From time to time we talk about “fat” sheaths and “tight” follicles. This misconception is based on very poorly drawn follicles … AND, what an anagen hair “root” looks like when you pull it out. I did a simple drawing to illustrate this. (Basically, nearly every textbook in electrology has this drawn incorrectly … so, it’s no wonder most get this wrong!)
In the first drawing (as in most books), it appears that the “root sheath” is a separate structure somehow “stuffed down” in the follicle. It would make sense that if the follicle “opening” were too small you would have trouble pulling the “fat” root out. But that’s not the physiology.
The root sheath AND the epidermis are continuous … they are NOT separate layers but both form the same layer (as you see in the second drawing). When you tweeze (or zap) a hair, you dislodge the root at the “tear point” (the weaker margin where the epidermis “becomes” the harder “keratinized” root sheath). In this way the root sheath tears away from the epidermis and the whole root comes out in one piece. In a sense, the root sheath is “keratinized” epidermis; if you want to think of it that way.
There is no such thing as a “tight follicle opening,” because (except for the infundibulum) there is no “follicle opening.” These seemingly separate structures are not separate; they are continuous. Thus a difficult epilation means that current has not yet gotten high enough in the follicle to “tear” it loose from the epidermis.