It's the only thing I use on manes and tails, along with Eqyss Marigold, and IMO, the healthiest, most effective thing.
It doesn't promote growth, but, since it strengthens the hair, you get less breakage, therefore, the hairs are able to grown all the way down to their full length, instead of breaking off. So, you do get more growth in a way.
CO, is the only oil that truly penetrates into the hair shaft. Anything else just sits there, drying out the hair over time.
As mentioned, it works as a detangler as well, and keep the hairs tidy.
So, you're actually doing a lot of good to the hair on the days you use it at shows.
It does attact dirt, as does any other wet thing if you let it.
Example, I put it in my horses tail, braid it, go for a ride, and let it soak in
Before I turn him loose, where he's likely to roll and such.
As long as you let it soak in before they have access to dirt, you're fine.
No problems with bugs. I use it most during the dead of summer, since it really soaks in fast then, and have zero problems.
Here's a link from another forum with lots more info. Ultimate Coconut Oil Reference Thread