtain? I'm certainly not going to throw it away!
On certain occasions, I have taken those hairs and stuck them to a wall, because the root is sticky and will stick. Almost like a little trophy. I usually remove them the next day and discard them. I get immense pleasure from finding and removing the rare rooted hairs and it causes me to tear through hundreds of others in the process of seeking them.
Is your desire similar to mine? Why I value the hairs... I have no idea. I just know that I have this urge to get them.
For what it's worth, I also pick my skin pretty severely, especially squeezing pores to remove blackheads and such. This is done to the point of disfigurement (worse than my trich, honestly), but I do not eat anything from picked skin. I do however eat my cuticles. I bite my nails to keep them short, but I compulsively bite my cuticles for the purpose of eating the skin around them. Do you suffer any similar conditions? I have also eaten dead skin from my body for pretty much my entire life since childhood. Since long before the trich showed up.