Can I put a group mesh / object at the tip of a hair?

So I go to make a hair particle system and click group / object with no object selected and I get this neat arrangement of particles at the tip (they don’t render or anything like that, obviously, because they don’t exist). But when I go to add a mesh or group to the particle system, they are close to the surface. Since the system does appear to have some way to define where the tips of the hairs are, this would be a really cool trick to have.