I say your first step is to either stop going to the salon, or start telling them exactly what you want them to do.
As far as progress with taking better care of your hair versus splits, I've been here for a few years and I still have splits, but it's because not all of the damaged hair has grown out yet. Once it does, the splits will lessen. So keep in mind that when taking better care of your hair it will be the roots that will show that improvement, as damaged hair stays damaged no matter what. It may take a while depending on your length to see the fruits of your labors, so stay strong and keep it up!