Talented Leverkusen teenager Tin Jedvaj enjoyed a rollercoaster afternoon on Saturday, scoring an own goal in the 24th minute.
The 18-year-old Croat, on loan from AS Roma, made amends five minutes after the restart, beating the off side trap to round keeper Rune Jarstein for the equaliser.
Hertha, without a real scoring chance until that point, needed another Leverkusen mistake to score with Julian Schieber heading from close range after a bad clearance by keeper Bernd Leno.
Leverkusen, who had no trouble with an erratic Hertha defence, again drew level a minute later with Emir Spahic’s header after a clever free kick from Hakan Calhanoglu. Julian Brandt drilled in their third goal after Leverkusen twice hit the woodwork in a one-sided second half.
With the hosts now pouring forward, Karim Bellarabi, who last week scored the fastest Bundesliga goal ever after nine seconds, superbly volleyed in four minutes from time to seal their second win for a maximum six points.
It was a bitter afternoon for former European champions Hamburg SV, who were crushed 3-0 by newcomers Paderborn and are still looking for their first win of the season.
The minnows from North Rhine-Westphalia, who conceded a stoppage time equaliser against Mainz 05 last week, outclassed the Bundesliga ‘dinosaurs’ for their maiden Bundesliga victory.
Hamburg, who needed a relegation playoff to stay up last season, looked out of sorts and tumbled into an early season crisis.
Promoted Cologne also enjoyed a winning afternoon, snatching a 2-0 win at VfB Stuttgart while VfL Wolfsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt shared the points after a 2-2 draw.
Borussia Dortmund edged past Augsburg 3-2 on Friday. Champions Bayern Munich are in action later on Saturday when they travel to Schalke 04.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Pritha Sarkar)