I had issues with dry/damaged hair in high school. Like you, I didn't want to chop it off so what I did was cut it as much as I could handle and treat it from there. I used lots of deep and leave-in conditioners. Also, I followed up with trims every three months. Within a year, my hair was much better and healthy. Take baby steps and it will get better after a while.

3a/3b curls.
Medium texture, medium porosity, and extremely protein sensitive.
Moderate CG? No harsh sulfates, limited 'cones.
Poo: L'oreal Ever Sleek
Condish: GVP Conditioning Balm
Deep Condish: L'oreal Ever Pure
Styling products: Bumble & Bumble smoothing creme, Not Your Mother's Curl Creme, and Giovanni gel.