Straw-like hair indicates protein overload. Cut out all protein and see if there is any improvement. You may need some protein but you need to cut all out then find your hair's exact needs.

If you have low porosity hair, gentle heat can be your friend. Saturate with warm water then apply conditioner and give it time to absorb. Steam caps are great (look for a post called "DT?" posted recently I explained how I do the steam treatment.

If you have split ends, like the op said, you cannot fix or repair them. They must be trimmed off.

I don't think not going to a salon is weird at all.
remember, with all advice or suggestions for your hair, YMMV!!
My hair:
2b wavy, medium texture, low porosity, med-high density. Protein finicky.
My routine:
Cleansing: DCNP, every 4-5 days (occasionally use CJ cleansers).
RO: CJSC, occasionally use JCDC
Gel: KCCC, CJCIAB for 2nd day hair (sometimes third)

Heat is my friend: warm water rinses, steam caps, and diffuse dry. I love CLU cloths and my Denman.